Mention Alba, the first thing that comes to mind is those luxurious Alba white truffles, the coveted "diamonds of the kitchen". But in this blog post, the focus is on ALBA 1836, an Italian wine bar and restaurant located in a quiet corner of Duxton Hill.
Occupying a charming white colonial building, ALBA 1836 radiates a mix of elegance and old world charm. We walked through the entrance into an impressive floor to ceiling wine cellar which led us into the inner courtyard. The feel is spacious and tables are set comfortably apart.
Particularly eye-catching is the open kitchen, allowing us to take a peek into the meal preparation as Chef de Cuisine Luca Piras and his team work away.
Since Chef Luca is a Sardinia native, what we can certainly expect on the menu are some well-loved Sardinia dishes such as Grilled Sardinian Pecorino Cheese ($22), Sardines stuffed with Breadcrumbs & Almonds ($22), Warm Octopus Salad with Roasted Potatoes ($22), Fregola In White Seafood Sauce ($32), Oven-roasted Crispy Suckling Pig ($45) and Roasted Lamb Loin in Sardinian Pecorino Cheese Crust ($40).
For PinkyPiggu, the impression of a meal begins importantly with the bread basket even though it might be just a complimentary item. Let's just say we had better, and the amuse bouche and starter of Tuna Carpaccio ($26) that followed were definitely more enjoyable.
And what a generous, gorgeous, delectable slice of tuna! Beautifully topped with smoked caviar that provided complex smokey notes, while Mediterranean sea urchins gave a briny tinge to the dish. The velvety richness of the sour cream ties all the flavors together, providing a well-balanced and truly delightful dish.
Moving on, the Spinach & Parmesan Tortelli ($28) stunned our palate in a most fantastic way. These cute little “belly button” homemade shaped pasta is stuffed with spinach and parmesan, and coated in a savory butter and sage sauce which exploded in unami creaminess. The toasted almonds imparted both crunch and earthly toasted aroma. What a classic and well executed dish! We strongly recommeded this as a Must-Try!
Unfortunately, we can't say the same for the other pasta dish, Spaghetti with Mediterranean Sea Urchins ($30). Nothing to be fault of the spaghetti itself which was cooked to a perfect firmness, but the sea urchin sauce lacked sufficient flavor and depth. A tad disappointing, but perhaps a fresher supply of sea urchin (the ones used were shipped from Spain) is needed to give this dish that much needed lift.
Compared to beef or chicken, lamb is usually not the first choice of meat for most diners, but the Roasted Lamb Loin ($40) at ALBA 1836 is really worth a try.
Being given the sous-vide treatment, it ensured the meat will result in an ideal medium-rare doneness. Further baking it with Sardinian Pecorino cheese provides a very addictive saltish crusty exterior to compliment the tender texture of the meat.
Just need some purple potatoes, sauteed green asparagus with shallots and lamb sauce to complete it as a hearty main course.
Dark chocolate Mille-feuille ($16) was another flawlessly prepared classic consisting of crispy chocolate pastry balanced with mascarpone cream and raspberries. A very light and tarty dessert to cap off the night.
Our overall dining experience was enjoyable, especially the impeccable service and ambience. Wine pairing was also top-notch thanks to the expertise of co-owner and passionate wine lover, Matteo Trabaldo Togna.
Even though we're not wine connoisseurs, hearing him talk with such fervor on the carefully-curated selection and exclusive labels that ALBA 1836 carries sure ignite some interest in us.
Wine and dine. That's what you should do at ALBA 1836.
ALBA 1836 Wine Bar & Restaurant
Address: 28 Duxton Hill Road, Singapore 089610
Contact: +65 6222 2048
Restaurant: Mon-Fri 12pm-2.30pm & 6.30pm-12am / Sat 6.30pm-12am / Closed on Mon
Wine Bar: Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm & 6pm-12am / Sat 6pm-12am / Closed on Mon
Prices stated are in Singapore dollars and subject to 10% service charge & 7% GST.
* Written by BFF, a guy who is desperately trying to find a balance while lost in the world of sights, sound and taste.
* Edited by PinkyPiggu
* Photos by PinkyPiggu