Met up with the usual group of foodies for dinner at Papi last night. Located at the very beginning of Mohamed Sultan Road and just next to Azhang, it is highly visible from the main road with its blue crystal lights display. The interior was dimly lighted and we were practically itching to try it since our last visit to Azhang a few weeks back. Only a few tables were occupied when I got there at about 2015hrs (I was very late) and my dining companions had already started on the appetisers, which included Grilled Mixed Vegetables "Verdue" with Sliced Smoked Scamorza Cheese and Classic Roasted Thinly Sliced Veal served with Tuna Fish and Capper Sauce "Vitello Tonnato". For mains we had the Pizza with Basil Pesto and Mixed Seafood "Frutti di Mare", Pizza with Fresh Tomato Sauce, Egg and Truffle Puree "Papi", Tagliolini with Shrimp and its own Bisque "Papi" and the Tagliatelle with fresh squid ink sauce "Nero di Seppia".
I found the Thinly Sliced Veal served with Tuna Fish and Capper Sauce a little disappointing. The Tuna taste was too overwhelming, so much so that I couldn't taste the veal at all. I would be better off just ordering Tuna with Mayonnaise. I've never really liked Grilled Vegetables as I personally believe that all the nutrients will be lost through such a medium of cooking. Thus I only tried a slice of grilled Eggplant, which tasted suspiciously like mushroom. The Grilled Mixed Vegetables came with Smoked Scamorza Cheese, which was very thinly sliced (it was seemingly translucent) but had a strong full-bodied taste to it and left a slightly bitter aftertaste.
The Tagliatelle with fresh squid ink sauce wasn't made from squid ink as we had expected. Rather, the sauce was made from the squid ink. I personally found the Tagliatelle a wee bit too tough with the squid ink not having any discernable taste. The only taste I could detect was the subtle tomato taste, which gave the whole dish its flavour. Rather sad if you ask me.
I have come to realise that both of the pizzas we order had the same base - tomato. I'm not complaining or anything, but it would be nice to vary the bases to make each pizza unique. What we did get was the same crust with different toppings and in all honesty, none of them stood out. The Pizza with Basil Pesto and Mixed Seafood was rather average and it had minimal toppings. Sure the crust was thin and crispy, but it was a case of being too thin which led to it becoming a little soggy after absorbing fluids from the toppings. And it lacked the satisfying wholesome experience I had gotten from eating the pizzas at Pontini. The Pizza with Fresh Tomato Sauce, Egg and Truffle Puree fared much better with the crust being slightly firmer due to the lack of ingredients. All I could see was a sprinkling of black truffles and an egg yolk in the middle of the pizza. Aesthetics wise, it was rather intriguing, but taste wise pretty average. I didn't particularly take to the black truffles which had a rather strong taste albeit its puny size. I would prefer white truffles. The egg yolk in the middle of the pizza didn't enhance the taste of the pizza one bit. A little pointless for its existence.
All of us unanimously agreed that the Tagliolini with Shrimp and its own Bisque was the best among the mains. The sauce had a sourish tangy tinge, which livened, up the dish. Prawns were aplenty and though it was pretty good, it wasn't outstanding.
Dinner for 4 set us back by about $118/-, which is quite inexpensive for an Italian restaurant with a nice ambience and good service to boot. Although the food is above average, I don't see myself being wowed by it. I might just go back again only because of its decent pricing and good service.
Chefs at work
Our drink for the day - Sky Juice with extras
Huge roll of Parma(?) Ham
The thinly sliced Scamorza Cheese
Tagliatelle with fresh squid ink sauce "Nero di Seppia"
Tagliolini with Shrimp and its own Bisque "Papi"
Pizza with Basil Pesto and Mixed Seafood "Frutti di Mare"
Pizza with Fresh Tomato Sauce, Egg and Truffle Puree "Papi"
Value for money:7/10
Address: 5 Mohamed Sultan Road
After dinner we proceeded to Canele Patissere Chocolaterie for desserts. I was too stuffed to continue eating, so I only have the pics but no review.