Daily: 12:00 - 15:00
Daily: 18:30 - 23:00
Armed with more than 15 years of culinary experience in Italy, Australia and Singapore, chef Luca Pucciani offers a succulent feast of authentic selection of pastas, pizzas, antipasti, soups and desserts. All of the restaurant's pastas are handmade daily but prices remain affordable at a minimum price of $20.
I've been long encouraged to check out Da Luca by various individuals who live by the credo 'we live to eat'. I, of course, couldn't be f$%^ked coz I feel this increasing Singaporen obsession with food and amateur food photography has killed whatever little joy I had for eating in the first place. I mean, the way Singaporeans go on about food...you'd be forgiven for thinking we are a starving Third World country where every meal is a miracle!
Back to Da Luca with its ooh-so-inviting movie reference (fyi, Luca Brasi is a famed character from The Godfather). I made it to the restaurant yesterday (Tuesday, 29 Sep) at long last and I have to say, on evidence, that I should have have checked it out much sooner.
The restaurant is small and cosy-ish with a vibe reminiscent of diners in Italy - with laughter, clinking glasses etc
The young lady who attended to us was probably an ex-contestant of Dancing with the Stars - she was gliding effortlessly from table to table explaining items on the menu, topping up water, asking people if they had preferences etc all while flashing a mega watt smile. She asked my dinner companion and I if we had any allegeries (we did not) and suggested that we skip the menu and enjoy what the Chef had in mind for us. We picked out a simple Amarone and the evening was set.
I don't remember the exact names of the dishes but we were served a chilled capellini, a grilled+pan fried octpus on tomato confit, a burata cheese ravioli, a risotto, pork belly and veal. Rounded off by tiramsu and pizza-apple slice with ice cream.
And the verdict? You know how you get 30mins into a movie you are enjoying when you start hoping that it will not suck at the end. That's what happened with our dinner. The first two dishes (capellini and octopus) were so yummy that we looked forward to the following dishes with some trepidation. Enjoying every dish but waiting for a letdown. Which...did arrive in the form of the mushroom risotto. It was oookay. I've had better. Maybe its letdown was amplified by the splendid dishes it shared the table with.
Our dining experience was more impressive given that the restaurant was running at full capacity (on a Tuesday, mind you) where certain slipshoddiness is to be expected, even if it is excusable. But not with us or our dinner. We had a great time - wonderful food, gorgeous wine and the Dancing with the Stars lady was the cherry on the cake. Please have her attend to you - her name is Grace, if I'm not wrong.
With a dinner that had soo many pluses the one minus had to be something the restaurant can't do much about - an annoying diner who was so loud that it took saintly patience to not send him sinking after Luca Brasi. He was sooo annoying that our neighbours and us maxed out our rolling of the eyes for the month!
I will return to Da Luca sooner than later. (Maybe call ahead to check if the annoying patron is there.)
Chef Luca sure can whip up an amazing meal and lucky him for his Amazing Grace.
Just to prove that I don't only write bad reviews, I thought I'd chip in here to give a well deserved review to Chef Luca and his wife Grace the hostess
This place works as my regular family night go to or with friends because you can do it pretty value for money-ish as well as splurge if you want to. Don't let it's location fool you it's a great place.
Service is always good - they have a good ratio of waiters to customers and the food is reasonably quick to come out
And with regards to the food - here's all the must eat stuff on the menu
- Veal tripe fiorentina style - if you've never tried it, you must - there's no weird smell or taste, right mix of velvety tomatoey sauce to go with it as well
- Squid ink pasta - awesome, can really taste the seafood
- Pasta bolognese - a classic dish executed brilliantly - a test of any true restaurant that can make a staple taste so good - must be the porcini inside
- Seafood risotto - don't know but i prefer the risotto better than the pasta because the risotto seems to be richer in seafood flavour
- Chicken - simple yet so packed full of flavour - it's nicely seasoned and flame grilled
If you want to splurge here's some of their specials
- Bistecca fiorentina - it's a Wagyu T-Bone so it's nicely marbled, but not to the extent where there's too much fat
- Cold angel haired pasta with scallops - rich, smooth, full of umami flavours - best to share because it is very rich to eat by yourself
- Spanish octopus slow cooked - really really awesome, the tanginess of the cherry tomatoes makes this dish pop in your mouth
The Bad - there is really nothing that's awful on the menu - the salads aren't spectacular, they're just ok. How I wish Chef Luca still made his pizza's - they were really good. He just said that he can't find a good pizza cook anymore
Above all - value for money - you can have a meal 2 adults / 2 kids for around $150-$180 with maybe a glass of beer. The wine selection is nice, but I wish they had more assortment in the low and mid range - but their Masi Amarone ($130) is really nice if you want to indulge
All in all - big thumbs up for this place, I go there at least 3-4 times a month - it never fails me
We were at the restaurant at about 6.30pm on a Monday evening, most tables weren’t occupied yet. But by 7pm, it was almost full house. In other word, either go early or make sure a reservation is made to avoid disappointment.
Food was more than good. Fresh Mixed Salad with Mushroom, Corn and Cherry Tomato in Extra Virgin Oil was with a good mix of vegetable.
Chef’s Ravioli Stuffing With Sausages and Mushroom Sauce was with a very rich and creamy sauce. I like it.
The Lamb Rib in the Grilled Lamb Choped with Spinach and Roasted Potato ($27.90) has a good portion of fats to meat. It was grilled to perfection. The spinach and roasted potato complemented the lamb well. Another enjoyable dish.
Tiramisu was easily one of the best. A good balance between the cream, coffee, alcohol and sponge.
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