Dinner at Ravello

Jo and I are always in the hunt for a good Italian place and Sunday was no exception. We had noticed Ravello springing up in Serangoon Gardens a couple of months back but did not pay it much attention at the time. For one, the restaurant was completely empty on the two occasions we passed by – and given that both times were on the weekend, this is usually quite a bad sign (and almost certainly the death knell of any F&B establishment).

 
Slowly but surely, however, good things about the restaurant’s food began to trickle down the grapevine so Jo and i eventually decided to try it out.

 
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The restaurant is conveniently located in the heart of Serangoon Gardens – the exact address being 14B Kensington Park Road – where parking is reasonably easy to obtain provided one has the requisite patience. The decor is minimalist and perhaps deliberately so; the vibe is definitely comfortable and relaxed. This minimalist theme carries through to the menu where a simple 5 pages consolidates the wine list, starters, pastas, main courses and desserts. When I pressed for the specials available, the staff informed me that there isn’t a fixed list of off-menu items but that the chef would try his best to accommodate any requests that we may have.

 
Prices are fair and not what I would call expensive although, that being said, they aren’t cheap either. So neither cheap nor expensive…that left the restaurant’s price range in the comfortable middle range. Most of the appetisers fall within the $12 – $18 whereas main courses range from $18 to $35. The wine list was rather limited but the prices were extremely reasonable from my estimation.

 
For starters, Jo and I shared the clear mushroom soup, beef carpaccio salad and chicken liver pate.

 
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Mushroom Soup

 
We were offered both the cream and non-cream options – we opted for the latter to see what the restaurant was capable of when it did not have cream to mask the raw quality of the soup.

 
Unfortunately, though the ingredients were fresh, I felt that this was nothing to write home about. It wasn’t bad by any stretch but just, dare I say it…bland.

 
Rating: 2.5 / 5

 
Beef Carpaccio

 
This was an overly generous portion of raw beef slices on a bed of rocket. Again, nothing exceptional here. I personally felt that this dish had been prepared too early beforehand as the colour of the beef was a little too crimson for my taste, suggesting that it had oxidised whilst left in the fridge. Still, the taste was fairly competent if a little underwhelming.

 
Rating: 3 / 5

 
Chicken Liver Pate

 
This was simply amazing! The menu described it as the “perfect” chicken liver pate and I find it hard to disagree. Apart from the quality of the chicken liver itself (which was spot on), what really sealed the deal for me was the homemade bread on which the liver was presented. It was just the right texture and seasoned with, what I suspect, was a butter/italian parsley/clam jus, sauce, which complemented the liver perfectly.

 
Rating: 4.5 / 5

 
For mains, Joline had pasta with slow-cooked goat’s meat (mutton) whilst I had the homemade lasagne. The quality of the pasta used was par excellence but there just wasn’t enough oomph to make the dishes really special.

 
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Rating (for both mains): 3.5 / 5

 
Conclusion

 
The food was decent, the price was right, but there was honestly nothing spectacular about this place. If you are hunting for a good Italian restaurant, the choices are clear: Valentino’s, Otto, Pietrasanta and perhaps Garibaldi. Ravello is certainly good for the price, but is not a culinary “destination” for me. As Jo so eloquently put it, “Good to try if you live nearby“.

 

Decent Prosecco – Paid about $50 for the bottle!

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The dessert was unremarkable and poorly presented.

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Best thing of the evening, the prosecco!

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All images captured with the Leica M (typ 240) & Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux ASPH. All rights reserved. 

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