Tuesday, 11 March 2014

A Taste of Sicily at the NEW Gattopardo!

Chef Lino Sauro and me

Gattopardo, helmed by Executive Chef and owner, Lino Sauro was launched three years ago. This restaurant, under the Garibaldi Group of restaurants started at the charming Fort Canning park about three years ago. The restaurant garnered rave reviews since its opening. Gattopardo re-located to Tras Street about six weeks ago. I have always wanted to try the food at the restaurant, therefore when I heard that the restaurant has moved to Tras Street, I was pleased as it is near my workplace which makes it more convenient for me to dine.

The interior

Gattopardo occupies two shophouse units and the dining areas are broken into smaller and more intimate rooms. The corner unit is smaller and has a small alfresco courtyard and a balcony. The service here is warm, friendly and consistent. 

Hailing from Sicily, Chef Lino has 25 years of culinary experience under his belt. He recently updated the menu at Gattopardo, giving gourmands an opporunity to savour Sicilian cuisine with varying depths of flavours and textures.


My epicurean journey started with the amouse-bouche which consisted of a fried rice ball with tomato and capsicum puree. The skin was crispy and the puree - a beautiful blend of tomato and capsicum made my taste buds tingle with delight.

Capesante e Ceci (Norwegian live scallop with chickpea puree and broccoli rabes)

Upon the staff’s recommendations, I ordered the Capesante e Ceci (Norwegian live scallop with chickpea puree and broccoli rabes). The scallops were succulent and tasty and the creamy chickpea puree added an interesting twist to the scallops and a new dimension to the dish.

Blue-fin Tuna Tartare

The next course was the blue-fin tuna tartare which was specially arranged by the chef. It was fresh, appetising and tantalising.

Bucatini con le Sarde (classic Sicilian noodle with fresh sardines, raisins, wild fennel and pine nuts)

The main highlight was the Bucatini con le Sarde (classic Sicilian noodle with fresh sardines, raisins, wild fennel and pine nuts). This eponymous Sicilian dish was prepared by tossing the sardines, fennel, saffron and pine nuts together. The raisins were then added to give the pasta a slightly sweet and fruity flavour. It is a simple, wholesome and delicious pasta dish. No fancy presentation or elaborate garnishes.

Enjoying my meal

For desserts, you have to try Chef Lino’s signature Semifreddo di Lino (homemade nougat parfait with toasted ‘Noto’ Almond sauce). A semifreddo is a molded frozen dessert that is fairly soft. This luscious dessert is made using fresh whipped cream, eggs and ground almonds. I love the smooth, creamy texture and the divine ‘Noto’ almond and chocolate sauce makes it absolutely irresistible.

Gattopardo also has a daily set lunch menu priced at $36++ which includes an appetiser, main course and dessert. This menu changes on a weekly basis. I tried the set menu about two weeks ago and loved it. 

Pink garlic and potato soup

For the starter, I had the rich and aromatic pink garlic and potato soup. It was flavourful and not too rich.

Herb coated red fish fillet and sauteed topinambour

The main course was the ambrosial herb coated red fish fillet and sautéed topinambour (Jerusalem artichoke). The herb crumbs on top gave it a crunchy texture and more intense flavour. Healthy, yet satisfying.

 The ‘Gattopardo Gardenfresh berries and lemon sorbet helped to cleanse my palate and provided a lovely conclusion to an awesome meal.

‘Gattopardo Garden’ fresh berries and lemon sorbet

Satisfied after a good meal

Gattopardo is located at 34/36 Tras Street, Singapore 079026. For reservations, call (65) 6338 5498 or email reservations@gattopardo.com.sg

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