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Came here for a family dinner highly recommended, supposed to a 'favourite italian restaurant', so there were high hopes. Very high hopes.
I thought it was cute of them to have a sliding door instead of a swinging one. They also seat you at the high chairs at the bar if you're not ready to be seated at the dining area yet. Staff was friendly and not snooty which is always a plus.
It was a rare evening so we were quite ambitious in ordering:
Complimentary bread - Rectangular pieces of fresh foccacia bread done beautifully. Served warm with a superb vinegrette dip. We asked for some salsa for my mum which they didnt have but they had the chef do a small bowl just for her. Nice~
Capesante (S$34) - Hokkaido Scallop with Cauliflower Cream & “Avruga” Caviar - 3 fresh good sized scallops that had a very nice smokey flavour. The caviar provided an interesting contrast but didnt remember too much of the cream.
Bufala (S$24) - Buffalo Milk Mozzarella with Basil, Italian Cherry & Ox Heart Tomatoes - very light and very fresh cheese but it got quite jer lat as no one wanted to share it. The tomatoes were very good!
ZUPPA DEL GIORNO (S$16) - Soup of the Day - it was cream of caulifliower which tasted surprisingly light and no hint of the very raw vege taste too, well done!
LINGUINE (S$30) - Linguine with Crab Meat and Vodka Sauce - didnt try this but the dish was only half finished at the end of the dinner.
SPAGHETTI (S$30) - Spaghetti with Seasonal Seafood & Fresh Tomatoes - I know I probably shouldnt have ordered such a common dish but I was tempted by the seafood. While the seafood was fresh and pasta executed al dente, I felt je lart halfway through and couldnt continue.
RISOTTO MARE (S$34) - Seafood Risotto Cooked in Lobster Consommé - huge portion this is. I had only 1 bite which tasted good but it was essentially the same as my Seafood spaghetti.
MERLUZZO (S$46) - Oven Baked Atlantic Cod with Wild Mushroom "Guazzetto" & Thyme - had a small piece which tasted okay although I think the generous serving will be more than enough for 1 person.
Meat of the Day ($70) - Tenderloin with potato medallions - it looked quite plain to be honest. I dont take red meat but according to my bro it was excellent. The potato medallions were very good though.
TIRAMISU’ (S$16) - Tiramisu with Homemade Lady-Finger Biscuits, Licorice Scented Mascarpone Cream - looked very promising but too dry.
Service was good, with staff being attentive and yet not intrusive throughout the dinner. The place is terribly good for a date I think. Go there to impress but sadly the food seemed to have taken a hit accordingly to my sister who is a regular there. My personal opinon is the food doesnt justify the price, which came up to about $440 in total. Without alcohol.
Garibaldi, located along Purvis Street, is part of The Garibaldi Group of Restaurants helmed by award-winning Chef de Cuisine Roberto Galetti and his team. An Italian dinning place that provides a fine exemplar of contemporary, stylish and elegant dining experience all rolled into one, it came no surprise that the tantalising menu emphasises authentic Italian gastronomy primed with the best ingredients imported directly from Italy.
Stepped past the seemingly discreet sliding door and one will be ushered to an elegant bar that offers a great selection of wines by the glass and excellent cocktails – HFB can imagined this to be a perfect after-work to-be-seen setting for chic finance executives and lawyers to mingle at and network.
Make a left turn, and one will find the sombre interior of the small dining area coerce on you – call me unsophisticated but HFB certainly didn’t take to the air-of-pretentious atmosphere of the restaurant.
Also, having a row of smartly dress yet clueless service staff standing at the side of the passageway greeting and staring at HFB while he is seated with his peers add on to his already discomfort.
Kudos to the Complimentary Bread & Balsamic Vinaigrette, which was one of the better renditions that HFB had tried – certainly no one will complain if one goes for a second serving.
For the Antipasti e Insalate, HFB plumped for the Capesante Al Taleggio, or Grilled US Scallops with Porcini Mushroom and Truffled Taleggio Fondue ($25.00). Being a big fan of porcini mushroom, the sautéed nutty flavoured shrooms along with the intense creamy truffled Taleggio cheese was divine. However, HFB felt let down by the textured scallops that were slightly dry for his liking – he thought Sage, The Restaurant did a better job with their Seared Hokkaido Scallops with Normandy Sauce.
What’s an Italian dinner without pasta – the Linguine Al Granchio, or Linguine with Crab Meat and Vodka Sauce ($30.00) was commendable – nice aromatic vodka-infused tomato-cream sauce integrated with the flavours of the sea from the crab meat was simply blissful. However, the serving portion was definitely pathetic and HFB could easily wolfed down another plate with ease.
Dessert was Fondente Al Cioccolato, or simply Molten Lava Chocolate Cake with Hazelnut Gelato and Raspberry Coulis ($18.00) – it didn’t wow me but definitely not the worse I have eaten. However, accolades must be given to the hazelnut gelato that everyone around the table seemed to enjoy it.
Overall, 4 of us choked a total of $428.00 including a bottle of wine and taxes. HFB felt that the pricey wine was a total rip-off and service although professional, lacked cordiality.
You can view all the photos here.
Garibaldi Italian Restaurant and Bar is located at 36 Purvis Street, it runs perpendicular along North Bridge Road just across from the current National Library near City Hall. The entrance of the restaurant is fronted by wooden framed glass sliding doors and a serious looking gentleman at the front of it whom is the parking valet. The entrance leads directly into a small bar which also serves as a waiting area for patrons that are yet to be seated. A reservation is probably a must. The bar opens up on the left to the main dining area, and to the front, a private dining room…
I have heard so much about the restaurant that it is packed almost every night. I think I was almost expecting to be WOWed by the food & service and kept asking myself, “How good can it be?”
I was there recently with my parents and 2 of their friends and we all had set lunches instead. Barely a year ago, one of my friends did mention about the set lunch, was value for money ($29 per set) but after the renovation the set lunch is now $36 per set. My conclusion is definitely over-hyped and there is definitely better Italian Restaurant around.
This restaurant does not serve iced/warm water but pushes you to consumed bottled water instead. I have nothing against restaurants offering bottled water as an alternative but it should always be an alternative and not a replacement. Paid $24 (excluding service charge & GST) on 3 bottles of San Pellegrino sparkling water!
We understand from the server that the set menu is being changed on every Thursday, which means you don’t get to eat what you ate a week ago. A menu card was placed in front of each guest and for a 3-course set lunch it consists of:-
1. Three choices of starter:-
Mixed Salad with Marinated Vegetable and Prawns
Deep-fried Eggplant Rolls stuffed with Mozzarella Cheese and Basil Pesto
Soup of the Day (Broccoli Soup with Scallop)
We had 3 mixed salad; 1 deep-fried eggplant roll and Broccoli Soup. The mixed salad was well presented but was disappointed with the warm prawns served. A bit mushy… erh! Broccoli soup wasn’t that fantastic… it was warm and tasteless.
2. Five choices of Main courses:-
Homemade Fettucini Pasta w/ Asparagus Sauce
Farfalle with Salmon, Vodka & Orange Aroma in Cream Sauce
Homemade Pappardelle Pasta with Braised Chicken, Mixed Mushroom & Thyme
Stew of Snapper w/ Cherry Tomatoes, Capers, Black Olive and Baby Potatoes
Grilled Striploin with Sautéed Vegetables and Pepper Sauce.
Disappointed out of the 5 choices, 3 are pastas.
- My dad had Farfalle with Salmon but definitely NO vodka or orange aroma in the cream sauce.
- Pappardelle Pasta was much better than the Farfalle… relatively tasty but definitely not sufficiently tasty to make me go “WOW”.
I must say the pastas are all made “al dente” unlike some restaurants where they overcooked it.
- Stew of Snapper was so far the best of the Mains claimed by our lady friend… tenderly cooked and moist to perfection. The fresh black olives definitely give you a tinge of sour taste and blends well with the stew. Simply fabulous.
- Mom and friend were having the grilled Striploin, which was done to our required doneness but it was served sliced instead. Mom prefers a whole steak instead of pre-sliced. No potatoes served – disappointed – only sautéed vegetables. Pepper sauce with only one peppercorn in her sauce… probably they didn’t crack the peppercorn.
3. Dessert of the Day – “Mango Ice Cream with fresh fruit salad”… the fruits in the salad can be counted… not more than 5-6 tiny pieces (except for the orange segment) per serving.
On the overall, I would say that lunch was satisfying (if not for the crisp sundried tomato bread served prior to the set lunch, we had 2 slices each it was simply addictive) but it comes at Garibaldi’s prices (a bit on the ex side).
The ambience is actually a nice setting for dates or chilled out sessions. The servers were definitely attentive, warm and friendly. Spent almost $50 per person on this lunch.
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