Author: Alex Chua
There’s something strangely poetic and charming about Southern Italy. This Southern coastal region with Grecian white architecture and crystal blue waters brings more of yearning and stylish travelling than a gastronomic destination. And here comes Mirko Vinci, the new head Chef of Grissini, an Italian restaurant located in Grand Copthorne Waterfront, who wants to change all that with the introduction of the 5-course Omakase Menu (about $85++ per pax).
Chef Mirko has over 15 years of culinary experience and has honed his skills in renowned restaurants working alongside Michelin-starred chefs in Milan, London and Singapore. Capturing the culinary spirit of this lesser explored part of Italy, expect rich, full-bodied flavors with use of ingredients such as tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, seafood.
The entree of Panzerotto Pugliese is a simple delight by itself. A traditional South Italy snack, the crispy thin dough – folded to resemble a calzone –is filled with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and virgin olive oil. A savory entree without making us too bloated for the subsequent dishes.
For Cold Starter, the Grilled Mediterranean Seafood Salad is pleasing to the eye and on the palate. Featuring a medley of fresh, sweet seafood which consists of squid, cod fish, prawns / shrimps, and octopus. The bouncy, tender texture comes with a surprising smoky, earthy aroma. Plated alongside cured black olives, asparagus shoots for a refreshing yet satisfying comeback.
The portion of Eggplant Parmigiana with Mixed Leaves & Pearl Tomatoes Salad is quite generous for a Hot Starter, but I am not complaining! The layered Eggplant Parmigiana tastes exactly like a lasagna (albeit a vegetarian version), with layers of smoky vegetal sweet grilled brinjal and homemade tomato paste. A comfort food for the soul.
My personal favorite is the Tagliolini, white inions, butter and sage sauce with sprinkles of shaved fresh black truffle. Unique and complex the sweet earthy flavors of caramelized onions mixed with the silky al dente tagliolini pasta are a perfect match-made of gastronomic heaven.
For the mains I had the Veal Scaloppine with char-grilled zucchini. With an expectation of a hearty meat veal dish, the dish is exactly the opposite of what I had thought it would be – pinkish veal is tender, delicate and distinctive. It is paired with grilled zucchini which gives that smoky and juicy flavor for a powerful dynamo.
The dessert that I recall with loving tender is the Chocolate Souffle Lava Cake with Sea Salt and Coffee dessert. Though the lava didn’t run, the mouthfeels of the rich but soft and moist chocolate soufflé cake is irresistible enough. The chocolate taste runs deep and neat, enhanced by the subtle sea salt and coffee flavors. It is a filling, well plated dessert.
Overall, the Italian Omakase Menu experience at Grissini is delightful and a smooth 5-course gastronomic ride. Totally worth a visit to celebrate life’s special occasions, or to experience an exclusive, private dining affair for two.
Grissini @ Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
392 Havelock Rd, Singapore 169663
Author: Alex Chua