Lunch @ Ristorante da Valentino

The first time I visited Ristorante da Valentino was about a year ago, to celebrate my birthday. On my recent visit, I found it interesting to note that there were 2 tables celebrating birthdays. My lunch companion remarked that there was almost always a birthday celebration whenever he ate there. I started to think about something another friend said about there being lots of birthdays in the months of September and October. His theory was that these babies were conceived during the Christmas season. Interesting theory! :)
Scarmoza Cheese wrapped with Parma HamPan-Fried Scarmoza Cheese wrapped with Prosciutto di Parma

We started the meal with an appetizer of Pan-Fried Scamorza Cheese (similar to Mozzarella) wrapped with Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham). Cheese and Parma Ham are amongst 2 of my favourite ingredients (I happen to have a long list of favourite ingredients, but who's counting?). This is my all-time favourite dish at Valentino's. It's a simple dish, yet I felt that it was brilliantly executed as the parma ham was pan-fried evenly to a give the combo a fragrant and crisp exterior. Biting into the crisp ham crust, the teeth sinks into the soft, molten and chewy texture of the cheese.


Pan-fried Scarmoza Cheese wrapped with Prosciutto, served with salad
The fat from the ham had coated the blob of Scarmoza Cheese, enhancing its smoky flavour. It was a tad too salty (even for a savoury food lover like me) but this problem was easily resolved by eating the cheese together with the salad that was served on the side. This is definitely a MUST-TRY (barring any lactose-intolerance)!
Baked Eggplant

Melanzane al Forno (Baked Eggplant) @ S$16.90

I love eggplants (aka brinjals/aubergines) in almost every form. So when my lunch buddy suggested the Baked Eggplant dish, I was all for it...besides, there would be melted cheese too! How cool is that? My lunch buddy loves this dish as its like a Vegetarian Lasagne dish sans pasta-related carbs. The flavours of the rich tomato sauce had largely been absorbed by the smoky-tasting and soft aubergine pieces. The slight tartness of the tomato sauce helped to whet my appetite and though I was afraid that I might not have room for my main course, I couldn't help but finish whatever was placed on my plate.

Squid Ink Linguine with Seafood

Linguine al Nero di Seppia (Squid Ink Linguine) @ S$24.90
My lunch buddy had initially ordered the Linguine alla Pescatora (Linguine cooked in Fisherman-Style). When the baked eggplant dish arrived, he remembered that his pasta dish would also be cooked in a tomato-based sauce. Thus, he requested for his pastasauce to be changed to squid ink instead. The waiter was very helpful and acceded to the request. I tried a little linguine and thought it was absolutely delicious, if only I didn't have to worry about squid ink stains on my teeth and tongue! One of my galfriends, Sam, is crazy over this dish and having tasted some myself, I understood what the fuss was about. This dish is a Must-Try if you're not worried about black teeth, tongue & lips! :P

I like Valentino's for their flexibility, they're willing to make off-menu items or improvise your dish. That said, what I dislike about dining at Valentino's is the fact that they have 2 seatings. I find the timing of the first seating @ 6pm too early whilst the second seating @ 8.30pm is a little too late.

Porcini Risotto

Risotto ai Porcini (Porcini Risotto) @ S$22.90

I'm a risotto freak and love mushrooms too so I had to order the Porcini Risotto. The arborio rice was just a little softer than I would have preferred but the stock was very richly flavoured and the chunks of porcini mushrooms added texture to the dish. This dish is worth a try if you like mushrooms, cheese and risotto as much as I do.
Latte @ Valentino
We were too stuffed for desserts so I ended my meal with a steaming hot cuppa latte. What a perfect caffeine-fueled ending to a delicious lunch!

Ristorante da Valentino (off Rifle Range Road) 11 Jalan Bingka Singapore 588908 Tel: +65 6462-0555

Operating Hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 12pm - 2.30pm & 6pm - 10.30pm *Reservations required. 2 seatings: 6pm & 8.30pm