When the 2014 Singapore Restaurant Week was launched, we were determined to participate in the event. Based on previous experiences, we knew that one would have to log in early for the ‘good’ restaurants. True enough, by the time we procrastinators eventually got around to it (to be fair to us, it was only the second day for bookings, we were not slow – the others were too quick) the famous names in the dining scene were all snapped up. Which was fine with us because we were happy to use the opportunity to try out places we would not otherwise go to. So we did get around to book ourselves on three dinners at three never-been-to restaurants.
Tonight, it was the turn of Burlamacco on Amoy Street. When we arrived, we were surprised to find that it was just next door to the famous Teochew restaurant Huat Kee. How many times have we been to that restaurant for steamed pomfret and oh nee, but not noticed Burlamacco. Perhaps it was because parking is usually hard to find here such that all your attention is focused on the street and not the shops. Which is a pity but that probably vindicates the objectives of the Restaurant Week – so that we can see (and eat) at places we might have passed by a zillion times but did not think of stepping in.
Arriving at the restaurant we were warmly greeted and seated along the long bench seat that runs down the length of the wall. An illuminated ledge along that wall provides a practical and aesthetically pleasing place for the staff to place your bottles of beverages and other objects. Like Dr Who’s TARDIS, the restaurant was much larger inside than it looks on the outside because despite its narrow frontage it ocupies a very long structure. With the space available, the tables were set reasonably far apart, which is a good thing. The restaurant takes its name from a type of carnival mask which is apparently from the town of Viareggio in Tuscany. According to their website, this choice of name was made to represent their Tuscan traditions and also to maintain a fun, relaxing dining atmosphere.
For the Restaurant Week, the restaurant’s dinner menu offers a three course meal ($55) with two choices of starters and dessert and three choices of main course. Thoughtfully, they have also featured some reasonably priced wines for the occasion. We chose the grilled octopus and calamari salad, ‘cacciucco’ fish and seafood stew and slow cooked beef short-ribs. We tried both the desserts available.
The octopus was well grilled and rested on a bed of chopped calamari salad. The black olives in the salad added a touch of complexity to the zesty taste of the salad which provided a good accompaniment to the chewy texture of the octopus. Next came the main courses. The seafood stew was really thick and full of flavours. Most importantly, the fish and seafood were fresh. We wiped the plate clean. The slow cooked ribs were also excellent. The meat easily parted company with the bones with the slightest touch. It was also a generous portion.
The frozen berry souffle ‘semifreddo’ came in a tube of thin chocolate, surrounded by colouful dots. Somehow it did not look as good as the other dishes had been thus far. Taste wise it was just so-so. We liked the chocolate part. The other dessert – the dark chocolate tart with vanilla ice cream looked more promising. I suppose you can’t go far wrong with dark chocolate and ice cream and indeed that was the case. That item provided a sweet ending to the dinner.
We were happy to have discovered this restaurant and will certainly return in the future. Most likely on either Sundays or Tuesdays when no corkage is charged and you are free to bring your bottles of wine to accompany the tasty food here.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
77 Amoy Street
Tel: +65 6220 1763