Monday, February 7, 2011


Every Chinese New Year the family goes out on the first day for lunch. As tradition demands, we usually have the Reunion Dinner...typically a heavy home cooked meal on the evening of the eve. And my sister and her family visits for lunch on the second day. And typically during the CNY period, we chose not to go to a Chinese a matter of fact, many remain closed...and of those who are open, often use the festive season to increase their prices.

For a few years in a row, we have gone to Modesto's for our lunch. Modesto's is a family favourite...though, these days, it is mainly supplanted by the very excellent La Nonna for Italian food we sometimes crave. Almost everything is better at La Nonna's...but Modesto's is nothing to look down on. Excellent wood fired pizzas, very good spagetti alio oglio. And generally tasty meals. But Modesto's location is much better than Holland Village where La Nonna is situated in...parking is a chore in HV. And Vivocity is quite a nice distraction after lunch.

Interior of Modesto's Vivocity

Their Ceasar's Salad kicks off our lunch

Ceasar's Salad at Modesto's Vivocity

The romaine lettuce, were less fresh during the CNY season than it usually is...but the salad is still crunchy, and fresh tasting. The Italian Caesar dressing is well tossed into the leaves, and the Grana Padano cheese adorns the salad...quite generous too, I must say. Quite delicious, though I think on a regular day, it is even better.

For starters, we also had the deep fried calamari

Deep fried calamari at Modesto's Vivocity

This was quite delicious as well, and again, I suspect due to availability of fresh seafood during the season, the squids were less than their supreme self...a bit less crunchy, and a tad more mushy. The batter remained crisp and nice. As was the dip, but I typically don't quite like dips much, so for me, I ate the calamari on its own.

For the mains, we had spagetti, a pizza and risotto.

First the risotto:

Seafood Risotto at Modesto's Vivocity

Kin loved their mushroom risotto...for some reason, that's disappeared from the menu. But in its place, the Seafood version...served up much like a plate of paella, the risotto was quite good. Again, the ultimate freshness of the seafood let the dish down a bit...don't get me wrong, the seafood is fresh enough, and tasty. But not as fresh as it usually was from Modesto's. I don't really blame them, the festive season has caused seafood to be popular...many families hogging them from a week prior to CNY, and causing prices to soar. But given this situation, I think Modesto's redeemed themselves very well indeed.

The pizza was baked in a wood fired oven, open for all to admire.

Seafood pizza at Modesto's Vivocity

We have always liked the Modesto's seafood pizza. And this was mentioned earlier the slight hiccup with the seafood remains, but we enjoyed the pizza all the same.

And my favourite...the spagetti aglio olio

Spagetti aglio olio at Modesto's Vivocity

Certainly one of my favourites in Italian cuisine. Deceptively simple...just spagetti...but must be done perfect...a dash of aglio olio - Extra Virgin Olive Oil...and a bit of spices...with a load of garlic. Perfection on a plate. I have always loved Modesto's version...with really powerful chilli flakes, and a great generous helping of partially fried garlic. The pasta was done al-dente...perfect as always. The dish is wonderful. This is Italian cuisine! Viva Italia!

And finally the dessert...tiramisu

Tiramisu at Modesto's Vivocity

I found this dessert to be quite good...the pastry was nice and fluffy, steeped in alcohol, though not too much as to be overpowering. The chocholate sauce, quite generously drizzled on the tiramisu was nice too..though I am quite sure this came out of a bottle rather than being carefully concocted by the sous chef. Nice tiramisu.

The CNY experience was quite good. Service at Modesto's is always excellent. Quick, knowledgable staff. Compared to a regular day, the food was slightly below the standard of excellence I have come to know Modesto's, but as this was the festive season, where many other restaurants are closed, and fresh seafood scarce, they did quite well. Quite well indeed.

Vivo: 1 HarbourFront Walk #01-166/167 VivoCity Singapore 098585
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