|The new Monti at Fullerton Pavilion|
Even as revelers bemoan the closure of Catalunya, a new lifestyle destination has quietly debuted on the grounds of the Fullerton Pavilion. Named Monti, the new kid on the Marina Bay block by the One Rochester Group has recently emerged from a facelift to unveil a new look – a wall panel of hand-painted geometric murals, a nod to Italian frescoes, marble flooring inlaid with compass patterns to pay tribute to Singapore’s maritime past, as well as a glass-fronted pasta show kitchen.
Boasting a total dining capacity of 80, including 10 in a private room, and an expanded lounge space with lounge settees and high bar stools, the circular dome with floor to ceiling glass windows affords unblocked views of the Marina Bay, and with it, the behemoth triple-towered Marina Bay Sands.
The menu by new-to-Singapore Italian chef, Luigi Calcagno, who also co-owns Zibiru in Seminyak, Bali, offers regional Italian cuisine in sharing plates format.
For starters, La Signora Luciana (S$16), succulent baby squid in a zesty – rather than savoury – tomato broth chock-a-block with capers, olives and basil, is a palate-agreeing option. (3.75/5)
You can’t go wrong with Superfood (S$24) too – 15 types of seeds, beans and vegetables including chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts, lentils, cherry tomatoes and borlotti beans tossed in a minimalistic dressing of lemon and extra virgin olive oil. The dish needs nothing more than a tad more hydration and a dash of seasoning. (3.75/5)
|Carpaccio of swordfish|
We are less enthusiastic about the carpaccio of smoked swordfish with pomegranate, dill, fennel and pink pepper (S$18). The fish itself bares no hint of smokiness and, as a whole, the dish lacks the lemon juice and olive oil-scented flourishes of a well-made fish carpaccio dish. (3/5)
If you like pasta, you’re hand for a treat. Calcagno has a show kitchen that fields freshly made pasta on a daily basis. Our favourite? Invertiti (S$34), discs of delicate braised veal ossobuco-filled ravioli flecked with lemon In bone marrow “cream”. (4.25/5)
Those who prefer their pasta simpler will endear themselves to the risotto (off menu, S$38). Steaming hot risotto cooked in vegetable stock is tossed in a half wheel of Parmegiano Reggiano so that each grain of rice is coated richly with the umami of the cheese. It is served table-side as it is, with shavings of in-season truffle. (4/5)
The mains are also a highlight. Il Segreto (S$38), Fermin Iberico secreto is marinated in tarragon and other ingredients, grilled in the Josper oven until slightly charred, then thinly sliced and served over a blanket of creamy polenta topped with chanterelle mushrooms and Parmigiano Regiano. (3.75/5)
We reserve the biggest plaudit for Signor Monti (S$52), a slab of subtly succulent monkfish enrobed in a hydrating layer of Italian bacon. It arrives with a mound of ratatouille so delicious that it threatens to steal the thunder from the fish. (4.25/5)
To complete the experience, the copper-topped marble bar offers a list of spiffy libations. For a start, we suggest the signature Mr Monti (S$24), a white rum-based swizzle enlivened with grapefruit juice, grapefruit tonic and fresh Italian herbs, served to energetic beats curated by resident DJs Adam Sky, Stephen Day, Tirso Garcia and Victoria.
Of course, don’t leave without trying the Prezzemolino E Mentuccia (S$18), savoury olive oil ice cream with honey mascarpone and clouds of parsley and mint sponge.
82 Collyer Quay, Fullerton Pavilion, Singapore 049 327 | +65 6535 0724 | monti.sg
© Evelyn Chen 2013
Please note that the reviews published on this blog are sometimes hosted. I am under no obligation to review every restaurant I’ve visited. If I do, the reviews are 100% my own.