Saturday, October 17, 2015

Spora Cucina: Sardinian food just next to Orchard Road

The restaurant exterior reminds me of Las Vegas, bright lights, neon...Inside, it is reminiscent of the set from a Mafia movie. And the food, is authentic Sardinian, simple, pure, robust tastes.

The interior, I must say is very beautiful. Like a dark, high end club/restaurant as might be favoured by celluloid Mafia.

We began with a salad, as is usual, perhaps for an Italian place:  Polpo Alla Carlofortina ($20++)

Slow-cooked fresh octopus with celery, olives, pine nuts, basil and house made dressing. Of course, the greens are fresh, as are the tomatoes. The olives added a nice bite, while the dressing goes magnificently well. The octopus is cooked till very tender, and is mild flavoured.

The next dish was a rather interesting one. Biscotto di Pecorino ($22++).

What looked like a roti prata, with honey. Sopra calls this the Pecorino cheese stuffed in pane carosau and drizzled with honey. The cheese is very mild, reminds me a little of mozzarella, a similar texture and consistency, and the stretchy, springy mouthfeel. I cannot decide if the honey is a good complement. Perhaps I might leave out the honey as it makes it a bit too coy and sweet.

We also had a pizza, of course, this is an Italian restaurant afterall:

I must say this is superb. the Pizza Sopra ($28++ for 9"), with tomato sauce. Mozzarella. Parma ham. Fresh tomato. Arugula. Parmesan. Everything went well with each other. The pizza bread was excellent...crusty on the outside, with smokey burnt bits, and very soft and fluffy within. The ham was a standout for me. Enjoyed this very much, and will be a recommended dish for me.

We also had pasta, again a natural for an Italian, but this with a slight twist

 Malloreddus alla Campidanese ($25++). Its a traditional Sardinian semolina pasta with rosemary pork sauce. The pasta is dry gnocci, Sardinian style done with semolina. It was firm to the bite, and there was just enough sauce to coat each bit of pasta and not more. One of my pet peeves on pasta in Singapore is that our kiasu culture demands that we have a lot of sauce...that it drowns the pasta. Frequently after eating the pasta, a pool of gravy remains. This is NEVER done in Italy. Where the sauce is to accompany the pasta, just enough to coat each strand/bit of pasta, and no more. This was the case in this Sopra pasta. Bravo! Tastewise, the sauce is rather special. Sinews of pork bathed in a tomato sauce is abundant and coats the gnocci. Very nice. Also recommended.

And then the star of the evening: suckling pig:

Porcheddu Sardo ($48++). Traditional Sardinian suckling pig (400grams) with Mediterranean herbs and roasted potato. Truly superb. Single portion sized servings, instead of requiring one to order an entire suckling pig. The two pieces we got was superb. Rib side, it was a really small pig. As can be seen from the picture, the crackling is to die for. Light, crispy, and mild tasting (no heavy  porcine flavours here.) If one strains one's taste buds, perhaps a touch of milk can be detected, as the little pig who went to piggie heaven for this morsel had only been fed with its mother's milk. 

The tiniest sliver of fat lies beneath the crackling, and the meat within was tender and juicy. Goes really nice with the roasted potato, and the bed which is a kind of bread crackling. Very nice, and highly recommended.

The desserts then. Tiramisu ($10++). Layers of coffee soaked sponge and mascarpone sabayon.

Nicely done, but nothing exceptional to write Mom about. 

And the Cannoli ($10++).  Traditional pastry filled with Ricotta, Chocolate and Candied Orange.

I liked this quite a lot. The cannoli was hard and crispy. Dry texture, but goes marvelous with the soft, creamy insides. Really nice end to a good meal. 

A wide selection of wines and Italian beer is also availble. I had the typical Peroni Nastro Azzurro ($12++) which was nice to complement the dishes.

In conclusion, a very nice place. They do have a private room which can seat 30, if memory serves me right. And the main dining hall which is very beautiful. They also have outdoor seating where smoking is allowed, and a nice bar area. Traditional Sardinian cuisine, with earthy, simple and robust flavours. The suckling pig is a true standout as is the cannoli dessert. Highly recommended.

p.s. This was an invited tasting. Thanks to Food News for the invitation.

Sopra Cucina & Bar | Italian Restaurant
10 Claymore Road #01-02, 229540
6737 3253

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