Yes I’m asking you, my dear faithful readers that crucial question. I shouldn’t answer it myself but let’s just say that recently I decided to experiment a little. I know most of my ‘food in the city’ endeavours have been with a guy who was a hunk, a weirdo or simply a hungry punk. It seemed almost routine and ritual-like, so one fine afternoon, I decided to risk it and venture into the unknown – I went to Clarke Quay, alone.

All by myself, with a sudden streak of new found independence, I ventured down the newly revamped Clarke Quay and decided to explore. After walking past a few bars, this restaurant suddenly appeared in my face and I was pleasantly intrigued by it. It had a simple cosy ambience that wasn’t too pompous for its own good. There were lovely paintings up on the textured walls and it was dripping Italiano’ vibes

Well obviously it was an Italian restaurant and that got me all excited. You see, the only time I’ve ever eaten authentic Italian food was when I flew to Italy for a girl friend’s wedding. Since then, I have been craving for classic Italian cuisine. Why was I drawn to the restaurant? It must have been the name, Via Veneto. For the uninitiated, Via Veneto’s actually an upscale street in Rome, Italy where all the high fashion boutique labels like Louis Vuitton, Armani and Valentino are. Now, is that real style or what?

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So anyway, here I was, standing right in front of this Italian restaurant, and I was thinking of how awkward it’ll be to be dining in such a lovely place all by myself. Truth be told, I nearly walked off. But something told me to just step in, I call it my inner feminist self. I mean, hey, I’m going in for a meal and it certainly won’t kill to enjoy some food alone sans a male species.

And so, in I strode, got a seat and started looking at the menu. It was astounding, the variety of Italian food that they had. I liked how they included the Italian names too.

Faced with so many choices, I was definitely at a loss, and so I called on the waitress to help me a little. She was a great help, the sweet lady – in the end I ordered a Hemingway salad to start the meal. Now, this salad, was simply fantastico. A brilliant toss up of crunchy argula leaves with purple lettuce and Belgium endive leaves, this salad speaks volumes. Its freshness echoes through the delightful dressing made up of balsamic vinegar and garlic scented olive oil. Married with basil leaves, fresh tomato wedges, the salad makes for a great starter and the white beans and sweet onions add more bite.

After the salad, I was yearning for some pasta and so I had the Ravioloni Crema e Funghi. The ravioloni was a complete gem. Possessing a robust and textured flavour, this princess holds together the delicate essence of both ricotta cheese and mushrooms. There’s no room for disappointment here. Try making your way through each ravioloni and you’ll find that the depth of both cream and mushroom sauce complements rather than drowns the varied tastes. I personally adored the ricotta’s musky nuance. One bite of this pasta and I felt as though I’ve just stepped into Italy.

Salmon dish at Via Veneto in Singapore

Via Veneto certainly was impressive and I decided to go on and order one of their ‘Designer’s Dedication’ out of curiosity. This section of the menu has dishes named after famous Italian designers and the one I had was the Valentino (pictured).

My Valentino arrived in splendour, with the pink salmon steak calling out to me. This dish was very well done and I loved how imaginative and creative it was. Served with broiled scallops crown flavoured with a creamy champagne sauce, it was a dish well-worth its name. You can see how the chef fused ‘fashion’ into food. He doesn’t try to confuse you with a messed up plate of extravagance, instead, this was an elegant offering worth savouring. There were battered and fried endive leaves too and I had them with the sauce.

Finally, after I was done with my Valentino, I had an Affogato al caffe, which was simply vanilla ice cream immersed in espresso. How did it taste? Well, it was a great pick me up. Who needs tiramisu when you have this? I think this is THE new tiramisu. I’ve had enough of complying with the tradition of having the typical cake at Italian eateries. I’m glad I tried this affogato. The deal here is the home made vanilla ice cream. I spotted black speckles (vanilla beans) in the ice cream and was superbly satisfied with the natural vanilla taste. The espresso gave me a much needed life in my mid day slump.

This is what I’m talking about; I think I’ve found the perfect Italian restaurant that I know I’ll frequent often. You know what’s the secret behind the great food? Ask their Italian Chef Carlo Marengoni who’s been living here for more than ten years.

The food at Via Veneto is seriously as good as it gets. I mean come on; the food was so good that I didn’t even feel weird enjoying each dish. I hardly noticed there wasn’t anyone beside me, well aside from my ‘Valentino’. I say dining at Via Veneto is the ideal rendezvous for someone like me who just needed something satisfying – that said, food always makes the cut.

– Via Veneto, #01-06 Clarke Quay, 3E Trader River Valley Road, Singapore 179024, Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 11am-3pm, 6pm-11pm, Tel: +65 6334 1983

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