Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Restaurant review: Capri Trattoria & Pizzeria, Singapore

Capri Trattoria and Pizzeria is named after the island of Capri in Southern Italy. This small and cozy restaurant situated at Binjai Park in Singapore features a menu of freshly made pasta, seafood, grilled meat and pizza made in a brick oven.

A few months ago, me and eight of my girlfriends decided to hop over to Capri one Friday evening for dinner. One of our colleagues was leaving and it being her last day at work, we wanted to throw her a small farewell. The Bukit Timah area in Singapore has a lot of good food establishments and one of the restaurants that popped up during our animated discussion of the venue was Capri. And who doesn't like Italian food?! The best thing about it is its simplicity, flavor and character. Moreover, we were eager to go to a restaurant that served authentic fresh Italian cuisine and not the generic, mass-produced pastas/pizzas that is served in most places. So with the unanimous vote for Capri, having made a reservation in advance, we made our way to Binjai Park.

We reached by car and unfortunately at that hour, finding a parking space in the area was a bit of a nightmare. The restaurant did have complimentary valet parking which we probably should have gone for but in the end we did manage to find a spot. So, if you are driving down especially on a weekend, don't fret - it is valet parking to the rescue!

The restaurant is casual and intimate with an interior comprised of rocky white walls and red brick arched walls adored with Italian artwork, decorative pieces and a wood beam ceiling. The colors and decor (which has a Mediterranean vibe) lends a distinctly old world charm to the restaurant. The ambience is relaxed with a personalized touch in the way in diners are attended to. The head chef and owner were seen shuttling around attending to the diners and engaging in friendly banter and this says a lot about the restaurant and what it stands for. 

The menu has a wide selection of items ranging from antipasti, salads, pasta, rice, pizza, fish dishes, meat dishes, desserts and beverages. They also offer specials of the day which are known to be quite popular with the diners. 

We ordered a bottle of red wine which was quite delightful and we were quite surprised to note how reasonably priced it was!

We were offered some complimentary homemade bread with olive oil and vinegar. If you ask me, bread is always a nice start to any meal :)

We proceeded to order 1 starter and 8 main courses. In other words, a lot of food! One of the main reasons why I like to review restaurants with a big group of friends is because I can get their opinion on dishes that I don't eat myself *grins*

Tagliere all'italiana ($18)
Assortment of cured meats, served with grilled vegetables and burrata cheese.

This was the only item that the girls ordered as a starter to share. I had the grilled vegetables and some of the cheese and I cannot proceed without raving about the cheese! Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture. It was so good that after a while I started to spread it over the complimentary bread and wolf it down :)

Ravioli caprese ($20)
I ordered this dish. It was stated to be a house speciality. Home-made pasta then stuffed with Italian herbs, caciotta cheese and parmesan cheese and egg yolk filling then sautéed with fresh tomatoes, basil and olive oil. It didn't look very pretty but it was simple and satisfying. The tomato puree was packed full of flavour and thankfully not tart at all, the pasta was perfectly cooked and the filling was delicious especially the cheese. 

Verdure ($18)
Tomato, mozzarella and mixed vegetables (zucchini, eggplant and capsicum). I tried a slice of the pizza and I really enjoyed it. The crust was thin and wood fired which made it light and crispy. The beauty of the topping was its simplicity.  

Linguine con granchio ($22)
Linguine served with a delicate sauce of fresh crab meat and a light tomato sauce. This dish was ordered by one of my friends and she loved it.

Pesce del giorno ($36)
The fish of the day which was pan seared halibut with grilled vegetables. One of the more expensive of the dishes, I was told that the fish and vegetables were cooked perfectly but the seasoning on the fish was a bit uneven. And although the one who ordered the dish had no issues, I personally felt that the price for this dish was high. 

Scaloppina di vitello ($28)
Pan-fried veal slice sprinkled with lemon sauce and served with mixed salad. The feedback I got for this dish from my friend was that although the meat was cooked well, the dish was slightly bland and she was of the opinion that it was not worth the price.

Tonnarelli al ragu' napoletano ($24)
This dish was the Chef's recommendation and was ordered by two of my friends. The Napoletan ragu is cooked in a clay-pot for seven hours with pork ribs, veal, onions and peeled tomatoes served with tonnarelli pasta. I was told that it was good but the ratio of meat to pasta was a bit skewed in favor of the meat. 

Scialatielli di Capri ($24)
This dish was also a Chef's recommendation. Oven-baked home-made long pasta paper-wrapped with seafood, cherry tomatoes, white wine sauce, garlic and parsley. This practice of baking the pasta in parchment paper is supposed to allow the pasta to thoroughly absorb all the flavors of the sauce.  The friend who ordered this dish said that she would come back to this restaurant just to have this dish again! That's how much she enjoyed it. Unsurprisingly, this is one of their more popular dishes.

We didn't order any dessert as we were too full and also because one of my friends who regularly dines at Capri said that the desserts weren't exceptional. That being said, I might try some dessert next time when I go with the husband :)

Capri is a great food establishment for authentic Italian cuisine tucked away in a secluded corner of Bukit Timah. The food is simple, flavorful and affordable with an average price of $35 per person. The portions of the dishes aren't very big so each person can comfortably manage a main course by themselves. The restaurant is quite small with only about 15 tables and on a busy weekend, it can get crowded. With a staff comprising of only 2-3 people, there is room for improvement where the service is concerned. However, the attentiveness of the owner and head chef deserves praise. Head over to Capri if you want to enjoy a relaxed evening. I would recommend this restaurant for couples, friends and families.

My rating for this restaurant is 3.5 out of 5 stars

Capri Trattoria & Pizzeria
3 Binjai Park
Tel: +65 6468 4886

Daily: 12 noon – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10.30pm

Note: This is not a sponsored review. The comments and opinions in this post are solely my own.

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