We pass by this Italian restaurant multiple times en route to Ballard or Hwy 99 and the reviews online were pretty good so we decided to check it out.
I think this place is supposed to be good for his home-made pastas. The chanterelle mushroom pasta in a cream sauce was really rich with complex flavours but the pasta was a little too soggy for my liking and not al dente enough. It gets a bit too rich after awhile so would go nicely with a salad. The portions are huge so we had to pack quite a lot of this home!
They were having a fried sage special that day. Apparently the sage is harvested from their rooftop garden. It was very fresh but I was kind of expecting it to be crisp leaves instead of battered leaves. Still, great with a spritz of lemon.
This is roti canai! It is SO MUCH better than the roti at Root Table, flaky and buttery and crisp. So it turns out that the chef at this italian restaurant is a Malaysian guy who is absolutely obsessed with durian and makes all these secret menu things that he will only tell you about if you are from his region. He’s extremely proud of his durian fried rice, durian pizza, durian vodka, durian milo, durian everything :P And this roti canai is great! I prefer it with fish curry but after having gone so long without, I’ll take whatever I can get. He served it with a nice nyonya chicken curry and kept telling us to “throw away the menu” as it was for tourists lol. Which is a little ironic considering we are the foreigners in this country :P The Malaysian association hosts several events here a year and I have no doubt he whips up the best Malaysian food for them. I’m not sure why he chose to open an Italian restaurant instead of a Malaysian one, since he is so adorably proud of his heritage and Malaysian cuisine :P The Italian food here is pretty commendable too.
Their lasagna is a little strange because it does not have a cheese layer at the very top, but there is certainly cheese inbetween the strata and a lovely bolognese. I liked it quite a lot! But again, the portion was too large for me to finish. The chef kept joshing me and saying “Are you sure you can’t finish..? I know Asian girls, and Asian girls can eat.” Hahaha. He is not far off from the truth but I am getting old and my appetite is waning :( He said he’s seen Asian girls come in and order like 5 things and finishing every single thing they ordered with no difficulties. And to be honest a lot of my female friends are just like that. The first time I was even aware that it made sense to pack what you can’t finish home was in my undergrad years when I was eating with white people :P, and we do it all the time now, repurposing leftovers into fried rice or a quick meal before the school day. Taking leftovers home is a very foreign concept in Singapore and very seldom do restaurants provide packaging material for that. Everyone is basically taught to order a just right amount and to finish everything they order. Portions there are also generally smaller so seldom do people feel the urge to pack anything home. Take-out places are obviously take-out places – we seldom have a cross between a restaurant and a take-out place, and delivery is treated as a last resort.
We also ordered nutella crepes which were very generously slathered with nutella and also some creme anglais type sauce at the side and powdered sugar. The dessert portions are huge too! I recommend sharing.