The Place I never thought that I would find an authentic Italian restaurant in Bukit Timah until I tried Capri Trattoria & Pizzeria recently. Located at Binjai Park in Bukit Timah, the homely setting of the 45-seater restaurant first caught my attention. The casual setting reiterates the spirit of Italian food, which is basically to have a good time with your friends or family over good food, as epitomised by the Latin motto above the bar counter – Edamus, Bibamus, Gavdeamus – which means We eat, we drink, we enjoy. So apt for a restaurant indeed!
The Food The owner and Executive chef are both Italians, and I understand that most of the ingredients are imported from Italy wherever it is possible to retain the true Italian taste. To ensure there is something at different times of the year, Capri has introduced Monthly Regional Specials Menu to feature new creations from different regions of Italy.
We started off with an interesting antipasti, the Tagliere Casereccio ($28) from Calabria in Southern Italy, which is a platter of home-cured cold cuts served atop rocket salad and cheese. There is a good variety of cold cut meats here, from the pancetta (pork belly) to capocollo (pork neck) to the bresaola (air-dried beef).
As opposed to the Tagliere Casereccio, I was more impressed with the Gamberi e cappesante alle erbe ($20), a seafood mix of mainly prawns and scallops. The seafood is lightly seasoned with some Mediterranean herbs, and pan-seared in olive oil. I thought that the olive oil is the winning formula here, a simple ingredient yet it has given so much flavour to the prawns and scallops. I can’t miss out mentioning the awesome freshly baked breads as well, which must have been made from some really good flour, maybe from Italy. Dip the bread in the abundant olive oil at the base of the dish, no regrets!
For pasta, we had some really interesting ones, nothing like the usual spaghetti. The ribbon-like Pasta riccia all’nduja ($25) has a flat and wide texture, prepared with Capri’s in-house nduja, a type of Italian spicy spread made from pork parts. The taste of nduja reminds me of Asian curry, which injected a rather new flavour to the usual Italian pasta I am used to having. I was genuinely surprised that Italians do take spiciness in their food, especially in the Southern regions of Italy. It is always great to learn more about different cuisines after each meal.
Comparatively, the Cannarozzi allo zafferano ($25) is a tube-shaped pasta prepared in saffron sauce, which is slightly spicy. When mixed with some smoky and crispy bacon, it is a close rival to the Pasta riccia all’nduja above in terms of flavour and taste.
And let’s not forget seafood in Italian cuisine, given the vast coastline of Italy. The Cacciucco alla Livornese ($28) is a traditional seafood dish of the Western coastal region of Tuscany, available as one of the main course selections. The first thing that caught my attention was the array of seafood, from mussels, shelled prawns, squid, clams, crayfish and cod served in a tomato-based sauce. The rich colours definitely adds to my appetite, and needless to say,the freshness of the seafood is equally amazing. But the best part? It is the ordinary looking bread at the edges of the plate. Dip these bread into the soup and soak it for awhile till it turns soggy, it goes so well with the soup!
For a meatier main course, the Cotoletta alla Milanese ($48) should not disappoint. The 300g deep fried breaded veal chop is quite a huge portion, served with roasted potatoes and side salad as well. The meat of this Northern Italy dish from the Lombardy region is so tender because of the repeated frying technique employed by the chef to give it the medium doneness.
After so much hearty Italian fare, it was apt to end the meal with a simple dessert from Capri, the Torta al limone ($10). The homemade lemon cake is not too sweet for me, but if you would like it sweeter, there is always the cream at the side to sweeten it up.
Rants Parking can be a pain at Binjai Park, but fret not as Capri does offer free valet parking on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Will I return again? Capri is one restaurant which really surprises me, as good Italian food does not mean it has to be from an upscale and posh restaurant. The setting is unpretentious, while the restaurant serves authentic and hearty Italian food, from a team of Italians who are proud and passionate of their home cuisine. This is one gem in Bukit Timah, certainly perfect for gatherings or dates.
Make your reservation instantly at Capri Trattoria & Pizzeria here.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Capri Trattoria & Pizzeria
3 Binjai Park, Bukit Timah
Tel: +65 6468 4886
Tuesday to Sunday: 12pm – 2.30pm; 6.30pm – 10.30pm