When a restaurant excels and distinguishes itself amongst all others, it certainly deserves an update. It is certainly the case for Cugini's, which I previously reviewed and strongly recommended as the only Italian restaurant in Singapore where I would spend my dollars for the best pasta I can have on this island. I went back there to check out some of their new dishes, as their menu has been enriches with numerous appetising gems. My full review can be found at: http://foodieah.blogspot.com/2009/04/cugini-revisited.html
I started with a fish carpaccio, which they served with 2 types of raw fish (tuna and yellow tail). This is creativity at its best. I haven't eaten such a fish carpaccio anywhere else before. The raw fish slices are cured with a gentle balance of spices that enhances their freshness and texture. What they have created here is an unique dish you can't have anywhere else in Singapore. The dusted bottarga on top adds an extra layer of flavour to this already perfect combination.
I am usually not a huge fan of fish pasta with tomato sauces. I generally prefer to enjoy the subtle flavour of fish with the classic oil based sauce. This spaghetti ai frutti di mare is a Sicilian classic and it is not on the menu (but you can request it as a special). They persuaded me to try it, and thankfully I did! The two outstanding characteristics that hit me as I had the first mouthful of pasta were the intense taste of the sea infused into the sauce and the creaminess of it. The richness is achieved without the use of butter, as other restaurants do. The sauce is enriched with pieces of yellow tail, baby squids, clams, prawns... these flavours all come together and they are distinct at the same time!
The classic spaghetti alle vongole is a typical dish that you can find in most Italian restaurants. Cugini's recipe takes this dish to a different level altogether. First of all, the clams are shelled so you can enjoy their tender juiciness in combination with the pasta without having to get your hands dirty. But more noticeably, the unique combination of oils and parsley bring the flavours together, making this a memorable pasta. Once again, this dish is not on the menu, but you know what to ask for!
I am still thinking of this pasta, I will be back to Cugini's tomorrow. It's touching. It's an addiction.
After being stuck in traffic(yet being able to watch the fireworks festival from the comfort of my moms car) my bf and i wanted food in our systems and after both deciding we were not eating japanese or anything seafoody we decided to check out Da Mario. but due to two parking mistakes my bf and i decided to forgo our plans to head to da mario and try out Cugini instead. we were seated in a empty(save for a few customers having drinks) restaurant and we browsed through the menu. i was keen on trying the pizza and and noticed that the veal cutlet sounded quite appetising.
after enquiries on wether the ham in the pizza could be changed to sumthing else we ordered these items
Flamkuche pizza=creme fraiche, mozarella, onion, mushroom and beef frankfruter(used to be italian ham)
Milanese veal cutlet
i was very pleased with the attentiveness and helpfulness of our hostness and was quite famished and looking forward to the meal.
we ordered at 1055 and waited for the food to come.now at 1115 only the our complimentary cheese puff come to our table. it looked like a mini epok2(curry puff) and tasted nothing like cheese. but it did line my stomach(repeat i was super hungry).at 1120 the waiter came to inform us our food would come in 2 minutes(ok can wait) but then another 2 diners came in and he took like 5 mins to attend to em..nvm..still can wait...we only got our food at 1130..and i was still ok..untill 5mins later i saw the couple that walked in at 1120 getting their pizza..i mean..wahlau..how come our pizza took almost half an hour n theirs took a total of what 10-15 mins??heck..i was hungry so i didnt bother and concentrated on my food.
veal cutlet was good. done up medium rare and it was nice, slightly chewy and succulent. i liked the sauce that was sweet and slightly sour but not the typical sweet/sour sauce. it was breaded and the breading was not too thick, crisp and light. the mash that came on its side tasted good at first but left a weird lingering aftertaste. like they added msg or sumthing. i enjoyed the dish and was feeling a bit full.
the pizza at first i found it quite salty/tasteless. it was an overall slightly salty but the cream was a tad tasteless. the mushroom didnt really do much for the dish but the beef frankfrutter was good. prob what made it have that hint of saltiness. i added the oil they provided when i ate my 2nd slice and i think that there was chilli in that oil. the oil made the pizza spicier and i enjoyed it more. but i was hoping that i could have enjoyed the pizza minus other outside forces. found the crust crisp and chewy although at the end of the meal the pizza crust was bordering on chewy and hard.
and finally our tiramisu. i actually liked it. there was an balance of the cheese and the liquor but i found that there was quite a bit of liquor. a bit too much on top. but i did enjoy it.
aside from being put off by our loooong wait i did enjoy the meal. service was good without being too intrusive. the ambience was there although maybe the sound level of the music could be a wee bit lower. and the food was enjoyable. i doubt ill be back anytime soon as the menu isnt really extensive and well id like to explore my pizza options.
but i shall return mayb one day. bf wanted to get a nutella pizza to go which earned a "WHAT??" facial expression from me. of course we didnt get it.
oh and UOB cardmembers get a 15% discount.
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