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Da Laura (CLOSED)

Restaurants, Italian Tanjong Pagar
Da Laura
Modern homestyle Italian fare on Neil Road

Time Out says

This restaurant has closed.

Stepping into Italian restaurant Da Laura feels like you’ve stepped into an old pal’s place for dinner. It looks deceptively empty from the outside, but go upstairs to its main (if a bit echoey) dining room – decorated to resemble owner Laura Forlino’s home in Italy – and you’ll find yourself in the company of others looking for solid Italian fare here. The service is great. Forlino and her team of local servers are good saleswomen of their numerous daily specials, and will even fold your napkin into a swan when you pop off to the bathroom.

However, some of the food created by Italian native Michele Blasi is evidently still a work in progress. While we loved the creamy burrata in the recommended starter ($25), we couldn’t quite appreciate the slices of cheap-looking cold cuts that accompanied it. The panzanella ($26) – a Florentine salad topped with cuts of beautifully-cooked octopus and piquant gazpacho sauce – was over-embellished with olives and vegetal-tasting raw celery that crowded out the bright, clean flavours of the dish.

The mains, however, were a more celebratory affair. The sizable raviolone ($32) stuffed with diced lobsters, broccoli, chilli and thyme was generous on the gorgeously crunchy and buttery lobster. And though we had to send back our initial serving of fragrant saffron risotto with prawns ($33) after it arrived way over-reduced, the second plate, though simple, was wonderfully perfumed and showcased the saffron exquisitely, making it one of the better risottos we’ve tasted in the city.

To finish, we ordered a plate of the Numero 8 ($16) – we recommend you have one plate to yourself – and found ourselves sitting in reverent silence with eyes closed, as we took in the balanced rolls of crisp, light pastry and airy vanilla cream. Don't miss out on that, but pass on the other sweets: the Italian staple tiramisu is functional and decently stacked, but ultimately ruined bheapened by the chocolate wall holding up cake, Marscapone and Marsala. Though Da Laura only gets three stars from us now, we’re looking forward to seeing what else Blasi can do in the kitchen. We have faith that with some quick edits to its dishes, that additional star we’d like to give them will be easily won. Natasha Hong

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Address: 47 Neil Rd
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11.30am- 2.30pm, 6.30pm-10pm; Sun 6.30pm-10pm.
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