I may not have been to Italy yet but the Raffles Courtyard fits the image of dining in Italy to a T. Dining is exclusive, nearly with each table under a canopy each. Newly launched, it used to be offering Western food to the likes of pork chops and beef steaks, rather similar to Long Bar Steakhouse.
Raffles Courtyard, a signage so easy to miss.
Loving the arches.
Surprisingly empty for a weekday evening.
The fountain that tries to make it a weebit like Italy.
Corners of deliciosity.
I spy an icecream cart! I wonder if this has anything to do with the now defunct Raffles Cremeria.
The counter where drink dreams happen. Singapore Sling anyone?
Lights on every table that can change colour accordingly!
Vitello Tonnato ($29)
Slices of Veal Loin, Rocket Salad, Parmesan
I had my reservations on the portions of this since their price point of appetizers and mains are the same. Well I have to say it is befitting of the price tag when it arrived smothered in tuna mousse. A hearty appetizer with all the notes hit - tender veal, mouth watering tuna mousse sauce and adequate rocket salad to make this oh-my-so-hearty.
Pizza Chorizo ($28)
Choriso, Onion, Bell Pepper, Mozzarella
I am skeptical of pizzas somehow and have wondered what is the real Italian pizza. To date, only Mozza has wowed so much for me to love American pizzas more than Italian. Perhaps only a visit to Italy can unravel that mystery but if it is anything like Raffles Courtyard's, I am sold. Thin crust pizza with a doughy side crust and while ingredients were not spilling all over, they were enough to provide great flavour. Chorizo anything is yummy anyway!
Do request for a side of fresh mozzarella, one can never have enough cheese on pizza.
Parma E Rucola ($27)
Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Rocket Leaves, Parma Ham
Parma ham is as easy to love as peanut butter. The best part of the pizza is still the bread base, the bad part about it is not having enough to stuff myself silly.
Spy them parmesan cheese shavings.
Paccheri Con Funghi ($25)
Paccheri with porchini and button mushroom
Still riding on the high of handmade pasta, they say all pastas are made in house. Paccheri is a sheet pasta rolled into a large tube form. Dense and tasted somewhat undercooked at parts but the amazing earthy combination of porchini and button mushrooms was sublime.
Tagliatelle Con Pomodoro Fresco, Olive E Mozzarella ($17)
Tagliatelle, Fresh Tomato, Black Olives, Mozzarella Cheese
Handmade pasta is always love but rare on most menus. Most come "fresh" from a packet. Every bite had a lovely density without being cloying, paired with just tomatoes, olives and mozzarella cubes, it tasted like the best plate of pasta eaten even in all its simplicity. It is bewildering really, without the fanfare and fuss and the it tasted soooooooo good!
Good enough to re-order in the second visit and true enough, still a beautiful dish!
Ghanuja and Vanilla Gelato ($8)
Even with the bursting seams, how could I miss gelato for the world. The Raffles Cremeria that I wanted to try has since closed so no more icecreams available except here - straight off an icecream cart! Choose either milky gelato or icy granitas for a sweet finish. We had both gelato flavours for the night - creamy delights both are. I like the mild chewy texture that makes it more than just icecream.
We were nudged to return to try "all the other pizzas", with a twinkle of an eye, sure I would. Service is pretty much touch and go despite attempts to be warm. Do not expect servers to remember you just two days after - that proved to be a dampener. Pleasantly surprised at this find and annoyed that I did not discover this way earlier - one underassuming place in a hotel with the most down to earth Italian cuisine. Yet another favourite outlet within Raffles Hotel next to Royal China and Halia.