Standing proud at a discreet corner of Holland Village is old dame Amici. She has been around for 13 years and counting, entrenching her status as a veteran in authentic Italian cuisine.
Amici means “friends” in Italian and how apt it is as I personally find it to be an ideal place for long undisrupted catch up sessions with friends and family. Meals at Amici exhibit a stark contrast compared to other popular spots in the vicinity such as Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao (which does an affordable steamboat and XLB buffet) and Everything With Fries, as meals here feel a lot less hurried, contributed partially by the cosy and rustic interior of the restaurant.
For this occasion, Mr Willie Tan, the Owner and Founder of Amici, hosted us and lightheartedly answered any queries we had on the restaurant and its offerings.
We started off dinner with the Deep Fried Calamari ($13.90++/small or $19.90++/large). As with Amici’s rendition, I too, like my calamari on the tender delicate side, where a light batter is used and chewing is made minimal. A creamy aioli dip on the side undoubtedly enhanced the palatability of the dish.
There was the Merluzzo al Forno con Burro Alle Erbe ($36.90), pan-seared cod, an hulking ivory that glistens in its own fat. It was as Italian as it could manage, well seasoned, and melty. Which certainly made one wishing for more of the fish, when in that portion, accompanied by a loose bunch of garden salad that provided a nice foil for the butter herb flavor.
We ended our tasting with the award-winning Tiramisu. It’s hard to say if it’s worth the hype however as our individual opinions of it were incongruent. Some of my dining companions loved it while my portion had me wondering if we had been eating the same dessert. The main gripe I had, was that the Ladyfingers biscuits, the spongy cake used within a Tiramisu, were overly soggy and dampened my spirits, pardon the pun; it was the lure of the deep dark hints of espresso that had raised the hopes early on.
I am hesitant to place Amici as the best for Italian dining in Singapore. It is a decent Italian joint, surely with some surprising hits, but perhaps, nothing more, nothing less, as more entrants seek a slice of the pie in Italian dining.