Just what does it mean for an Italian restaurant here to claim to be “authentic?” Is the chef from the old country? (Not in this case.) Are the ingredients exclusively from the campi around Firenze? (Again, no. One of the specials on our visit was Norwegian cod.) No, at best guess, what an “authentic” Italian aspires to is our collective image of that country’s cuisine—a smorgasbord (so much for that bella lingua Italiana!) of pizzas, pastas, meats and fish, with a good tiramisu if you’re lucky.
And for all its unlikely setting—a residential estate up near MacRitchie; a good proving ground built surely not a permanent recipe for success—relative newbie Rubato does a solid job on all fronts.
Service was particularly good on our visit; concerned without being cloying, knowledgeable when pressed, and keen to recommend (the worst kind of waiter being one who tells you everything on the menu is good today). Some of the dishes—a whole charcoal-grilled squid starter, again from the specials board ($23); seafood linguine baked in parchment paper ($26.80), a grilled lamb rack in gorgonzola sauce ($34.80)—were spot on; others—especially a hopeless attempt at a Caeser salad ($15.80)—rather wide of the mark.
It’s an inviting space, too, with a cute (albeit cramped) alfresco space at the back; and a warm and inviting front room.
What bedevils them though—and, encouragingly this is something that could easily be fixed—is that, as a customer, you simply don’t know what you’re going to get. Their portion control needs serious work. That squid was a full meal disguised as a starter, and at least three times bigger than the serving of cod ($42) that came as a main; and it seemed as if all the seafood intended for the fish soup ($13.80) had been diverted to the linguine. Even worse, there’s no pricing on the specials board; and the wait staff made no move to tell us; a serious oversight when you’re planning to charge 42 bucks for a small slice of cod; however nicely presented it may have been.
The tiramisu ($12.80) was authentically good, mind. If they can iron out the back office stuff, this place would be well worth the hike.
|Address:||Rubato, 3 Clover Way, Singapore, Singapore|
|Opening hours:||daily 11:30am-2:30pm, 6-10:30pm|
|Parking available: on the street|
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