Friday, January 25, 2013

Burlamacco Ristorante, Amoy Street

This marks the first and probably the last time I'll be eating at Burlamacca (77 Amoy Street, tel : +65 6220 1763). To first disclaim, the food was mostly not bad and the service was pretty good. What the place didn't represent for me was the value of money I had to spend and the approach to how the food is presented.

Bread was warm and crusty. Refills were offered and appreciated because it took them a very very long while between the starters and pasta. To add on, one of the orders was made erroneously and then there was another wait. But as I had mentioned, service was good. The wait staff was very obviously doing his best and I didn't take issue to any of this even though I was really hungry. Even though he was quizzically trying to convince us that the food was "Italian portions". Now I had wondered that that really meant......

Speaking of starters......

...their Borlotti bean soup was really nice. The undercurrents of the savory flavours were robust and even invigorating. A very rustic taste it held, texturised by the spinach leaves and bits of chopped mussels. I was expecting bits of beans, but this looked like it had gone through a food processor. Which was fine.

The portions however, were not. What you see in the picture was pretty much all of it. A couple of millimeters of soup was all there were in a big white plate. 3 gulps it would have made. And it looked like one mussel worth of meat there. $14 for 3 gulps is expensive. Be that bean soup or lobster bisque. Now I know what Italian portions mean.

Next up came the trippa alla Fiorentina which was excellent. The flavors of the tomato based were a mellow tart with a very discernable cheese flavor from the Parmigiano Reggiano. The tripe was tender yet chewy. But, it was a little too little and the portions were anything but rustic.

Their tagliatelle with black pig ragout was good. Not Oso good as they have done for their stracci in comparison for the red wine marinate flavors, but good nonetheless. I was pretty impressed by the well timed texture of the noodle here which was impressive.

Gnocchi which were light and soft came in a basil flecked spicy pink sauce in overtones of garlic which was unexpectedly pleasant. Sadly, scampi that came with them were pitifully small. All the meat from those crustaceans wouldn't have filled one of my cheek. What was frustrating here was that the seafood had in spite of the sauce, retained their natural sweet flavors which were holistically, if I could use that word here, ruined by the fact that the slivers of meat were too small to even qualify much for the word texture.

I would have been happier paying more for full sized scampi (they aren't even that huge in the first place), but for $28, this was an overpriced wannabe. Even with the tasty sauce and light gnocchi.

I'll not waste too much words on their "scottadito" styled lamb. $32 for a biteful of meat in each rib, I need not say further on the pitiful portions. What was worse, was the overmarinated treatment where the natural flavors of the meat were totally lost. This was not what I had ordered lamb for.

The brighter spot at the end was their coconut creme brulee which was smooth and creamy good.

I'm very sure I can do better for myself finding another place which will cost less and put a smile on my face when I walk out. I can understand the Tuscan style and flavors, but much of the heartiness was lost in an attempt to do something else here that I do not understand.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Bad service at Burlamacco. Please avoid if you are going there for the UOB credit card 1 for 1 offer. It is 1 free main per 1 credit card, not by per plate. The waitress and so called Malay manager was rude and unpleasant in their attitude when I disputed the bill. Wonder why I'm being forced to pay service charge when I'm not treated nicely as a customer and the restaurant is giving poor service. If Burlamacco is nasty to customers, then it's unfair to impose service charge.