Monday, February 28, 2011

Rubato With Video

2012 Latest update: Chef Peter has moved on and started his own restaurant called Pietro at Jalan Kelulut.

Pauline came home one night with a very excited look on her face, and this was due to the fact that she had just discovered a delightful new Italian restaurant near her workplace.

Rubato was the simple name of this place, and it is run and owned by a very young yet remarkable young man by the name of Marcus. It is located within Jalan Peminpin, just about 10 minutes walk from Marymount MRT.

All the classic furnishings of an elegant Italian restaurant can be found here, and Marcus is a very affable and pleasant owner who is very passionate about both his business and his food.

When we were there one Saturday afternoon, we could not help but feel utterly at ease and absolutely cosy within the modern Italian setting. Marcus pointed out that he imported a number of the furniture and furnishings directly from Italy, and it really showed.

But no amount of great decor would matter if the food did not live up, and fortunately, we were almost blown away by the great Italian fare on offer here. Almost every dish was a pleasant surprise, and more than lived up to our expectations.

Parma Ham Wrapped Breadsticks

This classic Italian appetizer was really pretty to look at. Garnished with cherry tomatoes, the salty nature of the parma ham worked really well with the crunchy breadsticks and was a wonderful way to start any Italian meal.

Organic Mushroom Soup

We shared the organic mushroom soup and this was a very delicious and finely balanced mushroom broth, lightly infused with bits of organic mushroom for texture. Unlike some mushroom soups, it was not overly bitter from poorly fried garlic, but instead, retained a delicate mushroom flavor and was blended well enough to be smooth yet slightly crunchy still.

Seafood Linguine in Parchment Paper

This was one of their house specialties, and it was very nicely done. The linguine was well cooked, and there was a generous portion of seafood consisting of shrimp and mussel. The tomato sauce was also just about right, not too tangy or sour, and had enough sweetness without being overpowering. It could have done with a touch more herbs though.

Pan Fried Ribeye

The surprise of the day was the pan fried ribeye that looked amazingly gorgeous. Thankfully, it tasted just as good, if not, better. The ribeye was cooked to a perfect medium rare, and when I visit most Italian places, I usually do not expect great steak or meat dishes. In Rubato, this seems to be the exception as the ribeye was both beautiful to look at and taste as well. Pauline loved it.

Chocolate Fondant

At Marcus's suggestion, we had the rum filled chocolate fondant, and this was a delicious dessert. The fondant was perfectly baked, and the texture was fragrant and almost crust like on the outside. But once we broke the center of it with our spoon, the beautiful rum chocolate oozed out most sinfully and the perfect pairing with the vanilla ice cream had us wanting for more in the end.

I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this meal here, as I have not been a big fan of Italian fare here in Singapore. That is probably due to the fact that once you been to Italy, you really only crave for Italian food in its homeland where they can get fresh produce and ingredients, which is what great Italian food is all about.

Chef Peter Neo

The other surprise we had was when we discovered that the head chef was not Italian, but a local chef who has worked in a number of notable Italian restaurants here. Chef Peter Neo had a nice chat with us, and through our conversation, I discovered he was a very passionate and equally inventive cook.

Seeing him in action in the kitchen was also fascinating as he is clearly very into his craft and for an Italian outlet, Chef Peter takes more care to garnish his plate than the average Italian chef. We were treated to really beautiful plated dishes here.

The only thing we would probably want to see is perhaps more set menus for lunch crowds, as the a la carte menu was slightly on the high side for an eatery in this neighbourhood.

Nevertheless, it was still very good value for money, and despite the fact that they had only opened for only a month or 2, Rubato is definitely on the right track with both its food and service.

Rubato is a definite recommendation from the Silver Chef, and the service is nothing short of exemplary. The food is of a very high benchmark, not just by Italian standards, but by any restaurant standard.

3 Clover Way

Written, filmed, edited and directed by Silverchef Productions.
Shot and edited entirely on Apple's Iphone 4 and at Rubato.
No chocolate fondant was harmed in the shooting of this video.
"Closer" performed by Travis.

Update: Master Chef Peter Neo has recently departed Rubato, and is now working at Ice Edge Cafe, so for those who savor and enjoy his exquisite culinary skills, you can find him there now, a place which I have also blogged previously.

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