Bottura : Eat. Drink. Italiano. in Suntec City Mall (CLOSED)

Some days can get very stressful and when the pressure is on... I eat. Yup, I eat to my heart's desire! That's what I told my friend D recently when we were talking about our stress-coping mechanisms. D normally forgets about her hunger when she's stress while I told her that I'm such a stress-eater.

One thing though, I don't just munch on anything within reach or within sight. I have my comfort food staples that never fail to make my tummy and heart happy. These include a delicious plate of well-done pasta and pizza among many others. I'd say, I'm very Italian by heart. I love my risotto and I always enjoy ending my meal with a scoop of gelato. Perhaps, my next travel destination should be Italy, don't you think? *cough* hello Paul! *cough*

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While that dream trip might come in the next few years, I'm lucky to discover Bottura, which I must say is one of the few good and authentic Italian restaurants here in Singapore. Located at the newest wing of Suntec City Mall, Bottura is an Italian deli shop, a gelato stop and a full-service Italian restaurant all rolled into one! While others may think that to eat good Italian food means having to splurge beyond your budget, Bottura's menu will show you that yummy and delightful dishes can be done at very reasonable price.

I was counting my lucky stars when Paul and I were invited to a private tasting session at Bottura, not so long ago. Let me share you the ones that I loved the most:

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Prosciutto di Parma, Stracchino and Rucola Piadina (S$12)
We started our meal with a platter of piadina which for me it like an Italian quesadilla. Filled with homemade stracchino cheese, thinly sliced prosciutto and fresh rocket greens, I really loved this very much! I was told that Chef Luca imports most of his ingredients and also makes a lot in-house. This includes the pasta noodles and this creamy stracchino cheese which reminds me of my favorite burrata.

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Tagliere de Affettati e Formaggi Misti con Tiggelle e Marmellate (S$22)
If you're dining with a group of friends, then this is a good way to start your meal. Have everyone enjoy a mix of cold cuts consisting of prosciutto di parma and mortadella sausage and an assortment of cheeses from their homemade stracchino, pecorino and parmegiano. What made this really unique is the inclusion of a generous serving of orange marmalade and olive oil. It's served with slices of Tigelle bread too.

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Arancini al Ragu (S$8)
I've mentioned earlier how much I love risotto and when you stuff them into a ball and deep-fry them to perfection then to me, that is heaven.

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I have to admit though that I initially thought the risotto was under-cooked as I was expecting to have that usual thicker and drier texture but what do you know?! Authentic risotto balls have a creamier consistency which my friend I confirmed was similar to the one that she had during her recent trip in London. Oh and look at that gooey cheese inside. ♥

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Gnocchi di Patate ai 4 formaggi e rucola (S$14)
Have you heard of gnocchi (nyo-kee)? This is definitely one fine creation made out of potatoes and formed into bite-sized pasta tubes and cooked with normally a thick creamy sauce. I normally would always attempt to order gnocchi when given the chance but sadly, all the others that I've tried so far were quite a disappointment. That said, I had my hesitations when this enticing plate of gnocchi was laid down in front of me. I took my first bite and no joke, I immediately knew I found..the ONE! It's cooked with four types of cheese and served with a handful of rocket greens again. I just love how Bottura makes use of the same ingredients across several dishes. Expect to have a lot of options with their homemade stracchino cheese and fresh rocket greens. For a while there, I really didn't mind not having anything with truffle oil.

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Foglie di Polenta con ragu e besciamella (S$18)
Regular readers of this blog probably know by now the number of food items that I'm weirdly allergic to. Corn is one of them and so it has been 5 whole years now since I had my last piece of popcorn. To be more specific though, I'm allergic to corn kernels so if you see me munching on corn chips, don't panic! I'll be okay. :) That said, another corn product that I can eat is polenta. However, it's not commonly used by restaurants so the only time I had this was years ago and it was in a restaurant two hours north of Metro Manila. How sad, right?

Imagine how happy I was when we were served this beautiful plate of lasagna made out of polenta sheets. I had to hold back my tears of joy (drama queen alert!) as I enjoyed each bite. It was delicious!

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Tagliolini Zebrati con Gamberetti e zucchini (S$16)
I tell you, I can be a linguist..when it comes to food. Without much help, I was successfully able to decipher that this dish made use of black (squid ink) and white (egg) tagliolini noodles tossed with garlic shrimps and zucchini. *pat on the back*

It was a beautiful dish but honestly, I found it to be leaning towards the bland side. Also, I'm not that crazy about zucchini so this was just a-okay for me.

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Ravioli panna prosciutto e funghi (S$14)
Every time I have ravioli, I always remember my best friend L whom I used to share a plate of portobello mushroom ravioli back when we were university students. That was already our way of splurging after a hectic week in school. I think I'm really lucky to have a best friend who loves to eat too! Going back, this is a simple, comforting dish of pillowy ravioli squares filled with chopped prosciutti and mushrooms. Yum!

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Spaghetti alla Carbonara (S$12)
I'm a firm believer in the saying that "sometimes, the best things in life need not be complicated." Take this pasta dish, for example. We all grew up having carbonara and as we get older, our taste has become more sophisticated, more discriminating too. However, there are some things that we will never get tired of having. I believe that for me, Carbonara will be one of them. Sure, this won't be the first thing I'd choose when given a long list of pasta options but it's the kind that I know I'll surely enjoy no matter what. Bottura's Carbonara was pretty impressive! I love how they took the old-fashioned route by serving it with fresh egg which you have to quickly mix into your freshly cooked noodles and bacon. Yum!

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Arrabbiata Pizza (S$18)
I initially thought this was too spicy for me to enjoy. Well what do you know?! I enjoyed this very much as I found the chili flakes just perfect to perk up the flavor. I also think my tolerance for spice has greatly improved since I moved to the Lion City.

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Melone, Prosciutto di Parma, Mozzarella Pizza (S$24)
We normally would have Parma Ham and Melon as starters in any Italian restaurant. This time, Chef Luca, transformed this popular starter dish into a pizza flavor. It was just okay as I could hardly detect the sweet melon flavor.

Finally it's time for dessert!

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First of, we headed towards the front of the restaurant to take our pick among the many gelato flavors available. I love that they allowed us to try before making our final decision. Here's what we finally got -- Pistachio, Strawberry, Rum Raisin and Coffee. Among the four, I loved the Strawberry the most as it tasted closely similar to my favorite Strawberry Sorbet at The Peninsula Manila.

At this point, I was ready to wave the white flag. We had a delicious feast that I was literally on pasta and pizza heaven for the past 3-4 hours. We also got to try bits and pieces of the other dessert items such as:

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Pasticceria mignon fresca

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"Spaghetti" Gelato

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Our dinner at Bottura was simply amazing. Every bite brought about a couple of ooohs and aaaahs across the table. Over good food, great company and interesting stories, what more can I ask for?

*photos by Paul Ang

Bottura is located at the 2nd level of Suntec City Mall (between Towers 1 and 2), 3 Temasek Boulevard, Singapore. It's right below True Fitness gym. Call them at 6238-7527.

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