Italian food isn’t something Greedy Girl seeks out often in Singapore. She’d heard good things, though about Garibaldi, on the Purvis Street restaurant strip, not far from the Raffles Hotel. Sitting down after a very pleasant champagne-fuelled stop at the Equinox Bar where we fell upon the bar snacks, Greedy Girl, gluttonous husband and, for the first time ever in Singapore, FullAsAGoog were looking for some comfort food.

Garibaldi is helmed by executive chef and owner Roberto Galetti, a native of Brescia in Italy’s north (reasonably close to Milan). While most of the menu reads like a roll call of traditional Italian cuisine,  there are some other influences at play as well. The restaurant is particularly noted for its Sunday brunch, with a free-flow of Prosecco.
We opted for a bottle of Casa Roma pinot grigio from Venice and fell upon a small piece of focaccia with olive oil.

Greedy Girl and FullAsAGoog opted for risotto, made from acquerello rice – an aged, organic carnaroli rice. It’s said to absorb more flavour and stock during the cooking process and is much prized by chefs. FullAsAGoog chose the risotto mare, featuring a selection of fresh seafood, cooked with a lobster broth. It was certainly a very vivid plate.

Italian food Singapore: Garibaldi

Risotto mare

Greedy Girl went traditional with risotto ai porcini. The rice was perfectly cooked – there was still a slight resistance to the bite. All the flavours (in both dishes) meshed together well. The mushroom risotto was rather lighter in flavour than Greedy Girl expected but still quite delicious.

Italian food Singapore: Garibaldi

Risotto ai porcini

Gluttonous husband had one of the chef’s recommendations of the day – duck confit (pictured at the top of this post). A very pretty-looking plate, the confit was very tasty but didn’t fall off the bone. It was served with edible flowers, some chipped potatoes, mushrooms and a pineapple chutney. The plate was finished with smears of a plum sauce and slices of black truffle. Gluttonous husband thought the pineapple was a step too far but enjoyed the rest of the dish. Sadly though, there was no great flavour hit from the truffle. Perhaps the moral of the story here is not to order a quintessentially French dish in an Italian restaurant.

We then moved to desserts. FullAsAGoog took the chocolate lava cake. The lava cake and crumbs were both made from an excellent dark, bitter chocolate and, happily, the cake oozed a gooey centre when sliced open. It was also served with a crushed pineapple mound, a few berries and ice cream.

Italian food Singapore: Garibaldi

Nice bitter chocolate lava cake

Gluttonous husband went for ‘Tiramisu of Mamma Bice’ – a recipe from the chef’s mother. He pronounced it perfectly edible but thought there could have been more of a coffee hit.

Greedy Girl was a little dismayed. She thought she’d ordered the alternative chocolate dessert. It was basically a cross between a mousse and a panna cotta, served with a few berries and the main flavour was citrus. Greedy Girl should have paid more attention to the menu description, but after a fair amount of champagne and then white wine, perhaps that was too big an ask.

Italian food Singapore: Garibaldi

A citrus panna cotta

Garibaldi was a pleasant experience, with very good service. Everything was executed reasonably well but none of the dishes we selected had the wow factor. Usually when we eat somewhere new in Singapore, we enquire about a restaurant’s ‘must have’ dishes. We didn’t do that here and perhaps that was to our cost. It’s a nice spot to chat with friends and have some very solid Italian cuisine. The wine list is extensive and (for Singapore) there are some reasonably-priced choices. Diners also have the ability to take their own wine with, Greedy Girl understands, a reasonable corkage charge.

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