Sensational Senso

I can’t believe there’s an Italian restaurant that’s been around for ten years (Senso was established in 2000) that I’ve heard good things about, and that I haven’t been to.

A late attempt to make a reservation at Oso, one of our favourite Italian restaurants, failed (unsurprisingly, all tables were already busy at 9pm), and we decided to go to Senso instead.  D had gone there for his work Christmas dinner last year and could not say enough good things about it.  He waxed lyrical about their slow roasted wild boar in red wine pappardelle, and a white truffle ravioli which he had had.

We were seated in the courtyard set in the middle of the restaurant and I think that’s where the charm of this restaurant begins.  I think because you’re surrounded by the air-conditioned part of the restaurant, you forget you’re in Singapore, and with the breeze of the night, you really are transported into the feeling that you’re sitting in a courtyard in the middle of the Italian countryside.

Add the friendly and attentive waitstaff and the so-helpful sommelier, Mr Najib and the experience gets better still.

I was quite in the mood for a good pasta and scanned the menu for the much anticipated wild boar pasta, which I wanted to pit against the same dish at Oso.  To D’s disappointment, the entire menu had been seasonally updated, and there was a distinct lack of any meat-based pasta dishes.

We started off with pan-fried buffalo mozzarella wrapped in parma ham and served with an olive tapenade.  The mozzarella came wrapped tightly in a blanket of parma ham which was pan-fried till crispy, leaving the mozzarella inside slightly soft and gooey and reminding us a lot of the texture of pan-fried haloumi.  The olive tapenade was almost unnecessary but it did add a soft salty flavour to every other mouthful.

I followed this with an open ravioli with pan-seared scallops and lobster with ostrecia caviar.  D had tagliolini with lobster, tomatoes and basil.

My pasta came to me looking like a soft pillow – the top sheet of ravioli covered two perfectly cooked scallops and a lobster claw – so sweet – with a light cream sauce.  It was so light I pretty much inhaled it.  D’s was a good solid pasta where the sweetness of the lobster brought out the sweetness of the tomatoes.  Absolutely wonderful.

The wine which we had to accompany our meal was recommended by the sommelier – apparently one of the few wines left over after they had a Christie’s wine auction on-site during the F1 season.  It was a Podore Castorani 2006 trebbiano d’abruzzo.  I’ve never even heard of this variety but it matched our pasta perfectly.  Straw coloured, the aroma was full of fruit and berries, with a strong sweet first taste that evolved to a crisp dry wine in the mouth.

I’m thrilled to find out that Senso do a Sunday brunch – all the Italian you can eat with freeflow prosecco – what more could you ask for ?  Is going to the same restaurant twice in the space of four days too soon ?  I don’t think so.  Not when it’s this good.

Senso Ristorante & Bar
21 Club Street
Singapore 069410
Tel : 6224 3534

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About Carolyn Chan

A girl slowly eating her way around Singapore and farther afield when she's lucky. View all posts by Carolyn Chan

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