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PepeNero opens at Stanley Street

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By Evelyn Chen
11 May 2012 12:06 PMUpdated 11 May 2012

PepeNero opens at Stanley Street

Roasted octopus on mashed potatoes with Datterini cherry tomatoes

The setting
Former chef of Basilico, Marco Violano, has traded his swanky hotel job in favour of his new role as chef-cum-co-owner of this ground floor shop house unit along Boon Tat Street. PepeNero is a humble 30-seat ristorante with a substantial alfresco area. Indoors, this corporate-frequented restaurant beckons with warm and inviting spot-lit bench seats backed by bottles of wine and balsamic vinegar, and black and white photos of - where else - Italy.


PepeNero's interior

What to expect
Southern Italian fare; Violano hails from Apulia – a small town on the southeastern coast of Italy – so he’s distilled a menu of moderately priced pan-Italian classics executed with refinement and a dash of rustic flair.

Our favourites
The melt-in-the-mouth burrata cheese wrapped in a sliver of wagyu beef carpaccio served alongside pickled oyster mushrooms ($24) and baked eggplant stuffed with buffalo milk mozzarella in cream of 24-month-aged Parmesan cheese ($19) are delicious. Equally exemplary are Violano’s seafood dishes – the roasted octopus tentacles resting on a bed of fragrant mashed potatoes with Datterini cherry tomatoes ($19) and umami-packed squid ink risotto crowned with a disc of roasted scallops and petite morsels of squid ($24). If you have room for only one pasta dish, make it the homemade ravioli stuffed with strips of 8-hour braised duck meat and Taggiasca olives ($25).

You may not know that…
Violano uses Italy-imported capon (castrated chicken) to impart deeper and richer flavour to the ginger-spiked chicken consommé ($24) with pillows of buffalo ricotta-stuffed cappelletti (‘little hat’) pasta.

 

PepeNero

14 Stanley Street

Tel: 6222 5808

Opening hours: Mon – Fri 12pm to 2pm, 5:45pm to 11pm; Sat 5:45pm to 11pm

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