What would bring people out to this quiet neighbourhood of Greenwood Avenue where Fratini La Trattoria is tucked in? Unpretentious Italian food with a hospitable touch by head chef, Chomel Yang.
Just 25 years of age, Chomel’s first taste of success in F&B was when she was able to pay off her NTU university tuition fees from the sale of her homemade desserts. This led to her pursuing a diploma course at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in London, and then helming Fratini La Trattoria since January 2016.
This is perhaps one of the best places in Singapore to experience a taste of Italy when you have no money for the airfare.
The words on the restaurant walls cheekily read, "Don’t ask us for a menu, cos' we do not have one".
This made us even more excited for our first ever experience of Italian omakase (Japanese word for "leave it to the chef"), and we were not disappointed.
Chomel, or a member of her team, would go to each table to explain the dining concept and sound out any dietary restrictions. "Our diners work so hard at their jobs and sometimes, they just want to come to a restaurant and eat without having to make any decisions", she quips.
With a menu that changes based on seasonal ingredients, Chomel personally picks the freshest from the local wet market, or import the best possible ones directly from Italy.
This includes the Rustichella pasta which is ranked second in Italy, but only because the first was not available for export.
It is hard to pick the best dish, but some highlights of the afternoon were the Rome-style Grilled Scallops with carbonara crust, Beef Cheek stewed with veal jus (a recipe from central Italy), Lamb Rack with herbs crust (from Rome), and last but not least, the desserts which consisted of Tiramisu and Seasalt Caramel Panna Cotta.
I am wary when it comes to ordering scallops, as so many that I've tried have challenged my chewing skills. My worries were unfounded as the grilled scallops, served as part of our appetizers, were done just right.
PinkyPiggu and I were left wishing for some bread to soak up the creamy carbonara sauce.
We were told that the Truffle Mushroom Pasta is very well-received by most diners, but it was the Seafood Tagliatelle in white wine and fresh tomato that resonated better with our tastebuds.
It was a testimony to the culinary team's cohesiveness and skill as dish after delicious dish were served in a timely manner.
Highly impressive since they were completely made to order. Even the vegetables were sliced just before cooking to preserve its freshness.
Chomel explained that there are more similarities between Italian and Chinese food than we may realize, pointing out that dishes are served in sharing plates, and pasta or risotto is left to the last course.
Although servings are considered small for each course, Chomel is confident that the menu, in its entirety, will be filling. If not, there will be an extra pasta dish served, on the house.
"Diners normally think hefty portions when it comes to Italian food. Over here, we have reduced portions but included more variety so that they can try everything", she explains.
Lunch is reasonably priced at $50++, while dinner costs $90++. Fratini La Trattoria also has option for vegetarian omakase. I’m already thinking of bringing my vegetarian friends here!
Fratini La Trattoria
Address: 10 Greenwood Avenue Hillcrest Park, Singapore 289201
Contact: +65 6468 2868
Opening Hours: Lunch 12pm-2.30pm / Dinner 6pm-11pm (Tue-Sun) / Closed every Mon
Prices are (1) Stated in Singapore dollars (2) Subject to 10% service charge & 7% GST (3) Correct at point of published date.
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* Written by @priscilla_byp, a girl whose motto in life is to make each meal more than a routine, but an experience worth remembering.
* Edited with additional inputs by PinkyPiggu
* Photos by PinkyPiggu