Set in an idyllic off the track location in Rochester Park, this bistro and bar is a more casual family dining place among several outlets opened by the Da Paolo group. The place under the charge of the son of Da Paolo group, Chef Andrea Scarpa, has just undergone a change in their menu this year.
There is the open kitchen with the green chef's sharing table in a cool alfresco area. Looks really attractive and would have reserve those seats if I had known of their existence.
As mentioned earlier, the Parma Ham & Packham Pear pizza served with oh-so-rich gorgonzola sauce in a bottle.
This is one out of the 3 "light" pizza series offered here. Others include the smoked duck & corn puree and green pea puree & chorizo. Diners can not opt to pour any cheese sauce in as it is already very good on its own. Those thinly sliced Parma ham was surprisingly very smooth(not fats but tasted rich) and smokey but were balanced off with the fresh pear puree at the base.
Fish lovers should go for this grilled barramundi with the lovely spicy avocado and mango salsa on top of fluffy couscous rice. Just simply salted and grilled on its skin, the fish stayed moist with a delicate crust.
With the two outstanding mains above, the Iberico Pork Ribs with potato wedges and garlic alioli was slightly disappointing for the price as the cut had more fats than meat.
Not that the meat was not grilled to perfection but it would be more satisfying if there were more meat to tear off the bone as what remains edible besides the fats are quite little.
The desserts are worth raving for its creative presentation and rich flavours. This
Salty Caramel Pannacotta, Caramelised almond Popcorn and Ice Mocha is one that cannot be missed.
Enhanced with the aroma of fresh vanilla beans, this is the densest and creamy caramel pannacotta I have tried and the texture is well contrasted with the slab of crunchy homemade popcorn that did not taste artificial at all. Wash down the salty and sweet goodness with the chilled coffee sip from an ultra-narrow straw.
My not-so-photogenic Chocolate Caramel Bar with Salty Peanut Nougat recalls sweet memories of snickers bars + mars bar + jar of peanut butter.
What could go wrong with this perfect formula? This wicked bar look deceivingly innocent and yet so addictive. Can’t find it elsewhere so better try it while it is still available on the menu.
This Chocolate Soufflé Served with Vanilla Ice Cream and A Bottle of Thick Cream which takes more than 25min as stated did not impress.
It was bitter and fluffy but the heavy price tag did not yield proportionate quality and quantity. The bottle of thick cream was curd-like and not the usual creme anglaise or whipped cream, but still it failed to really match with the souffle. One may skip this and go for their signature Tiramisu (which is also available from the daPaolo Gastronomia bar at a more affordable price)
In short, the portions of the main courses here such as the fish and pizza are generous for the price of around $25-30 and so they are good to be shared among family or friends. In addition, they have interesting dishes such as Persimmon Salad and also wide selection of pasta which they are also famous for such as the Lobster Talioni Arrabiata. Having tried some good quality gourmet food at the daPaolo gastronomia, I was happy that the desserts and the pear pizza were equally tasty and would gladly recommend this to anyone who wants to try something new.
Da Paolo Bistro & Bar
3 Rochester Park