When it comes to foodies in Singapore, the option for getting it varies from one from another but nothing comes close to the sensation of an Italian dish sliding down the tongue and leaving a trail of mesmerizing flavors, just like what the tongue felt when the dish arrived in the mouth. This is the reason why you would see people waiting outside of the restaurants in for long hours just to get a taste of it.
It’s not only food that makes the restaurant stand out amongst the rest of the Italian restaurants, but it is also the vibe they create with the place. People in go to these restaurants expecting a full Italian experience. Which means food and the authenticity of the place to Italian culture. Italian restaurants worldwide have acknowledged that, and they found the right balance between traditional take on a dish and modernizing it a little.
A multi-ethnic place such as Singapore has a wide variety of choices to appeal to your hunger for devouring Italian food. The taste of the dishes will differ from another, the same thing can also be said about the cost. It is up to you to decide where do you want to go for a good time. You can take your date to a 5 star Michelin star restaurant for the very best quality the restaurant has to offer, or some decent restaurant in the main street.
The experience SurprisingItaly recommends will differ from one place to another, but they all will have one thing in common which is the quality of the food they deliver. Every Italian dish recipe is passed down from generations, and Italian restaurants are known to maintain the quality of the dish above anything else. Otherwise, people can the difference between a classic taste of the dish to another unfamiliar palate.
So, if you are looking to have a fancy time with your loved one in Singapore or just celebrate an occasion, just step into the world of Italian dishes. Where each dish would be as memorable as the last dish, if not more. Because at SurprisingItaly we believe every food in an Italian restaurant is well crafted from a traditional recipe, and each of the dish get s paid the highest amount of detail observation to maximize the overall quality and the design of the dish. The dish will look appealing to the eyes of a keen observer or a newcomer and the would have the taste to match the outer appearance.
The important factor of any restaurant is the food they deliver. And for an Italian restaurant is no different. Especially, for an Italian restaurant, the expectation is high for the food people expect from a genuine Italian place. This means the quality of the food must be maintained to the highest level, on every dish that leaves the kitchen to the table of the customer.
The Memorable Taste Of The Dish
Here are some of the reasons why people tend to prefer to go to Italian restaurants over any other place.
The food is simple, no additional stuff added to make it more suitable to a general audience. The taste of the food comes from a traditional recipe. It helps the dish to stick to the authenticity more than wandering away to find a new meaning.
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."
Italian food is minimally processed, the ingredients in the food stay somewhere between 6-7 without cluttering the dish with random ingredients just for a diverse taste.
Finding the uniqueness in SurprisingItaly dishes is another reason why Italian dishes are considered as tastiest food a man can have. Every little ingredient used in the food is well studied, the chefs in the restaurant are great at managing the weakness and strength of the ingredient, and balancing them out each other.
Another reason why the food gives out a unique flavor that is not in any way common with other fast-food is because of the authenticity. An extreme amount of work goes into making one of the dishes in an Italian restaurant.
When it comes to the healthiness of food, no food treats your body system better than Italian food. Italian dish tends to use less amount of ingredients to make, careful attention is paid to all of these ingredients. Ingredients such as tomatoes, spinach, citrus fruit, seafood, onions, and garlic are some of the main ingredients used in making a perfect Italian dish.
Each of these ingredients delivers plentiful health benefits that range from Vitamin A to vitamin C. Some of the Italian food have omega-3 fatty acids. Which is extremely beneficial to health.
Italian Seafood Dishes Never Tasted Before
The benefits of Italian food don’t only stop there, it even has antioxidants, which can drive up the body’s metabolism to a healthy amount. Most of the Italian dishes features olive oil, this is a perfect solution for the people who have heart problems.
And all of the dishes are paired with a glass of vintage wine. This how an Italian dish ends, with a blast. Serving wine at the end of the meal is a long-running tradition in some Italian families. They even offer different types of wine to match different types of dishes on the table. Some Italian restaurants still follow this tradition in their place. Adding wine after a course elevates the overall taste of the next dish on the line, as the wine would clean up the sensation of the last dish, as your mouth would be open towards another course without feeling the taste of the last dish.
If you are saving a special occasion for yourself or your loved ones and you want the whole experience to be memorable as the occasion you are celebrating, then you just can’t go wrong with Italian restaurants.
When people step into an Italian restaurant in SGP, they expect a different level of food unlike another. Because having your food synonymous with the word Italy makes the food more demanding and open to more criticism, if not delivered to the standard way. So when you are craving for an Italian dish, expect the best to come out of the kitchen and best to remember the taste forever in your life.
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.