Sunday, December 04, 2016
Angeleno, Gemmill Lane
I had been following the development of Angeleno (20 Gemmill Lane, tel : +65 6221 6986) with some interest because it was something that was done in partnership with Luke’s. Angeleno’s chef, a David Almany had previously been running the show at Osteria Mozza at MBS. This current gig was described as an upscaled red sauce American Italian joint.
It had only been that - just a cursory interest in how things would progress with Angeleno until I came across a writeup in the local Michelin guide describing "Red wine-stained homemade lumache is luxuriously coated with a duck ragout made with milk-soaked duck liver, chopped duck hearts and meticulously deboned duck legs…”. I was thus sold.
While it may be that the restaurant is branding itself as a red sauce joint, there doesn't seem to be much red sauce around except for their meatballs and a convenient signature veal parmigiana. The place looks and smells like Travis Masiero's. The high prices, the style of the menu, that quality of service and even down to the location. The restaurant is even where Luke's used to be in Gemmill Lane before shifting sideways to their current premise next door. The layout has also not changed as Angeleno.
But credit where it's due, David Almany has gotten his handle on the rest.
This was complimentary. Ricotta, olive oil and bread. This was surely the equivalent to Luke's corn bread. Ok, enough of Luke's I promise. No more mentions of them.
We were informed that all pasta is made in house. We skipped the traditional starters and started with pastas. I guess that would also mean that we didn't really skip the starters after all.
That's the celery root cappellacci. It's done with some fried sage and browned butter and mushrooms. The stuffings were slightly sweet with a hint of flavour from celery. Very nice. No qualms eating this again.
The red pasta above was the lumache that sucked me into this restaurant. And wow, this was really nice too. The flavours from the duck ragu were pretty robust but not overwhelming so. I think hearty, homely and umami are suitable adjectives here. Would be glad to eat it again.
We had their double cut iberico pork chops. This was fatty and rich and possibly one of the better iberico pork I've had that I could recall. The apple salsa on the side rocks.
Brussels sprouts on the side for some obligatory fibre and greens. This was pretty good. Loads of flavour going on from the balsamic glaze, crispy fried rosemary leaves and the currents.
We haven't been paying attention to tiramisu for a long time in the
arrogance belief that we make the best that we've had. Which is not far from the truth at all. We've refined it over the years and most places actually don't make as good. With so many Italian restaurants here, one would think it'd be easy to find a good one. One would be surprised at how lowly the standards are around here. But - this one from Angeleno kicks ass. The cream yellowed, the cake (doesn't look like sponge fingers) thoroughly soaked through while the flavour and the alcohol reels you in. The menu says best tiramisu in town. I like this enough not to dispute that claim.