Sunday, October 28, 2007

La Cantina in Venezia, Changi Village Hotel

I'm thinking that this place could probably be just the poorer cousin to San Marco if not for the fact that Cantina (#08/09-02, Changi Village Hotel, 1 Netheravon Road ) dwelt in one of the most remote of locations and the service here is quite spotty. I was honestly quite taken in by how the restaurant had made it's placement at the roof top of a surprisingly pleasant Changi Village Hotel and in spite of being just on the 8th storey, it was one of the tallest spots in the vicinity. Which grants a nice, if not so scenic view of the beach. The night ambience in the al fresco areas with the roof top pool made it a quiet and pleasant place. One could always reduce the value of an al fresco dining appeal since the weather is virtually humid all year round, however this was located just beside the sea and well, there was the occasional sea breeze. Did I mention having also to look past the tacky wooden bars and retro styled crystal lamps on the walls?

If you haven't yet been sufficiently bored by the description of the place, you might still recall that I had also mentioned that the service was rather spotty. I didn't think I had expected top dollar service. I was more interested in what I could get to my stomach then any superficial flair that an eatery might practice, but I'm sure that there's minimal expectations that one would normally have. The restaurant was slightly over half filled on a Friday night with no wait staff bothering to even bring a menu to our table until we requested for one from a group of waitresses that looked like they couldn't be bothered to even glance to a table of 3 that was just seated and without a menu. To be fair, the service evolved towards an old world charm was quite friendly when it finally happened.

The prices here were what I consider to be quite regular of standard Italian places. That meant that while it wasn't really cheap, it also wasn't anywhere close to exorbitant. Portions did look quite generous and the food is in a nutshell, pretty ok. So while it wasn't mediocre, there are other places that do better. Which also means I'll difficult time justifying a return.

I managed to break my routine of just getting pasta and since this was my first visit, and I hadn't any idea if there was anything that was great about theirs. The menu didn't look too interesting, so apart from an antipasto platter, I grabbed the Saltimbocca alla Romana.

This is a regular olive oil drenched antipasto platter of vegetables and cold cuts that was serve chilled and marinated. That was something that I hadn't expect. I was thinking that they'd be grilled instead. Oddly, their button mushrooms were so soft that they almost disintegrated in the mouth without having to chew on them. The mortadella and salami were really, just ham and salami. Apart from the enjoyable hard and crumbly Parmiggiano Reggiano, I don't really have much comments here.

From what I had gathered, the Saltimbocca is a meat dish lined with proscuitto. Here its done with pieces of chewy pork wrapped in Parma ham, seasoned in sage and sitting on top of pan fried potatoes and some vegetables. Hearty would be the good word for this dish and I quite enjoyed the slightly charred potatoes. I couldn't quite make out what the sauce was however. The taste was a little buttery and saltish.


Anonymous said...

what was the damage like??

LiquidShaDow said...

I think it was about $140 for 3 persons.

Anonymous said...

cool thanks!! will check this place out soon :D