Average: 3 (1 vote)

It’s always a good sign when the right ethnic types flock to a new ethnic restaurant. Massimo Aquaro and Pietro Aprigliano has gotten the look of the place down right with its swish mauve and brown fabrics, and the affordably priced set lunch menu items are definitely a draw, but we wish there were a bit more flavor and personality to do justice to the super-fresh, and perfectly executed food. Still, if you’re here, you might want to try the deconstructed eggplant parmesan starter; potato and beetroot pasta dumplings in gorgonzola and rocket pesto sauce; and pumpkin vanilla custard.

The signs were good at a recent lunch visit to Capricci. Foremost among these: The room had several tables of patrons who were conversing with restaurateurs Massimo Aquaro and Pietro Aprigliano in Italian. Always good when the right ethnic types flock to a new ethnic restaurant.

Our greeting was professional and efficient and we were shown to our seats in a cozy and elegant room full of swish mauve and brown fabrics.

The huge variety of set lunch menu items for under $30 seemed almost too good to be true, and the focaccia that arrived on the table was super-fresh and topped with veggies and other goodies. Yet as my dining companion and I walked away from the restaurant, we couldn’t help but feel that Aquaro and Aprigliano (try saying that quickly five times!) were holding back.

For example, one of the starters from the set—a mix of walnuts, pears and pecorino cheese in honey & red berry dressing—was fresh and generous, but ultimately forgettable, without any significant zing. The ala carte starter, recommended by our host, was wonderful, however—a deconstructed eggplant parmesan that featured a thick disc of the purple veggie fried to a wonderful creamy consistency that got only better when dredged through the perfectly acidic tomato sauce and pesto drizzle.

The mains both of which were perfectly prepared yet again, didn’t really move our mouths. The gnocchi di barbabietola al mascarpone e pesto di rughetta had light-as-cloud potato and beetroot pasta dumplings dressed in a thick and creamy gorgonzola and rocket pesto sauce. Yet, no matter how hard our tastebuds searched, they couldn’t find a hint of rocket flavor, nor the sharp edge of gorgonzola (interesting because the Italian description mentions mascarpone, while the translation says gorgonzola—the first seems more likely). We weren’t expecting complexity from the set menu’s pappardelle alla Bolognese, but definitely wanted a rich, deep meaty flavor which—while it must be said that the pasta was perfectly cooked—was sadly absent.

Desserts were solid—especially the bread-like pumpkin vanilla custard.

Overall, there was nothing wrong with Capricci, but our hope is that the two experienced paisanos running the kitchen will be able to make everything more than right—if they release the reins a little and let a little more flavor and personality shine through the super-fresh food.

Venue Details
Address: Capricci, 27 Tanjong Pagar Rd., Singapore, 088450 Singapore
Phone: 6221-6761
Area: Tanjong Pagar
Cuisine: Italian
Price Range: $$
Open since: May, 2009
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-3pm, 6:30-11pm
Parking available: free valet service
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