If you want a fine dining restaurant with Italian food carefully prepared and beautifully presented by a Japanese Chef, but do not want to pay sky-high prices, try Ristorante Takada at Alexis. Where is Alexis? That was what my lunch partner asked when I suggested going there for lunch. Near Leng Kee, just opposite the Mercedes car showroom, I told her. She wasn’t too impressed but went along with me to the fine dining restaurant for ordinary people.
The Ordinary Patrons had visited Ristorante Takada at Alexis when it was newly opened (see our post Ristorante Takada). How did a Japanese Chef become the owner of an Italian restaurant tucked away in Alexis? Soft spoken Chef Takada recounted his childhood fascination with Ferrari cars and Ducati bikes and how he turned that into a love of Italian culture and the pursuit of Italian culinary skill. Perhaps his interests in cars and bikes also helped to explain why he chose to locate his restaurant in the prime motor belt of Leng Kee.
Chef Masahiro Takada, who has honed his skills in Michelin-starred restaurants in both Italy and Japan, uses fresh seasonal ingredients imported from Italy and Japan for his dishes. That means that the menu changes from time to time. Currently, the Italian-Japanese restaurant serves good value set lunches priced between $38 and $88.
We ordered the 3 course set lunch ($38) – where you get to choose an appetizer, either a main dish or a pasta dish and a dessert.
Complimentary bruschetta was served soon after our orders were taken. Iced water was offered and a basket of warm toasted bread was brought to the table. Next came the Amuse Bouche – a light Mushroom soup in a small tea cup with foam over it; it had a good earthly flavour and was enjoyable. All that before the proper start of the meal – my lunch partner was saying good things about Ristorante Takada already.
The appetizer we chose was Burrata Cheese with Parma Ham and Tomato. The cheese was silky and milky. The dish had a nice balance of saltiness and creaminess and an interesting mix of textures. Very good.
For our mains, we opted for the Iberico Pork with Balsamico Sauce and the Cod Fish with Zabaglione Sauce.
The portions of the mains were small but beautifully arranged on large plates. The pork was perfectly cooked and tender and made more flavourful by the balsamic reduction.
Zabaglione sauce, made with egg yolks, sugar and sweet wine, is a classic Italian sauce usually used for desserts. It went very well with the sauteed cod fish. The sweet-savoury combination produced an interesting delectable dish.
After the mains, Petit Four was served. That was an unexpected bonus as the set menu only mentioned appetizer, mains and dessert. The added bonus was that the Petit Four was served to us personally by Chef Takada, the debonair chef-owner. Now my lunch partner was really impressed.
Desserts came next. We had selected the Tiramisu and the Panna Cotta with Strawberry Sauce.
The tiramisu was served on a large plate – sponge fingers were topped with rich, velvety mascarpone cream and cocoa powder. It was delectable.
The panna cotta was also beautifully presented. The Italian custard had good texture and taste. Nespresso coffee (again not mentioned in the menu) was served with the desserts.
By the end of the lunch, my lunch partner was practically gushing about Ristorante Takada (or perhaps about the charming chef) – the service was good, the plating was artfully done, the food was good and we got more than we expected. We left the little hidden gem in Alexis satiated and very happy.
Food : 4
Service : 4
Value : 4
Atmosphere : 3
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
356 Alexandra Road
Tel: +65 6339 3969
Tuesday – Sunday
Lunch: 12pm – 2pm
Dinner: 6pm – 10pm
Close Every Monday; and 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month
Nearest MRT Station: Queenstown
The Ordinary Patrons
Singapore Food Blog by Ordinary People looking for Places to Eat