Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Da Paolo Pizza Bar, Jalan Merah Saga

Da Paolo Pizza Bar, berry salad

Da Paolo Pizza Bar, caprese salad

Da Paolo Pizza Bar, tagliatelle al granchio

Da Paolo Pizza Bar, bosco d'inverno

Da Paolo Pizza Bar, isola verde

This "pizza bar" by Da Paolo (44 Jalan Merah Saga, tel : +65 6479 6059) has been around for a number of years and I've never been here until today. I quoted them as it's not so much a dedicated pizza place than another restaurant that serves pizza, amongst other things. Like salads and pastas and even traditionally non-Italian-ish breakfast items. I couldn't even say that I felt that they specialized in pizzas and wouldn't know any better if not for what they had named themselves. But one has to cater for variety and that's the way the market demands here.

Speaking of which, my impressions of Da Paolo was different years ago. Their restaurants were more Italian-ish, so to speak. These days, they don't seem so straightforward Italian anymore. But a wise business moves with market sentiments and adjustments to accommodate survivability are sometimes a necessary evil. And that could be a thin line to thread upon when we talk about perceptions.

So, it's a family brunch so lots to eat like a less fragmented dim sum. The salads were well, just salads. The one with berries was quite nice, but the crepe bowl was stiff and tasteless and the Gorgonzola sauce meagre. No one picked at the bowl after a first bite. Caprese came with more vegetables than necessary, but I guess it makes us fill our vegetable quotas.

The pizzas were decently made, but I don't get the sense that they're very good at it. Pizza bar? I'm generally bias when it comes to blue cheese and the Isola Verde (the one with baby spinach) agreed. The other one with truffle and mascarpone lacked a little salt? The crusts were thin but not super thin and had some chew. No issues for me with that. But I was expecting to be a bit more impressed.

Which brings us to that odd pasta from the pizza bar. That tomato cream and vodka sauce really brought back memories. I'm sure those memories can be selective or fickle at times, but I'm also pretty sure that it tasted very close to what I had the first time at their defunct Il Giardino restaurant. I liked it then and I like this now. It's rich, creamy and the flavours of the crab were in there. It's my Italian butter chicken.

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