WHERE TO EAT: Monti Singapore
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Taking over The Fullerton Pavillion, once occupied by the now-defunct Spanish restaurant Catalunya, is modern-Italian restaurant Monti, which fully utilises the stunning views of the bay as patrons step into the classic-meets-industrial overwater space.
Monti breaks free from the stereotypes of traditional Italian food with dishes such as the Signor Monti, monkfish wrapped in Italian bacon, and a superfood salad of seeds, nuts and legumes.
When you think of Italian cuisine, typical dishes that come to mind would be pizzas and pastas. The food at Monti, however, is anything but predictable. A newly opened modern-Italian restaurant located on Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay Waterfront, Monti breaks free from the stereotypes of traditional Italian food with the help of chef Luigi Calcagno.
From pastas made from scratch to the different types of olive oil specially brought in for diners to dip their breads in, we can’t help but marvel at the effort Monti has made and its attention to detail where other places might normally overlook. Calcagno puts quite a bit of thought into introducing diners to his Italian heritage — serving a wide selection of dishes that captures the essence of Italy’s diverse food culture.
Calcagno’s skills is encapsulated in a dish called
Signor Monti — slab of monkfish fillet wrapped with savoury pancetta. The Italian bacon locks in the moisture of the fish, yet ensuring it does not overshadow the main star of the dish. It is served together with a refreshing side of ratatouille in rosemary sauce.
For diners who are looking for something less heavy on the stomach, Calcagno has also included options such as the superfood salad, which proves that a salad does not have to be bland or made entirely out of green leafy vegetables. With an interesting combination of seeds, nuts and legumes (such as chia seeds, walnuts and borlotti beans), the dish flips the idea of salads on its head. This is one that has gone on our current favourites list.
Monti also offers a wide array of desserts for those with a sweet-tooth. There is the classic Rosmarino E Caffe, a coffee-infused panna cotta with a crunchy almond chocolate tuile and vanilla sauce, as well as other gratifying confections that border on experimental. For the Ho Dimenticato Il Sigato, the in-house dessert chef pairs a Lapsang Souchong tea-infused chocolate cigar with olive oil ash, which bafflingly disappears in one’s mouth. The realistic cigar ash definitely piqued our curiosity and proves to be as novel as the multi-concept space and offerings of Monti.
The restaurant indeed ticks off many boxes in being the choice place for a pleasant and naturally lit, picturesque lunch. Monti then morphs to accommodate a speakeasy experience in the evenings, where patrons can enjoy signature craft cocktails at the high bar seats before swaying to the beats of DJs spinning funky, high-energy tunes deep into the night.
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