To celebrate our whole family being together and to somewhat end the summer on a high note (since my brother started school on monday again), we decided to head to Pontini at Grand Copthorne Waterfront. It’s a relatively upscale Italian restaurant, whose new menu focuses on eco-sustainable food. As we ordered we were informed that both my brother’s choice for appetiser (a mackerel dish) and my choice for main (an oven-baked whole mackerel) weren’t available. This was very disappointing as the restaurant was relatively empty so it couldn’t be that other patrons had already ordered it. On further enquiry we discovered that they’d already run out during lunch, which is surprising since you’d think that they’d have enough supplies for both a lunch and dinner service. After pondering and scouring the menu further, we finally ordered.
My brother’s second choice from the appetiser was a cured meat platter. This consisted of some Parma Ham with Rock Melon, Rucola, Fig Tapenade, some more ham (a different type maybe?, although we couldn’t taste the difference between it and the one wrapped around the melon) as well as some Pecorino with Black Truffle shaved on top. My brother doesn’t particularly enjoy cheese so much, so he donated the cheese and truffle to my dad and I. I was quite happy with it, since I got a giant slice of truffle. I also tasted his ham with melon which was really good, a true classic.
My mum and I both being seafood lovers, went for the same starter. It was Scallop Carpaccio with Blue Fin Tuna Tartare. This was a relatively good dish. The scallop carpaccio was delicious, with the scallops being succulent and fresh. On the other hand I found that the tuna tartare lacked seasoning and taste and I’ve had better tartare elsewhere on multiple occasions. To be honest it’s probably one of the worst ones I’ve had.
My dad went the carnivorous route and got the Steak Tartare with Mushrooms and a Sprout Salad. Compared to the tuna tartare, this was seasoned perfectly. And I loved the earthy tone the mushrooms gave to the dish. Even though I usually prefer seafood, I think this would’ve been a better choice. Also the portion was larger and was more representative of an adequate starter.
For his main, my dad took a pasta dish. He got the Paccheri with Langoustine, fresh Buratta in a ‘San Marzano’ Tomato Sauce. This dish was tasty, but it definitely was a Primi size and wasn’t really adequate as a main. There was very little pasta, and only one piece of Langoustine. They were, however, very generous with the Burrata as there was a giant ball of it placed in the centre of the plate. I didn’t get to try much of this, since it was very small and didn’t seem enough for my dad already.
Like my dad I didn’t really order a ‘main’, instead I decided to go for the seafood stew. As I’d tried from my mum on a previous occasion and remembered it being quite good. The Cacciuco alla Livornese was nice. The tomato base was really tasty and fresh. Although I did feel they could’ve been a bit more generous with the amount of seafood, as there was maybe one scallop and one prawn, a few chewy squid rings, some slices of fish and 2 mussels. You’d expect more of a true Italian seafood stew, which are often extremely opulent.
My brother went for the Carne section of the menu and got Lamb Chops on top of Sicilian Caponata. The lamb was cooked extremely well (medium rare, as he’d requested) and the caponata was a great accompaniment. I did find the portion a tad small, which I’d noticed throughout the night already. Due to this my entire family was filling up on bread and we’d even requested a second serving of bread, which we’d devoured.
My mum had originally ordered the Cod with Olive Tapenade and Veggies but when it came it wasn’t fresh at all. After returning it and receiving a new portion, we still found the fish to be lacking any flavor or freshness and got it returned. They then offered to change the fish offering her a Turbot with Mashed Potato and Mushrooms instead. Luckily the turbot was fresh, however the chef seemed a little more generous with the salt on one piece of fish than the other. Especially my mum found it a tad bit too salty, for me it was alright though.
With the portions being relatively small, we had more than enough room for dessert. Everyone in our family has quite a sweet tooth and we were keen to try basically everything on the menu and had a lot of trouble deciding. In the end we settled on ordering 5 desserts instead of 4, with one being placed in the centre as the ‘common dessert’. This turned out to be the Frutti di Bosco – a chilled mixed berry soup with yogurt ice cream and a biscuit. I love the taste of the sweet berries with the yogurt, it’s so good. There were also little nibs of chocolate in the soup, which added a nice hit of bitterness which undercut the sweetness of the dish. I’ve always really wanted to try their Sicilian Cannoli filled with Almond Custard and Pistachios and served with a scoop of Pistachio Ice Cream (which we got replaced with Hazelnut), but never have since I’m crazy about their Tiramisu. So this time I kind of forced my mum to order it. After she mentioned that it sounded good and she’d want to try it to, I basically told her that that was what she was getting. I thought this was a great dessert and the pastry was nice and crisp. Also the custard was delicious and I enjoyed breaking the cannoli and eating the crunchy pistachios.
My brother and I had somewhat made of a deal beforehand to do 50/50 on our desserts. He ordered the Molten Chocolate Cake with a scoop of Pistachio Ice Cream (originally Hazelnut) and Poached Pear. As we cut into the cake, the molten chocolate oozed out, which put sparkles into our eyes. It was a good dessert, though the pear wasn’t poached adequately as it was still quite hard and we had trouble cutting into it.
This Tiramisu is hands-down the best Tiramisu I’ve eaten thus far, I love how it’s accompanied by a scoop of Espresso Ice Cream as well as the Amaretto Crumble. The Mascarpone Cream is delicious and to be honest there are no words to describe how decadent this is. I think this is a must-order and I recommend that you order at least one order of this if you’re ever at Pontini.
This dessert is on their special summer menu, and when I read the description I decided that my dad just needed to order this. It pretty much sums him up consists of some things that he enjoys most. There’s the Lemon Sorbet served in the Lemon, an Amaretti Biscuit as well as a very strong Lemon Shot with some Berry Coulis on top. This was perfect for him, since he loves sour things and Lemon desserts usually being one of his favourites. Personally I’m not such a fan of lemon sorbet, but I must admit that this one was extremely good.
Although the food was alright, I was quite disappointed as the portions were small and the service was quite terrible (they cleared the table whilst others were still eating and removed plates with food still on it, even though we were still eating from it). Hopefully they can improve on this, as to provide a more enjoyable experience. I did enjoy spending the evening with my family though and am quite sad that the end of the summer is approaching.
Address: 392 Havelock Road, Level 2 Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore 169663