Italian friends, who visited me two years ago, commented that there were more Italian restaurants in Singapore than in Milan, Italy. About two months ago, another Italian restaurant, Sopra Cucina & Bar, opened it doors to Singaporeans. However, this is not one of run-of-the-mill Italian restaurants. It is Singapore’s first Sardinian restaurant.
Sopra Cucina & Bar
It took me some time before I managed to gather some friends to try this new restaurant located at Pan Pacific Orchard Hotel. The objective is simple. With a bigger group, we could sample a variety of different dishes.
The service was generally good at Sopra Cucina & Bar. However, there were times when the service crew was kind of disorganised (there was no clear designation of responsibilities).
Seppi in Umido Con Piselli or cuttlefish slow cooked in fresh tomato sauce and peas
Traditional Sardinian cuisines constitute mainly meat, diary products, beans and vegetables. But over the years, seafood was gradually introduced into its main staple due to its proximity to the waters.
We started our dinner with Seppi in Umido Con Piselli which is sliced cuttlefish slow cooked in fresh tomato sauce and peas. The cuttlefish is tender and sits nicely in the fresh tomato sauce and soft peas. This stew-like appetiser dish is a strong reminiscence of most Mediterranean cuisines.
We also ordered two pizzas to share, the Arrabbiata Pizza and the Sopra Pizza . For a meat lover like me, these two thin-crust pizzas are heavenly. The Arrabbiata Pizza is a personal favourite because the rich toppings of mozzarella cheese, bacon and mushroom. For those who enjoy parma ham, the Sopra Pizza is a must-order. The Sopra Pizza is covered by quality parma ham, fresh tomatoes and ruccola – a great choice for those who prefer to have some healthy greens on their pizza. The waiter even reminded us to have the pizzas while they were still hot.
Malloreddus Alla Campilanese
The Malloreddus Alla Campilanese is a typical Sardinian pasta dish. Malloreddus, or commonly known as the Sardinian gnocchetti, is actually small-shaped dumplings made from wheat flour. For Sopra’s version, the chef added pork in the savoury rosemary sauce.
roasted spring chicken
But the highlight of the dinner is the roasted spring chicken which is a seasonal dish and not listed in the menu. The delectable roasted chicken is very well seasoned, tender and juicy. This is one of the best roasted chickens that I’ve ever had in a western restaurant. It is so good that I went back to eat it two days later.
Seadas, a traditional Sardinian fried fritter with cheese and honey
Unfortunately, Sopra’s desserts fall short of expectations. The tiramisu is characterless. The taste is slightly bland and it lacks the oomph commonly found in tiramisu. This is such an easy dessert to make that it is hard to get it wrong. The Seadas, a traditional Sardinian fried fritter with cheese and honey, fares slightly better. The tangy orange zest, sweet honey and savoury cheese all came together nicely.
I enjoyed my first meal at Sopra Cucina so much that I returned to the restaurant two days later.
Both the Seppi in Umido Con Piselli and roasted chicken are consistently good. The Krakatoa Pizza is topped with plenty of mozzarella, grilled chicken and mushroom. Although Kratatoa pizza is good, the Sopra and Arrabbiata pizzas stood out more and are much appetising. However, the Pasta Ai Gamberoni, pasta with king prawns in a seafood bisque sauce, is a big failure. The prawns are not fresh and the pasta is soggy. To be fair, my companion changed the spaghetti to fettuccine and I’m not sure whether that affected the dish. But the stale prawns are definitely unforgivable.
Pasta Ai Gamberoni or pasta with king prawns
In short, I believe that Sopra Cucina & Bar is a promising Italian restaurant with some excellent dishes. If the management can address some of its shortcomings, Sopra Cucina & Bar can pose a threat to some of the other Italian establishments. Just one comment, I hope they can open on Sunday. It’s unheard of that a F&B outlet actually closes its door on a Sunday.
Sopra Cucina & Bar
Pan Pacific Orchard Hotel, #01-02, 10 Claymore Road, Singapore 229540