Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Gattopardo is situated at Hotel Fort Canning, not quite exactly a very crowded place to head to for a weekend lunch. We made reservations at the restaurant, but when we arrived, there were only a handful of tables that were taken. It probably didn't help the restaurant, but it was drizzling that Saturday afternoon, and also, renovations were taking place and construction workers were working to make the place ready for the opening of the hotel.

Raw ingredients - Mixed seafood; Scorpion fish

While looking at the menu, the waiter kindly pointed us in the direction of the counter, where a selection of seafood/catch of the day was available. Daddy was curious at the scorpion fish and thus, one of our dishes was fish stew. Erm. More on that later.

Wine chillin'; Bread and spicy crackers; Counter; Seats

Most Italian dining places serve bread baskets, but Gattopardo served up a mixed dish of bread and spicy crackers. I super love the spicy crackers! They were totally addictive. Nom nom noms.

Grilled squid

We started off our meal with grilled squid and vegetables platter to share. The squid was tender, without being overcooked (tough) and was seasoned liberally with olive oil and pepper. Italian restaurants' use of olive oil is always delish. The taste is totally different from the bottled olive oil I usually get from the supermart. Bah.

Fresh oysters topped with salsa; Calzone; Spaghetti alla Norma and Bucatini con le Sarde

Sis and I had an oyster each. They were topped with tomato salsa, and a squeeze of lemon. I didn't particularly like the salsa cos of the mushy tasting tomatoes (if you get what I mean). The salsa taste wasn't very flavourful either. Could do with a dash more of herbs perhaps?

Ooooh, the Calzone was one of my favourite dishes that day. It is essentially a folded pizza, the version we had was filled with mozzarella, tomato sauce, mushrooms and homemade cooked ham. Oozy cheese combined with a toasty warm crust. Mmmmmm. The two pastas, essentially a spaghetti with tomato sauce, eggplants and salted ricotta cheese and a semolina “holey spaghetti” with sardines, wild fennel, saffron and pine nuts. The pastas were average for me. I don't particularly like pasta that much unless I'm having a craving for them, in which I'll normally prefer an olive oil/tomato based pasta over a cream based one. If comparing the two, I'll pick the bucatini one, mainly cos it tasted different, something new for me. 

Zuppa di Pesce “Gattopardo”

And now for the fish stew. I assume that it's the above dish on the menu. which is the signature Gattopardo seafood stew in terracotta pot cos that looked like what was on the table that day. And in it, is the scorpion fish that Daddy chose earlier on. Well. I must say the dish looked really good. Right? The staff even brought out some bread for us to eat the stew with!

By then, we were all stuffed from the previous dishes. I gamely picked up my spoon to give it a try though. And...I must be honest here. The dish wasn't great. Like what Daddy pointed out, the fish didn't taste fresh so there was a slight fishy smell to the dish (and it was a hugeeeeeeee pot!). We chided Daddy cos he actually went up to the staff to mention about the "freshness" of the fish - it's like so rude! But actually, come to think of it, well, it's true what!

I still finished my plate of fish stew though. The flavours wasn't that bad, just perhaps that the fishy smell marred what could have been a splendid dish.

Il Tiramisu

We ended our meal with a sweet classic - the tiramisu. Though stuffed, we managed to polish off this plate of quite yummy tiramisu.

Overall, the food here is pretty decent, the spicy crackers (comes with the bread basket), the squid and the calzone are pretty good. Only a pity about the fish stew though. And it also happened to be the most expensive dish that day...

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