Made-from-scratch pizzas, pastas and other Italian classics at this new restaurant

COCONUTS HOT SPOT — You can find Italian restaurants in almost every corner of Singapore, but not every eatery is created equally. Some are rather mediocre, while others rise above the rest to produce fresh, authentic Italian cuisine that almost transports you to the country. 

Take Acqua e Farina, for example. The new restaurant, co-founded by two chefs from northern and southern Italy, brings you the best flavours of both worlds. Think tried-and-tested classics in the form of made-from-scratch pizzas and hand-rolled pastas, as well as friendly hospitality, of course.

Dining area

At the cosy 60-seater Upper Bukit Timah space, bottles of wine line the brick walls, with price tags ranging from inexpensive to splurge-worthy. On the menu are over 50 dishes, from starters like bruschetta and tagliere to pizzas, pastas and meats. And since the emphasis here is on fresh goods, the restaurant imports most of its produce from Italy in twice-a-week deliveries. Considering the rather affordable prices, a meal here is pretty value-for-money.

Linguine ai frutti di mare

For co-owner chef Antonio Manetto, who hails from a town near Naples, making the dough for Neapolitan-style pizzas by hand is what he takes pride in. As southern Italian cuisine leans towards the lighter and spicier end, some of his specialties include pizza acqua e farina ($25), which comes with salami, mozzarella, ricotta, spinach and tomatoes, as well as linguine ai frutti di mare ($26), a pasta plate of clams, mussels, prawns and calamari drenched in a light tomato sauce.

As for the other co-owner, chef Roberto Galbiati, his northern Italian style of cooking comes into play with the rich, hearty meats, risottos and pasta recipes. One of his signatures is the risotto alla zafferano e salsiccia ($23), a dish of al dente grains infused with saffron and topped with fennel pork sausage.

Squid ink pasta

Other noteworthy dishes include the appetiser plate of creamy buffalo mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, parma ham and mixed greens ($23), as well as the squid ink pasta sprinkled generously with crab meat ($23).

Oh, and dessert lovers, this restaurant has heard your cry for a sample platter and delivered. Definitely go for the mini portions of crème brûlée, chocolate lava cake, tiramisu and panna cotta ($14) to end your meal satisfied.

Dessert platter

Acqua e Farina is at 400 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, 6462-0926. Tues-Thurs 11am-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10.15pm, Fri-Sun 11am-3pm, 5pm-10.15pm. 

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