Gattopardo Ristorante Di Mare is an attractive Italian restaurant along Tras Street in the busy Tanjong Pagar district of Singapore. It caught our attention with the unusual shophouse that it occupies. Annexed to a more regular shaped building, the corner unit is tiny and is setback from the road. An open-air courtyard serves as an attractive entrance. At lunch time, they have a $38++ set lunch which was what we had on our first visit to Gattopardo Ristorante Di Mare.
The interesting building layout has been put to good use by Gattopardo Ristorante Di Mare. Different dining and drinking zones have been created inside the space. Starting from the casual courtyard at the entrance to the upper dining floor with starched table linen, the degree of formality increases as one wanders deeper into the restaurant space.
Different Dining Areas at Gattopardo Ristorante Di Mare
The interior zone on the ground floor provides a bridge between casual drinks and formal dining. This part has a pleasant “smart casual” dining environment.
Proceeding further upstairs, the character changes into a serious dining room. This is our favourite area to dine at Gattopardo Ristorante Di Mare. The preferred dining area can be specified at the time of reservation.
Gattopardo Ristorante Di Mare Set Lunch
Here are pictures of the set lunch menu as well as the “Sicilian Journey” menu. The latter definitely looked more interesting. But as ordinary patrons, we stuck to the more affordable $38 3-course set lunch.
Some bread was served at around the same time as the starters. They came in handy to mop up the soup and to eat with the cold cuts.
We thought that the starters were fine but not particularly memorable. Tomato soup, cold cuts and fennel and orange salad. I personally thought that the soup was the best if I had to choose one. The taste of the tomato was strong and enhanced by the cream and olives.
The Main Courses
The main courses were more interesting than the starters. Our favourite was the yellowfin tuna steak (picture above). The core of the tuna steak had been left almost uncooked. We would have preferred it to be more cooked, but the upside was that it was still naturally juicy and flavourful.
The other two main courses scored roughly the same. It depends on your preference – to have pasta or chicken for lunch. The spaghetti with roasted eggplant (above picture) was a non-meat pasta dish. The spaghetti has a pleasing springy texture. The toppings of eggplant, cherry tomatoes and aged Ricotta cheese gave it a clean, simple taste.
At first glance, the oven roasted Sicilian chicken breast (picture below) looked pale and uninteresting. It turned out better than it looked. I am but sure how they did it or how Sicilian chicken differs from regular ones, but the chicken served that day was tender and moist. It was served with black garlic Salmoriglio, which is a term I had hitherto not heard of. According to Wikipedia, it is a southern Italian condiment made of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and herbs It is common in Sicily as an accompaniment to meat and seafood. The extra flavours added interest to the fish.
The desserts we had that day were the apple crumble with vanilla gelato and salted caramel (picture above) and caramel Budino and Trapani sea salt. Once again I had to consult Wikipedia on the additional new words. “Budino is a sweet Italian dish, usually rich and creamy like a custard or pudding”. I also learnt that the shallow lagoons that lie between two Sicilian cities Marsala and Trapani produce very good salt. For more information, this article provides interesting reading : Salt: Sicily’s White Gold
Both were very good with the Budino scoring a bit higher because of the tasty and crunchy toppings provided for this dish.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Gattopardo Ristorante Di Mare
34/36 Tras Street
Tue-Fri: 12-3pm, 6:30-10:30pm
Nearby MRT Station: Tanjong Pagar
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog