Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Homely, Refined Italian plates at Da Laura

Other than Japanese, I think Italian is the other most popular cuisine in Singapore. And new Italian restaurants just seem to keep popping up, adding to the ever growing pool. Folks in Singapore now have another option for their Italian fix- Da Laura.

Opened in April this year, Da Laura (which means by Laura in Italian) is opened by Laura Forlino, who was previously behind Forlino at One Fullerton. This mucca (that's cow in Italian! Moohehe) was recently invited to check out the place for dinner. Do note dishes shown in this post are of tasting portions while prices are of the actual portions.  

Da Laura promises hearty flavours and a homely interior decked with pieces of furniture from Laura's own home in Piedmont, Italy.  

A glass of Prosecco, sticks of Grissini and squares of homemade Focaccia bread started the evening.
The first dish to arrive was the Smoked Duck Breast with pomegrenate seeds, parmesan crisps and a creamy sauce. I really enjoyed this dish. The different flavours and textures worked up a beautiful starter.

Next was a dish of Eggplant Terrine, Sicilian Tomatoes and Basil Pesto ($18). A knob of creamy burrata was lovely with the tomatoes and basil sauces. Very fresh tasting and clean flavours. 

“Tropea” Red Onion Puff Pastry with Roasted Peppers and Stracciatella ($22) boasted a large onion as the "main ingredient". Rather unusual as onions tend to be a supporting role rather than the star in moost dishes. Here, the onion was drizzled with white wine vinegar and olive oil before being baked in the oven at low heat. What emerged was a good balance of sweet and tart flavours, married with the roasted peppers sauce and creamy, fresh Stracciatella (an Italian soft cheese).   

Mooving on to the pastas, the Homemade Cod Ravioli with Spinach, Cream and Sage ($32) was a tad under seasoned I felt. 

Made with hand chopped beef rump and cooked with wine, the Home Made Tagliatelle with Bolognese Style Hand Chopped Meat Ragout ($26) was rich, heavy and flavourful. Just a touch of creaminess though chef did not use any milk or cream in the pasta dish.

Speaking of chef, here's Executive Chef Michele Blasi. The Milan-born chef serves up a range of Italian dishes from the various regions of Italy here at Da Laura. Believing that less is more, most of his dishes contain just a few ingredients. And hey, Chef Michele is a trained pastry chef too! 

The last savoury dish I tasted was the Red Snapper Burger with Altamurra Bread ($42), a crisp bread made of semolina flour. The snapper, diced into small cubes, tasted fresh. A pity the potato crisps were had gone soft. Overall tasty but nothing too exciting about this dish for his mucca.  

For desserts, the Cannoncini ($16 for 8 pieces) is a moost have! Featuring a deep fried pastry shell pumped with a light cream custard and dusted with icing sugar, this was a nice way to end the meal. :)

The other dessert of Almond Granita would please those who like almond desserts. A sweet icy mound of shaved ice flavoured with the unmistakable almond taste and topped with almond flakes.  

Da Laura has a homely feel and its cuisine is refined, restrained, with the use of just a few ingredients per dish to bring out their natural flavours.

Thanks to James Leong of James PR and Da Laura for hosting me.

47 Neil Road
Tel: 6224 8251
Opens: 11.30am to 2.30pm; 6.30pm to 10pm (Monday to Friday)
           6.30pm to 10pm (Saturday)
Closed: Sunday  

Chew On This: 
Laura is a trained sommelier and personally selects the 100% Italian wines listed in Da Laura. Ask her about the history behind these labels and winemakers and she will be happy to share! 

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