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Opening hours: 11am - 3pm / 6.30pm - 11pm (daily)
We were at Etna Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria on a Saturday afternoon. There wasn’t much of a crowd, probably only around 5 tables were occupied. It was a pretty cosy place, not too big, and you could easily see the chef preparing to oven bake his pizzas. After we got seated, the waitress was quick to make some recommendations for the food.
We ordered the Quattro formaggi, which was a four cheese pizza consisting of mozzarella, gorgonzola, parmesan, pecorino (from Sicily) and the Linguine al Granchio e Crema di Aragosta. It was a flat pasta with crab meat in a pink lobster sauce, one of the highly recommended pastas in Etna. The pizza was baked in a traditional Italian wood fired oven. The Quattro formaggi was a Pizza Bianche, a white pizza with a mozzarella cheese base. The pizza was served piping hot, but before we could dig in, the pasta arrived as well. The waiter suggested that we ate the pasta first as it wouldn’t taste that nice when it was cold. Well, he didn’t say that about the pizza though. So we started on the pasta first.
The chef was very generous with the serving of crab meat. Every single mouth we took was just packed with crab meat. The linguine was al dente, just the kind we liked. The pink lobster sauce was thick and savoury. Perhaps cause the taste of the crab meat was just overpowering, the lobster taste didn’t quite stand out. But still, the freshness, juiciness and sweetness of the crab was the highlight of the dish. It was essentially linguine and crab meat – as simple as that, yet the taste was really good.
And when we finally started on the pizza, it had turned slightly cold, which might have caused it to pale in comparison. It wasn’t bad, but neither was it fantastic. In fact, after a couple of slices, I got rather sick of it. Somehow, I had to add quite a bit of chili flakes to accentuate the taste of the pizza. The pasta was definitely a better choice.
We didn’t plan on having desserts, but I kept tempting C with the Etna Lava Cake – Molten chocolate cake served with vanilla ice cream. Well, though we were pretty full, there’s always our spare tummy for desserts! So C finally gave in and we ordered the lava cake. The serving was pretty small, but the cake was pretty good. The molten center was very thick and dense. It didn’t really flow out like liquid or lava. But you could still tell that it was molten. We kind of liked it.
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Went to check out the newly opened Etna. But it's rather disappointing. First impression, the seating was rather **** and uncomfortable. Ambient was too bright and lack of style. Looks more like a cheap local food resturant! The outdoor sitting was worst. Squeeze along the corridors of some old walk-up-apartments, with clinic at the site, and a drain. So unappetizing.
Servers are ok but we didn't get much smile, more like they all had a bad day. Service was pretty slow too. We ordered a Quattro Stagioni pizza and their authentic homemade pasta, Taglierini al Pesto di Bronte. Which took quite a while before it comes. The pizza was pretty alright (like those you can get anywhere else) but the Taglierini al Pesto di Bronte is such a disappointment.
Then came the bill which totals up to SGD70 , for alright italian food. I rather go to other more authentic restaurants with better service and ambient.
My take, bad ambient service and so-so food. Never again.
Yet another new eatery to have opened up in the dining belt along the popular East Coast/Upper East Coast Road. Etna Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, which has another outlet at Raffles place, boasts Italian food with authentic Sicilian products. Interestingly, Etna also happens to be the name of the highest volcano in Sicily and Europe, standing at 10500 ft.
Located within a short row of shophouses along Upper East Coast Road, Etna is almost impossible to miss with its huge signboard that lights up brightly in the evening. The interior is simply furnished with huge windows to allow sunlight in. Music is high strung which is quite unsettling at times especially if you are there for a relaxing quiet lunch likes yours truly.
Complimentary Bread & Appetisers - The bread looked haphazardly drizzled with olive oil and was hopelessly hard. Biting into one was akin to biting into a dry rag. The appetiser bowl consisted of slices of cheese, pepperoni, olives and figs, which were nothing special honestly. It was still a nice gesture though.
Bruschetta Etna - In all honesty, I've never eaten anything like Etna's rendition of the Bruschetta at any Italian restaurants before and I do not mean it as a compliment. The bread was rock hard and presentation was slip shod. The toppings didn't look fresh as well. How's that for dismal?
Insalata Di Gamberi - Essentially this salad was rocket leaves with prawns and doused in extra virgin olive oil. Fresh and zesty with fresh and crunchy, albeit rather small prawns, the salad was ironically the best dish of the day.
Quattro Stagioni - Quattro Stagioni, otherwise known as the four seasons pizza, is so named because of the 4 different sections of the pizza that offers the diner contrasting tastes. Etna's version had all the ingredients mixed up, which was fine, just that it veers away from tradition. Taste wise, the crust was significantly thicker than the usual Italian pizzas but at least the dough was fluffy, which made eating it quite enjoyable. The ingredients weren't much to shout about and overall the pizza tasted rather mundane.
Bistecca Al Gorgonzola - Grilled ribeye steak with gorgonzola cheese in a light cream sauce. With such a lip smacking description, I had expected something different or special. What I got was a slap in the face. Firstly, we had asked for the steak to be done medium but it looked more medium rare. Secondly, the buttery cream sauce was so overwhelming that I couldn't even make out any beef taste. Thirdly, the beef was sorely lacking in texture - soft and seemingly over tenderized. It didn't help that the accompany mashed potatoes tasted overly creamy as well. Want to know how nausea inducing this dish can get? Try it.
Taglierini Al Pesto Di Bronte - One of the recommended dishes, the Taglierini was purportedly home made and topped with a Sicilian pesto sauce made with Pistachios from Bronte in Sicily. As impressive as that may sound, it was more hype than substance, to me at least. The taglierini was al dente but the sauce didn't impress me very much, subtly sweet with no hint of pistachio whatsoever. And for the price ($22), I had expected it to come with toppings, however meager they might be, but sadly there was none.
Tiramisu Al Pistacchio - Another pistachio dish but in the form of a dessert. Very unique as grounded pistachios replaced the layer of cocoa powder commonly found in Tiramisus. There was also this layer of greenish cream which I assume to be made from pistachio. Sadly, the whole thing didn't taste like Tiramisu at all, coming across as very nutty. Perfectly acceptable as a cake, but definitely not as Tiramisu.
Panna Cotta Etna - Honestly, the Panna Cotta didn't quite do it for me. It was a tad too sticky and coagulated and not to mention bland. Even with the raspberry sauce, it tasted flat.
Torta Al Cioccolato - The chocolate cake seemed to have sat in the fridge for quite an extended period of time as it was undeniably dry. The taste of rum was negligible and overall it tasted very normal. At $8 a pop, I can easily buy a few cakes of similar quality.
$161 for 5 pax is considered relatively cheap for Italian food, but quality really leaves much to be desired. Service is decent but thats not going to be enough to stop me from closing the chapter on Etna.
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