The restuarant is very very small, what the french would label as bistro. Ingredients are superb and very fresh, while the dishes offered are quintessentially italian that come in hearty portions and generous dashes of olive oil.
A warm and crusty bun carefully retrieved from a bread basket served with a pesto dip
If there was one thing that I think distingushes valentino from all its other competitors is their service. Here, you get knowledgable staff who are sincere about giving you an enjoyable homey italian gastronomic experience. On the first page of the menu lists the names of all the staff serving in Valentino, giving them the due respect they should get for being the image of the entire kitchen crew and the restaurant. I really appreciated the passion of all the waiters and the waitress there (:
After listening to all the day’s specials I immediately insisted on the treccia ( $35.90) which is braided buffalo mozzarella. This is one of the few cheeses I appreciate because of it’s mild flavour that is more milky than cheesy. However, it does not have a smooth and creamy texture like the usual cheeses and is instead a little lumpy inside and leathery on the surface. But I like it nonetheless because of how refreshing it is! Our waiter Abdul suggested a special order of parma ham ($24.90) to go with it since it comes across as bland to some.
My portion of yummy buffalo mozzarella. Cold and oozing with buffalo milk served with the sweetest cherry tomatoes that I ever had and salad.
I don’t know anywhere else that serves braided mozzarella so this was quite a novelty for me. Usually in italian restaurants I find it on the antipasti platter served as a millefeuille of sliced tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella.
Parma ham strewn all over a platter which looks like a cross section of a tree. Aesthetically pleasing to the eye indeed.
Mum and dad appreciated the juxtaposition of the salty parma ham and mild mozzarella. But I’m a purist, I like my mozzarella just the way it is 😛
our ginormous portion of greens
When you think salad you think of it as a necessity only to fulfill the veggie intake for the day. But here in valentino, an order of salad is almost a must because of how good it is! Our bormio salad ($24.90) came piled with a huge layer of ricotta cheese, diced apples and toasted pine nuts. Not to mention the occasional black olive and garlic clove that has been macerated in aged balsamic vinegar.
After consulting hungrygowhere, I was determined to order the crabmeat squid ink tagliatelle (23.90). The squid ink was infused in the al dente and smooth tagliatelle. The cream sauce was however, too heavy for me but I am never a cream person. Should have just sticked to my preferences! The crab meat ( it tasted like alaskan crab) was sweet and juicy, and the amount given was very generous. If you like cream sauces, i’m sure you will enjoy this pasta very much.
Dad’s stinco ($45.90) was a little overwhelming when it first came.
The veal was pleasantly fork-tender. Each chunk of meat under the fatty collagen rich layer was lean and sweet. Dad also enjoyed eating the crunchy joint area, and had no problems finishing the whole thing ( of course he gave us a few morsels :D).
Mum’s Aglio Oilio Spaghetti with seafood ($22.80) came across as a little lacklustre to her as it was too dry. However, the generous amount of fresh seafood compensated part of the disappointment.
Every table is presented the dessert trolley which showcases all the desserts made by Perla that is available
for desserts we had the homemade fig crostata ($9.80) which unfortunately came ruined. I was a little iffed by this because I’m very finnicky about desserts. Tastewise, the crust was buttery with a melt in the mouth effect while the custard was smooth. It was good but it certainly did blow me away! When it comes to desserts, the french do it best (:
Come to valentino and you will be blessed with friendly service and food cooked with lots of passion and integrity. Definitely a great place for family gatherings as the simple ingredients used and large portions will appeal to all tastebuds, young and old.