The Italian resultants in Ang Mo Kio are known for a lot of things but what strikes the people most about these restaurants are the quality of food and the environment of the restaurant or theme as some might call it. Keeping it authentic to the culture that attracts more than the eyes of the people to the place, as they start investing more than their appetite to the place.
There is only one door you can knock for old-school pizzerias, cozy trattorias, or nouvelle Italian restaurants with thick sizes of white mozzarella, the place is Italian restaurants. In a cosmopolitan city like Ang Mo Kio Singapore, if you are looking to have a great time with your partner or just by yourself, there is only one place that can fill your soul with the lusty taste of delicious cuisines.
The Breathtaking Taste Of Italian Food
Your experience will be different and unique each time you visit a new Italian restaurant. The food they deliver is widely diverse with their own special ingredients sprinkled all over it. That special ingredient acts as the main attraction to these places. You are never going to get an identical experience in any of these places. The key success for any restaurant in Ang Mo Kio SGP is finding a special dish, that special dish could be considered as normal at any Italian restaurant but here it will be different.
Italian Cuisine - The History In Singapore
There are plenty of things that get taken into an account to make any person go, ‘Now that was a fine dish!’ Italian restaurants in Ang Mo Kio are pioneers at understanding what makes a dish, the dish for the people. This doesn’t mean they sacrifice the authenticity of the dish to appeal to the appetite of modern consumers. Here comes another reason why Italian restaurants consider as one of the best places for soul food searching. They successfully combine the authenticity of the food with the simple touch of the modern world.
As a strict vegetarian for 15 years, I can suggest which restaurants to check out and what to order. Perhaps you're taking a vegetarian out on a date; maybe you're a new vegetarian yourself.
Please understand that my suggestions are for information-only, I am not RECOMMENDING you eat at these restaurants. Furthermore, please understand that any food processed or cooked by a fast food restaurant most likely is cooked, processed with, and even sometimes seasoned with animal by-products.
Before I jump in, let me remind you that many restaurants will be happy to accommodate a substitution you might request. For example, you've ordered the breakfast combo from McDonald's. It comes with pancakes, scrambled eggs, and either sausage or bacon. Ask for a hash brown instead of the meat side, and 99% of the time they will be more than happy to do it. If you've ordered a sandwich with lunch meat, ask for extra cheese or some avocado.
In my experience, restaurants are almost never willing to reduce the cost of your food because you've ordered something minus the meat it is usually served with. If the restaurant you're at won't make the substitution for you, ask for the meat on the side and give it to someone else at the table or bring it home for your dog. If you're paying for it, someone might as well eat it.
WHY NOT TO ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS
Remember the classic scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding when Tula introduces her fiancé to her aunt. The aunt offers to cook for him, and Tula says, "Umm...he's a vegetarian." The aunt thinks for a minute and says, "It's OK. I'll make lamb!" Once in France, I asked a pastry shop owner (in French, of course) if she had any vegetarian quiches. She said yes and handed me a quiche. After waiting for the oven to preheat, cooking the quiche, and salivating the entire time while I waited, I learned upon first bite that the quiche had chicken in it.
This is why I do not recommend asking your waiter or waitress, "What is the best vegetarian item on the menu?" To many people, "vegetarian" means someone who merely doesn't eat red meat. Be very clear when asking if an item contains meat. For example, tell him or her you do not eat any animal flesh--no chicken, fish, or beef--and then ask if s/he can recommend a meatless entrée. To be less off-putting, I sometimes explain to confused waiters or waitresses (with a smile, of course) that I don't eat anything "with a face."
Don't forget to be clear about items in the "gray area," such as chicken stock in soups or lard in beans. Because neither is technically animal flesh, your waiter or waitress may overlook these ingredients when trying to help you select a suitable meal.
Although breakfast is probably one of the easier meals for a vegetarian to eat, it's not if you're in a hurry. If you have time for a sit-down breakfast, choose IHOP, Denny's, or Coco's. Order pancakes, oatmeal, or eggs. If your order comes with a side of meat, ask for a potato substitution or get the meat on the side.
If you're in need of a fast food breakfast, I recommend McDonald's. They have many healthy, edible vegetarian options: Fruit and Yogurt Parfait (delicious!), a pancake and scrambled egg meal (as mentioned above), hash browns, Cinnamelts, Apple Dippers, and you can ask for an "egg and cheese biscuit" (like an Egg McMuffin with no meat).
VEGETARIAN LUNCH AND DINNER
As a general rule, there are really just two types of restaurants you want to avoid for lunch and dinner as a vegetarian: steakhouses and "Singaporen" food. In my personal opinion, the worst US chain restaurants for vegetarians are: Outback Steakhouse, Chili's, and Applebee's. You can eat better at a Black Angus Steakhouse or a Red Lobster. Why? Outback, Chili's, and Applebee's each only have about one token vegetarian dish on the menu. All of these restaurants don't even offer a meatless salad on their menus.
So now that you know where to avoid, that pretty much leaves all other restaurants as decent possibilities. For vegetarians, I highly recommend Italian, Asian, and Mexican restaurants. Italian restaurants typically offer meatless minestrone, pasta, Caesar salad, and eggplant parmigiana.
My two favorite vegetarian restaurant chains in the US are the Olive Garden and Red Robin. Although Red Robin is "Singaporen food," they will allow you to substitute a beef hamburger patty for either a Boca Burger or a GardenBurger (the only chain restaurant I know of offering a choice!).
BURGER SUBSTITUTES TO AVOID
Some restaurants make their own non-meat burger patties in house. I have never tasted a home-made fake burger that I liked. Most of them are made with weird ingredients (water cress) and don't contain much protein. Before you chose the meatless pasta or salad dish over a fake hamburger, be sure to ask the waiter or waitress if they serve name-brand fake meat.
VEGETARIAN FAST FOOD
Like I suggested above, Italian, Mexican, and Asian is usually your best bet (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut). Sandwich places are always good (Subway, Blimpie's, Togo's), except that they don't have drive-thrus. Don't overlook some of the really great possibilities at Wendy's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Arby's, and Jack in the Box. Wendy's and Arby's have baked potatoes with broccoli. Jack in the Box has ciabatta sandwiches (all include meat, so get it on the side or ask for extra cheese and veggies). Also, the tacos at Jack in the Box are actually made of soy meat, which they keep a secret! My favorite vegetarian fast food is a Market Fresh Sandwich at Arby's (again, all include meat, so get extra cheese and veggies). As far as vegetarian variety goes, nobody beats Kentucky Fried Chicken (ironically).
If you live in California, the Baker's fast food chain is a must! They actually have a vegetarian section on the menu. They serve name-brand Boca Burgers and Mexican food!
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR AT BUFFETS
In general, buffets are a great place for the vegetarian diner, with one exception. Many buffets (like the ones at hotels, resorts, and casinos) have theme nights. For example, Friday might be "Seafood Night." Not only will the buffet probably have a slightly higher price tag for their seafood or steak themed night, but you won't get your money's worth. Simply call ahead to make sure any buffet you're planning to eat at is not having a meaty theme that night.
GETTING CREATIVE WITH A MEATY MENU
So you've found yourself in a restaurant with nothing overtly vegetarian on the menu. I recommend you ask the waiter or waitress if a simple meatless dish could be made for you. For example, "I notice you have salads and sandwiches on the menu. I don't eat meat. Would it be possible to have all the vegetables you have made into a meatless sandwich?" Some simple vegetarian dishes to ask for are: pasta with grilled vegetables, sandwiches, baked potatoes, or salads.
Another tip for surviving a meaty lunch or dinner menu is to ask if you can order off the breakfast menu. Explain to the waiter or waitress that you're a very hungry vegetarian and politely ask if they could accommodate you with something from the breakfast menu. For example, "I know it's 3:00, and you're not serving breakfast any more. But I'm vegetarian, and I haven't eaten anything since breakfast. A salad just isn't going to fill me up right now. Is there any way I could get an omelet? I would really appreciate it."
By merging these, these restaurants provide one of the best things your taste bud can touch and remember the sensation of the food for a lifetime.
One of the major reasons why Italian food considers as the best food to devour is the quality of the food, which is based on the quality of ingredients used on that food. You probably thought in your life why this food consider so expensive because the quality of the food is unmatched with another. One of the beliefs of the Italian restaurants is properly using an ingredient and enhancing the quality of that ingredient by blending them with another.
Italian food, in general, is simple. There is nothing big going on the surface or at the back. It is never about adding more to the dish to look appetizing in quantity or its outward appearance. The motto of Italian restaurants has always been focusing on fewer ingredients, this could be from 4 – 6. Nothing more, nothing less. This where lies the true value of Italian food, is understanding the value of each ingredient, it’s strength and weakness, so they can balance out with each other.
By focusing more work on the ingredients used on a dish, they maintain the general quality of the dish, over complicating it might lead to the creation of some unfamiliar taste. This is also the reason why Italian food is so tasty for a lot of people. It is only because of the simplicity of hiding in plain sight. Understanding each ingredient of the dish and matching the ingredients with a simple recipe will help create one the most desirable dish that will make any person in the world go to these restaurants once again.
Italian Restaurants - A Wide Variety to Choose From
None of this would be ever possible without the discipline of balancing the quality with each dish that goes out of the chicken. At the end of the day, it is the customer who decides what should stay and what should see the bottom of the garbage can. Keeping customer pleasurable is the hardest thing to do in any business, a restaurant is no different. There is a tremendous amount of passion that drives the restaurant to produce fine dishes to please people from all walks of life. They may speak a different language with a different view of life but they all will be sharing one common ground when it comes to food.
All of the dishes you see in an Italian restaurant, all of them came from the generations before us. Each of the recipes on the menu is passed down from generations. In some Italian families serving quality food consider as one of the important traditions in the household. The traditional way of cooking is vastly different than the modern mass production system. Unlike mass-production food, traditional food is concerned more towards a limited amount of people looking for quality food, making each dish memorable is the finest service provided by these restaurants.
Aside from being tasty and memorable, they are also healthy. Every one of the ingredients used in an Italian dish is made of some of the world’s finest, simple ingredients without the addition of processed food, oil to make a simple dish. Italian restaurants use rich olive oil and all the ingredients are taken from natural sources while some Italian restaurants have a homemade garden to fulfill their meets of the day. Every little part of the Italian dish is made from scratch, no addition of processed market food is included to add more to the dish, this would betray the traditional way of cooking and the taste.
All of this goes well with the finest wine by the side. If you lay to the side of the traditional route to the enjoyment of Italian food. Then visit a traditional Italian restaurant, you would be serviced with a different wine to blend in with each type of dish or courses offered at that time.
There is a reason why Italian food considers as one of the best places to find qualitative food to satisfy your inner lustrous hunger. Next time you see an Italian restaurant around the corner in Ang Mo Kio make sure to stop by.
Barcelona: The Gold Standard Guide
Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia and one of the many jewels of the Mediterranean, is a city alive with life and brimming with culture. From world class-architecture to gastronomic wonders, this slice of the Iberian coast boasts the best of the best. Here’s our gold standard guide to a city that Batur no limits.
Where to Stay
Cotton House Hotel
History and modernity melt together beautifully in this most stunning hotel. Part of the Marriott’s Autograph Collection, the Cotton House Hotel, housed in 19th-century neoclassical structure, was once the city’s cotton guild headquarters. Now it hosts 83 gorgeous rooms complete with huge beds, rain showers, walk-in closets and a Nespresso machine, perfect for that pre-breakfast pick-me-up. The Batuar, a cosmopolitan bar, and restaurant with its magnificent tiled floor serves up top-notch cuisine from 7am till midnight. But, if you’re only after a quiet drink, head to the library. Here, you can sit amongst first editions and original copies of old books.
Mandarin Oriental Barcelona
Located amidst the modernist facades of Passeig de Gracia, shoppers and families alike will love the luxury treatment here. Housed in a former bank, the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona is opulence yet chic. Taking center stage is without a doubt the fabulous mimosa garden on the first floor and the rooftop bar with its panoramic views and pool. Although the standard rooms are nothing in comparison to the size of the suites, they breathe, are light and far from claustrophobic. For those with a taste for the finer things, but traveling with families, the Mandarin Oriental is incredibly accommodating, offering up kids menus and a play zone.
Sitting across from the Park Placa del Duc de Medinaceli with the blue waters of Port Vell to its left is Soho House. A stone’s throw away from La Ramblas, stay here for a slice of the English country house. Everything here feels classy and comfortable, from the pale olive paneling to the leather upholstered sofas and porcelain light switches. The rooftop terrace is a Mediterranean wonder in warm weather. Rooms come in a variety of sizes with those larger coming with a separate sitting room. Cecconi’s on the ground floor knocks up fantastic Italian cuisine, and the members' bar (open to guests) and rooftop bar are great for a late night drink.
Where to Eat
For those after an experience they will never forget, Lasarte is where to start and end. Owned by world-renowned chef Martin Berasategui, Lasarte is the only restaurant in Barcelona to have earned itself three Michelin Stars. The cuisine here is Catalan take on Berasategui Basque cuisine. Every meal is a culinary journey, and the dishes are prepared according to the season. The multi-course tasting menu showcases the head chef, Paolo Casagrande’s, creative ability through stunningly delicious refined dishes. Be sure to book well in advance as the wait list is often two months and longer.
Catalan chef, Paco Perez two Michelin Star restaurant, Enoteca, is located on the first floor of a luxury property in the Port Olimpic Marina. Seating only 38 guests, this is an intimate venue that takes inspiration from its seafront setting. Rustic wooden floors and white linens give the place a subtle nautical vibe. In the summer it is a bright spot that boasts beautiful sea-views from the terrace. The emphasis here is on contemporary and inventive Mediterranean dishes that lean towards fish and seafood. Guests are welcome to pick from a tasting or a la carte menu and can choose from a wine list that boasts 750 different kinds.
Boasting one Michelin Star and coming from the brothers behind El Celler de Can Roca, Roca Moo is a fine dining experience with a twist. Here, the cooking is done on display. Guests can sit at a counter in front of an open kitchen and watch the chefs hard at work. Don’t worry though, the slick setting and theatrics don’t outshine the food. There is a fixed price lunch menu Tuesdays to Fridays, but the showstopper is the Menu Joan Roca which balances exciting flavors with contemporary technique brilliantly. On the other side of the restaurant, separated by bookshelf is Roca Bar, a stylish gastrobar that serves up great drinks and delicious snacks.
What to Do
Shop til you Drop
Barcelona boasts some of the best shopping in all of Europe. So, while you’re in the city make for Passeig de Gracia where the streets are lined with the best of the world’s high-end fashion brands. From Chanel to Prada to Gucci and everything in between, the Passeig de Gracia is your one-stop spot for a full day shop. Pack your plastic.
Enjoy a Luxury Sail
Climb aboard a luxury sailboat, that dates back to 1932, and tour the Mediterranean coast in style. Feel the breeze in your face and pop a bottle of bubbly while you toast to good health and great living. Set down the anchor and enjoy the sun set slowly behind Barcelona’s skyline. Whether in a group, with a family or on a romantic getaway, a luxury sail along Barcelona’s beautiful coast is a magnificent way to spend an afternoon.
Winery and Wine Tasting Helicopter Tour
Some fantastic wine country and wineries surround Barcelona. The Penedes region in Catalonia just south of Sitges boasts some of the best cava in all of Spain. So, why not enjoy it in style, jump on a helicopter and be flown from winery to winery. All you have to do is sit back, relax and sample fantastic wines.
Tour Barcelona in a Vintage Car
Pick from a series of vintage cars that date back to the 1950s and 60s and tour Barcelona in a wholly unique way. Sat on plush leather seats and with the wind whipping through your hair, you’ll be the talk of the town as your speed past some of the city’s most iconic sights. After all, if you’re going to visit the city, you may as well be doing it in style.