Lunch at Da Paolo Gastronomia, Chip Bee Gardens

Da Paolo website

We brought S here one afternoon in an adventurous bid to explore the restaurants across the road from the critical mass of restaurants in Holland V. Gastronomia is by no means an unfamiliar brand to us, since they have so many locations – in Cluny Court, Rochester Park, etc. and I am a big fan of their tiramisu – which is an honor I don’t dispense lightly. In particular their tiramisu has a thin layer of chocolate fudge between the layers of mascarpone and savoiardi fingers which is time consuming for a home-cook to add, but practically effortless for them to skim some chocolate ganache off another dessert.

So this is a cafe style (maybe the Bistro Bar?) Gastronomia, which means more limited menu options, and everything comes in takeaway style containers like school dining halls.

I had the linguine al granchio [$16.50], which was creamy and crabby, although it didn’t really have that much crab. Comparing this with the exact same dish at Riciotti, the one at Riciotti scores better in terms of portion size (the portions at Gastronomia are a little on the small side, and I’m not a big fan of large portions in general) and the amount of crab.

L ordered the spaghetti aglio olio con funghi [$15.50]:

I actually liked this better than the crab linguine, but it’s a tad oily. The noodles are well done, which makes it impossible to eat them any other way apart from slurping. Which also means oil gets all over your chin – be forewarned.

S had the spicy chicken pizza [$9.80 with soup]. It was alright, but didn’t really have much/any cheese. The crust was also more like a biscuit-y/toast-like crust than a pizza crust. The taste is good, but it’s certainly not authentic italian pizza.

The main draw about Gastronomia for me is their extensive range of affordable desserts. To understand what I mean by ‘extensive’, their dessert menu appears to be longer than the food menu. Creme brulee, panna cotta, creme de caramel, triple chocolate mousse, tiramisu, fruit tarts, tiger skin swiss rolls, blueberry cheesecake, apple crumble… if you can name it, they probably have it.

And so S tried creme brulee [$4.50] for the first time in her life! They do torch it for you on the spot. or you can buy the custard in these little foil tins and add the sugar and torch it yourself at home.

We also shared a huge tub of tiramisu [$12.80]. They put chocolate shavings on top as well, which is a nice touch.

I wanted to takeaway the profiteroles (most of the food is in takeaway containers, so you really don’t have to eat here (they don’t have that much seating, not that it matters in Chip Bee Gardens) but settled on their crodo in the end. The hazelnut crodo is something else! They also have a cappucino/caramel flavour. Crodos are basically filled ring donuts made out of puff-pastry like pastry. The hazelnut one I got was glazed with some chocolate hazelnut ganache and then topped with crunchy chocolate balls and filled with chocolate hazelnut custard. Super sinful and it’s only $5.50. If there’s one thing to remind me that diets are overrated, it would be this!

P.S. I am getting married next year! Which gives me about one year to work off all the fats I have accumulated since starting this silly blog. I must say the odds of that happening are not high :P Plus we will be moving to Seattle this September, so the type of posts here will probably start moving towards that direction.
P.P.S. Since I started eating way before I started this blog, there will still be posts on Singaporean restaurants on here from time to time even after we move! Especially when I’m feeling masochistic and start craving Singaporean food.


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