La Cantina in Venezia

La Cantina in Venezia sits tucked away in a corner of the pool terrace of Changi Village Hotel with views of the sea shimmering nearby. This superb sight was the first thing that struck us when we stepped out of the elevator. In the restaurant, tables were lined up alongside floor-to-ceiling glass walls, which meant there was no bad seat in the house. Unfortunately, while we had made an early reservation, there was nobody to greet us. But that didn’t matter as the restaurant was empty anyway. Our starters arrived soon enough after we ordered. The mixed antipasti comprised cold cuts of parma ham, salami and two types of cheese as well as marinated vegetables. The cold cuts were fine but the marinated vegetables were bland and had come straight out of the fridge. Our other starter, scallops sautéed in olive oil and garlic was, however, deliciously smothered in fragrant garlic. The rest of the meal was a similar mixed bag. Main course spinach fettucine with mushroom, zucchini and eggplant in tomato sauce was sadly overcooked, while our pizza with pomodoro, mozzarella and mushrooms was light and tasty. With a thin crispy crust, a rich tomato base, cheese and heaps of fresh mushrooms, this was the best dish of the meal. The tiramisu too did not disappoint. The soft sponge was soaked in coffee, coated with creamy mascarpone and topped with generous lashings of cocoa powder. But the profiteroles left a lot to be desired. They were chewy, cold and coated with a thick, milky and overly sweet sauce, which was more like melted chocolate ice cream than the dark chocolate sauce one expects. The manager of the restaurant, however, tried very hard all evening and must be commended for his efforts. His staff was discreet, polite and aimed to please. Sad to say, they were let down by the erratic quality of the food, which the restaurant will hopefully improve upon.

Mamma mia! Is your favorite Italian restaurant on our list of Singapore’s best?