The dynamic duo has done it again. Chef-owners Dylan Ong and Joshua Kok who launched Saveur – a modern restaurant offering delectable and affordable French cuisine has just started Concetto, a restaurant serving Italian cuisine based on the same concept. The two enterprising, Shatec-trained chefs honed their culinary skills at various fine dining restaurants including Guy Savoy, Fifty Three and Tetsuya’s in Sydney. Their culinary finesse is evident in their creations at Saveur and the newly opened Concetto.
Located at the former premises of Billy Bombers at The Cathay, the design of the restaurant is minimalistic, understated and modern with an open kitchen. I found the décor a little bare with its concrete tiles and simple tables and stools. The team at Concetto is young and enthusiastic and service is friendly, prompt and efficient.
Although the menu is not extensive, it comprises well-crafted and tasty Italian fare. The menu is made up of Earth (salads and soups), Land (pastas and meats), Sea (seafood dishes) and Light (desserts). I dined at the restaurant on three occasions and was impressed with the consistent food and service.
For starters, I like the buffalo mozzarella ($8.90) which consists of marinated tomatoes and parmesan shavings on toast. It is exquisitely presented and taste is reasonably good.
The grilled octopus ($10.90) with fennel salad and anchovy dressing is tender with a slight hint of lemon and serving is generous. However, the anchovy dressing is not intense enough.
For something refreshing, the pan-seared tuna ($8.90) with baby romaine and honey mustard sauce is a good choice. It is light, healthy and helps to whet your appetite before the main meal.
The minestrone soup ($5.90) is ideal for diners who desire a light soup.
For the mains, the funghi risotto ($9.90) is a crowd favourite. Superbly executed, the rice is cooked perfectly well with the right consistency, depth and texture. The mixed mushrooms accentuate the flavour of the dish. The risotto is topped with oyster mushroom and deep-fried enoki mushrooms, adding a ‘crunch’ to the dish.
Can't wait to indulge in the crab risotto
The crab risotto ($12.90) is a little lighter in flavour and has some mixed vegetables in it. I like the crispy rice crackers which gives it a contrasting texture. However, it tastes a little more like vegetable risotto as the fragrance of the crustacean is lacking.
Prawn aglio tagliatelle
Pasta lovers will be bowled over by the prawn aglio tagliatelle ($10.90) with tiger prawns and sakuru ebi. The tagliatelle is al dente and the prawns are succulent and sweet. The sakura ebi also gives it the extra ‘oomph’.
To provide a sweet ending to the meal, try Concetto’s signature deconstructed tiramisu ($10.90) which is a delightful twist from the usual ones found in Italian restaurants. The different components (mascarpone cheese, whipped cream and sponge cake) are placed separately and the presentation is enhanced with long strips of chocolate flakes. These elongated chocolate flakes are prepared by boiling the glucose and fondant together at 118 degrees. After that, chocolate is added and the mixture is baked in an oven. The chefs then remove them from the oven and stretch the mixture to form long flakes of chocolate. This tiramisu is decadently divine and every mouthful is gratifying.
Pistachio panna cotta
Another palate pleaser is the pistachio panna cotta ($6.90). The bits of pistachio give it a unique, crunchy texture and the texture is firm and lovely.
Overall, Concetto is a wonderful place to enjoy chic Italian food at pocket friendly prices. Each dish is artistically presented and excellently executed and you can enjoy it without burning a hole in your pocket.
Concetto is open daily from 12noon to 9.30pm. It is located at The Cathay, 2 Handy Road, #01-11/12, Singapore 229233. For reservations, call 6735 1141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org