Rustic Italian-American marvel
In this heyday for fusion cuisine, fewer restaurants are content to simply rock the classics. Angeleno, the newest extension of Luke's Travis Masiero Restaurant Group, on the other hand, is more than happy to embrace a cuisine that conjures memories of comforting Italian-American plates.
Signatures like the veal parmigiana and meatballs slathered in 4-hour-stewed organic tomato sauce reads more like a loud and boisterous New York joint than the veggie-worshipping cuisine of Los Angeles. Rather, it’s the philosophy of chef-owner David Almany, a protégé of Mario Batali who helped set up the Mozzas at MBS, that matters. He brings together the farm-to-table ethic of his Californian upbringing and the warming simplicity of Italian-American fare.
Almany's savouries and pastry chef Ariana Flores' plates hit all the right notes. A ball of milky mozzarella ($34) is carefully pulled bar-side by the chefs, and we find ourselves gasping after a steaming plate of tomato sauce-draped meatballs on fluffy heirloom polenta ($22) and warming minced meat ragu over al dente ruffles of tagliatelle ($28).
Main course is where the bill tips into special occasion territory. Still, you'd be hard-pressed to find a breaded slab of Dutch milk-fed veal chop ($75) as hefty as the one here, topped with nostalgic quantities of red sauce and stringy smoked mozzarella. The grilled USDA Prime New York strip ($65) is less successful, emerging from the kitchen at a dry medium doneness with horseradish gremolata lathered on. When we returned for a second visit, however, the steak was far more succulent.
What really sets Angeleno apart from other Italian restaurants, though, is the highly competent but charming candour of the servers and chefs alike. It's not cheap – but when a celebration rolls around, you'll feel safe in their hands. And that's more than you can ask for your money these days.
20 Gemmill Lane
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat noon-11pm|
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Average User Rating
5 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
Venue: it's cosy albeit a bit loud located next to Luke's. The decor is dark, chic and minimalist. American pop plays over the speakers adding to the style of the restaurant.
Service: very warm, fun and cheeky whilst maintaining the professionalism. Glasses we kept topped up constantly, dishes arrived in timely manner and dishes cleared equally in a timely manner.
Food: servings are large. We struggled to finish two entrees, two sides and one grilled mains between the two of us. The flavors are true to its American Italian claim. It's bigger bolder richer dishes are like authentic Italian on steroids. Having said that, the flavors never over powered the dishes. We had a wild mushroom pasta and tomato scampi for entree, a USDA flank steak medium rare with sides of mushrooms and broccollini and a nice Sangiovese to wash it down. The steak, medium rare sous vide and charred, was cooked to perfection with a nice fresh garlic herb paste on top, well seasoned and well charred. The sides were well balanced and complimented the grilled mains. The pasta entree was also executed well with fresh wild mushrooms from France and hand made pasta cooked al dente and the scampi was bursting with flavors. We didn't get to mains because the portions were quite large.
Price: as a new resident in Singapore the prices of western food here does come as quite a shock. The meal cost us $270 which to me is very high but it's all relative. Given this was our first meal in Singapore, I will reserve my judgment on its price suffice to say we enjoyed our meal and experience here thoroughly.
Verdict: definitely worth it's high reviews. Not overhyped and we managed to get a booking the night before for a Friday night (on waiting list). It's going in the book for great American Italian.