Average: 3 (1 vote)

Pontini is one of those Italian restaurants that have been around for what seems like forever. Frank Kilian is the man helming the kitchen and while he may hail from Germany, you wouldn’t guess it, judging from his delicious renditions of dishes such as the innovative king prawn tartare with oscietre caviar, lobster linguine with fresh tomatoes, chili and white wine and the cod fillet with Parma ham.

With memories of innovative and well-prepared Italian food we were easily lured back to Pontini. Sadly, such memories are to be left as just that. On our visit there was no charming Italian maître d’ or inspired daily specials. Instead, we were greeted by brusque service, dried out bread for a zestless pesto dip, a menu fattened with standard Italian fare, and the dull buzz of a hotel coffee shop. Unperturbed, we ordered the seafood soup, which came with fresh seafood but a thin tomato-based soup. The beef carpaccio was of high quality, although the black truffles and four fava beans featured sparely. We were impressed by the presentation of the scallops wrapped in parma ham with sage butter and pumpkin sauce. In comparison to the scallops, the slow braised beef short ribs with Barolo wine sauce and porcini mushrooms with potato puree was a messy mass. Unfortunately this dish sounded better than it looked and tasted, some ribs were moist and tender, others were dry and slightly bitter. We ended the meal with panna cotta with mixed berries and raspberry coulis. At last, unreserved compliments to the chef for a delicate and creamy treat. Pontini still serves reasonable fare, but not the great highlights it was once known for.

Venue Details
Address: Pontini, 2/F 392 Havelock Rd., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6233-1133
Area: Singapore River
Cuisine: Italian
Price Range: $$
Open since: June, 1999
Opening hours: Mon-Fri noon-2:30pm; Mon-Sat 6:30-10:30pm
Reservation recommended, Parking available: at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Takeaway available
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