Daily: 12:00 - 14:30
Daily: 18:30 - 22:30
A very specially located restaurant in the beautiful The Legends Fort Canning Park. Gattopardo specialises in southern Italian cuisine and fresh seafood. There are also freshly made wood-fired gourmet pizzas and a variety of homemade pastas.
When Sicilian chef, Lino Sauro, hung up his apron as chef de cuisine of DOMVS at Sheraton Towers, Italian food aficionados were eagerly anticipating his next move. After lying low for months, Sauro finally emerged as chef-proprietor of a newly minted restaurant called Gattopardo. He’s not alone; with him are Alex Calabro, former restaurant manager of Gunther’s, and the Garibaldi Group.
Set in a spacious corner of the soon-to-open Fort Canning Hotel (formerly The Legends), the 80-seater Gattopardo sports a charming, old-world ambience with floor-to-ceiling French doors overlooking a lush courtyard–which we were told, will soon be converted into an alfresco space—and an open food preparation counter with charcoal grill and a wood fire oven framed by travertine walls. The main dining space, in contrast, is contemporarily dressed with spotlights, glass-encased wine cellars and an L-shaped elevated table top, much like that of a Japanese restaurant, with a glass display of the freshest catch imported from the Mediterranean region and Japan. Just imagine: scorpion fish, turbot fish, bamboo clams, blue-fin tuna, Chilean king crabs, clams and mussels, served either steamed, grilled, sashimi or prepared Carpaccio style to your liking.
If you don’t already know, Gattopardo, which means leopard in Italian, is named after an Italian novel and award-winning movie of the same name that chronicles the impact of political changes on Sicilian life; and is one of few restaurants in Singapore to serve Southern Italian fare and Sicilian specialities.
For those used to mainstream Italian cuisine, the Sicilian regional cuisine may take some getting used. Not only do the Sicilians use simpler and more peasantry ingredients, such as fresh sardines and swordfish as opposed to premium fish cuts, the cuisine also has an overt Arabian influence—think pine nuts, saffron, bread and raisins, which you’ll either love or hate. If you have a palate for cleaner flavours, stay clear of dense and complex dishes. The pudding of sweet red onions of tropea in a light saffron fondue of Sicily’s ragusano cheese was a case in point; the oatmeal porridge-like gruel with miserly slices of sweet onions was, at best, forgettable. The charcoal-grilled sword fish roll with peppered cacao cheese and spicy onion jam was another overly ambitious melange of ingredients that totally missed the sweet spot.
We opted instead for the hearty flavours of Gattopardo’s seafood soup, a herbed-up tomato-infused broth chock-a-block with fish hunks, mussels, clams, shrimps and bamboo clams, served in a gargantuan terracotta pot. We would have preferred plumper bamboo clams instead of the thin slivers of shrunken bamboo clams that were clearly overcooked. But for $38, you can’t complain.
Alternatively, the interesting selection of 12 types of handmade pastas and 20 varieties of wood-fire pizza is a great place to start. The burrata cheese stuffed ravioli in an intensely flavoured crab meat sauce crowned with watercress and asparagus was outstanding, as was the squid ink pasta with cubes of sword fish, cherry tomatoes and petite hunks of egg plant in a refreshing mint and basil-flecked olive oil toss. For pizza with a difference, try Gattopardo’s signature white garlic focaccia with smoked mozzarella, chopped sausages, sliced potatoes and shreds of caramelised onions. Though a tad dry, the pizzas were close to what you could get from trattorias in Italy. Priced from $20 to $30, the pasta and pizza dishes were affordable and perfect for sharing among friends or families.
To end, the more adventurous may be inclined to pursue authentic Sicilian desserts of thick coffee-infused tubular crusts of cannolo filled with fresh ricotta cheese served with a dollop of pistachio nut ice cream or the rich cassata cake with vanilla, candied fruits and nuts. If, like us, you find these a tad too lavish, stay with tiramisu– you can’t go very wrong with it.
See my full reviews & photos at = http://chefquak.com/2013/07/30/good-food-quiet-dinner-gattopardo-on-21jul2013/
i had not made much use of my amex palate discounts till recently. for this night on 21.7.2013, we picked Gattopardo – a good choice! Gattopardo is located at the level 1 of The Legend Fort Canning Park Hotel. there was al fresco dining, we chose though to sit inside. it was a quiet pleasant ambience not so many tables occupied on a Sunday evening. warm baguette was provided. i was contented with olive oil & balsamic & did not ask for butter. we picked the beef tartar, which came with a crispy toast, to share. this was excellent! the combination of flavours & texture of beef, onions, anchovies, egg yoke. there was no soup item, so we asked the waiter. he recommended a curry mussels (S$14). this was NOT a menu item & knowing the tricky situation with palate discounts, we asked SPECIFICALLY if the same discounts applied, and the waiter replied yes! this was very good, like a good mulligatawny, the mussels were the small & tasty type though with just 3 mussels we thought the serving was rather small. when we asked for the bill, the curry mussels were excluded from the discount. we told them that we specifically confirmed with the waiter on the discounts, and the bill then made a round & came back with the discounts accompanied with a pleasant smile (good service recovery) that actually the item had no discount & they specially made an exception for us. well no harm done, but i always have difficulty understanding this part of many restaurant’s service & marketing philosophy. i supposed restaurants are entitled to “buyers beware” & no obligations to advise customers. but i always feel that if a service philosophy is to make customer experience memorable, then it should NOT be a contest to outsmart the other. a service outfit should make service offers if it wants to offer & NOT make offers if it does not want to offer & give customers a consistent message. for mains, we had the risone (risotto shaped pasta) with braised squid & bone marrow. this was super! :-) it had good reviews by other bloggers & the waiter also confirmed it was a popular dish. very flavourful, quite intense. the sous vide iberico pork jowl (top photo & above right) was very good too! overall, we enjoyed the dinner very much! our selection of dishes were great. the costs after palate 50% discount for 2pax was S$70nett excluding wine for 1 appetizer, 2 soups, 2 mains (& S$90nett including 1 glass of red). :-) the prices were a bit lower than at Senso. Senso though have a more classy ambience & the staff at Senso are more professional (a general observation excluding the curry mussel discount matter). will certainly go back again to Gattopardo
The staff were very attentive and helpful. Food was really good. The Risone is one of the best pasta dishes I have tried. The amberjack with sea urchin and caviar were also very good. Cote de beoef was very very good but is more like for at least 3 pax instead of the recommended 2 pax. Definitely going back!