Balducci Ristorante, Serendra
Serendra, Bonifacio Global City
Telephone No. / Reservations: 856 0676 / 856 0865
H and I agreed that we were gonna go to the Boni High Street / Serendra area to celebrate our anniversary and just decide on which restaurant when we get there. We were eyeing this interesting fusion restaurant the last time we were there, but decided to ditch it at the last minute. In the end, it came down to either having steaks or Italian. I felt that steaks were a bit too heavy for my mood that night, so we opted for Balducci instead.
We sat on the outside which still afforded a view of the interior (albeit limited) and it seemed cozy enough, lighting was what you would expect from an establishment in a brick structure. There were more people than I expected, the restaurant seemed to be enjoying good business that particular Friday.
They had an intensive menu which made it quite hard to choose, they all looked good and I happen to be huge fan of Italian food. Particularly impressive I think is their antipasti list, including: speck con pepperoni marinati con aceto balsamico capperi e acciughe (what a mouthful! Translation: smoked ham with bell peppers marinated in balsamic vinegar with capers and anchovies – 470.00), antipasto misto alla Balducci (medley of authentic italian cold cuts, rich cheeses and a special selection of marinated vegetable – 695.00, good for two). I decided to go for salmone affumicato (smoked salmon platter, 415.00), since I haven’t really tried smoked salmon yet. I keep on having this mating dance with it whenever I’m at a deli, but chicken out at the last minute because of the price. However, since this was a special occassion (not to mention H’s treat, hehe) I decided to live a little.
The salmon platter was GREAT. Thin slices of smoked salmon, I think there must have been 6 slices of it (or maybe 8?) drizzled with olive oil with a side of lemon, sliced artichokes and delightful black olives. I really enjoyed it, but it was gone too soon.
For the mains we decided to go with pasta and pizza (I know, how predictable right?). I feel like I need to justify this choice: I believe that this is the best way to judge a new Italian restaurant. I was torn between the ravioli di ricotta e mascarpone alla Balducci (I love ravioli – 430.00) and the bucatini ala amatriciana con pecorino romano (which won the face-off, 400.00). I feel I must apologize for the image below, I only remembered to take the picture halfway through the meal, when it already looked strangely like Palabok.
God, it was soooo good… first bite and you know it’s something special, the pancetta was just infused on the sauce. It was a bit fatty, which I didn’t mind (after all, its bacon), but of course H was avoiding the little heavenly bits. It was creamy without being too overwhelming, I thought I saw a bay leaf in there, and the cheese was superb. I gotta have this again.
H ordered the Napoli-pomodoro, mozzarela, capperi, acciughe pizza (360.00) which was also good, and if you ask me, is pretty reasonably priced. This is roughly what you would pay for a crap pizza from Pizza Hut. It was thin crust, nicely done, hot and fresh. I think you could deduce that from the picture above.
Overall, Balducci has been a good choice, I would definitely recommend it. It’s not without fault though, for instance, I didn’t really like the standard antipasti that they served, which consised of the usual bread basket and pate / tomato. It was just a bit blah, the bread nothing very special, the tomatoes not very well-seasoned. H would have wanted to order a glass of white wine, but we were told that they only serve white wine by the bottle (H was like “Why? Why?”) and that they only have one brand that they serve by the glass and its not in stock. He didn’t bother with the red wines, I guess they’d have more reds by the glass. But if you’re a whites fan and you don’t plan on downing a bottle, this won’t be the place for you.
But overall, I was happy. I didn’t give this a star because I believe that the standard-issue antipasti can still be improved (I mean, Italianni’s can easily beat then in the bread and dip department). Try it for the main fares though!