Da Luca Italian Restaurant serves up homely Tuscany food in hearty portions. Helmed by Chef Luca, formerly Garibaldi and Gunther, this cosy restaurant located in Goldhill Plaza is a gem for us Centralers. I have visited Da Luca many times. On every visit, their big plates of pastas and grilled meat platters are my must-orders. Then guess what? My ex-secondary classmate married the Chef! A while back, she promised us something different from the restaurant’s usual offering: an Italian Fine Dining experience. One Friday evening, we finally got the pleasure to experience it. For S$135, we were presented and spoilt-rotten by a splendid six-course dinner. The filling courses show another side of Chef Lucas and his incredible ability to present a multitude of textures and flavours on a single plate. During our visit, it was also truffle season! So that evening I ingested more truffles than my entire life before. Let me show you my dinner that evening:
We began with a glass of cold bubbly Prosecco and shared this bottle of Red.
Then a basket of homemade Foccacia Bread arrived. Warm, crusty outside and pillowy-tender within; I dare you to stop at just one slice.
For appetizers, we were served a Chilled Capellini Pasta with Truffle Emulsion served with Raw Scallops. Those who frequent Gunthers will find this dish familiar. Chef Luca spent some time there and this was pure evidence. Throwing in fresh raw scallop, I slurped up this surprsingly-refreshing carby dish in no time. My excuse for the lack of control with carbohydrates that evening: marathon the next day.
Slow-cooked Eggs with Burrata Cheese, Iberico Ham & Black Summer Truffles with Espagnole Sauce. To eat, mix this all up thoroughly.
Slow-cooked Spanish Octupus with Tomato Confit in Bagna Cauda. This dish surprised me big time! I associate octupus with spanish cuisine but to find in the italian cuisine was pretty uncommon to me. This combination of textures and flavours blew my dining companion away! Two pieces of perfectly-cooked octopus atop a savoury butter garlic anchovy sauce then to throw your senses around, subtly sweet tomatoes. Perfect.
Ravioli Di Carne Con Funghi E Pana: Chef’s Ravioli Stuffing with Sausages and Mushroom Cream Sauce topped with unabashedful amount of thinly-shaven black truffles. This flavour bomb pasta was extraordinary. Rich luscious mushroom sauce with savoury sausage ravioli swimming in it, I still dream about this… Unfortunately we only enjoyed a tasting portion that evening. But good news, this dish is a mainstay on the restaurant menu. If you are not on the fine dining set, be prepared for a huge plate of this rich luxurious goodness. Wait, what? Sure, I will join you too!
After the preceding heavy carb dish, the healthiest dish of the evening arrived: Pan crusted Chilean Codfish with Wilted Baby Spinach & Sweet Tomato Confit. This was ace!
For dessert: Fondente Al Cioccolato Con Gelatio Al Torroncino (Molten Lava Chocolate Cake with Torroncino Ice Cream). Fine, this might not be the most exciting or creative dessert around. But this clasic dessert was a heartbreaker. Fudgy and filled with underdone molten cake, my selfishness came through when I realised my dining companion had little (sorry, Sam!) The two types of Gelato that accompanied the cake may not have been made in-house but why bother when Alfero Artisan Gelato is your good friend?! So for the first time, I tried one of Singapore’s best Gelaterias. The two flavours we had, Pistachio and Hazelnut, were rich and addictive. I cleaned plate. Can you blame me?