New Face @ Ricciotti- Chef Matteo Ponti

IMG_6773Ricciotti rolled out a brand new menu by a dashing young chef this month. At just 25, Chef Matteo shows a tremendous amount of passion in what he does. He speaks excitedly about his food and shares with pride, his creations, skills, and commitment to the job. And so here we are…To witness exactly that flaming passion and love this young gun has for the culinary of his beloved nation and boy, were we blown away!IMG_6752Ricciotti’s Burrata is high quality, fresh and absolutely yummy. The Burrata Prosciutto di Parma 20 Mesi is a whole Burrata paired with exquisite 20-month aged Parma ham, tart roasted cherry tomatoes, bitter rocket salad and homemade focaccia bread. The superb quality of this simple ensemble makes this a star starter any time of the day, any day of the year!IMG_6747As if sensing our Burrata obsession, Chef Matteo recommends the Polpo e Burrata, which is grilled octopus served with more Burrata! Unlike most octopus that’s usually got their signature springy bite, this one’s been simmered for hours to produce a flesh that’s ultra soft, tender and juicy. We aren’t a bunch of octopus diehards, simply because this eight legged creature is indeed a handful to cook properly but Chef Matteo has clearly overcome that! IMG_6750Next up, the Pesce Spada. I really, really enjoyed this one. The combination of the thinly sliced, beautifully cured swordfish, sweet pickled onions, crunchy fennel, plus the juicy mandarin wedge all in one mouthful! Wow! This is the kind of flavor I dig! Salty, sweet, refreshing. You taste the subtle textures and flavors all in one bite❤️❤️IMG_6754And then, a very special dish. You can find this accompanying the Ossobuco dish from the Secondi menu but we had it on its own. The Midollo Osseo Gratin is huge marrow-filled bone, halved and baked as a gratin. The result is fatty, gooey, yummy, collagen filled marrow bubbling under a crispy cheesy top! This oily glop is not for everyone. You have to love marrow to enjoy this melt-in-your-mouth delicacy.IMG_6755To cut the greasiness, have it with the focaccia bread or like me, the crispy bread chip from the bread basket… Even better with the crunch! IMG_6756Ricciotti had a great repertoire of pastas before. I’m glad the good ones stuck around and some new varieties joined. We tried 2 chef specials this evening. Starting with the Tagliolini all’Aragosta, then the Ravioli del Plin. A succulent deshelled lobster claw sits atop a pile of home made tagliolini doused in red Sicilian pesto sauce. This is quite the best homemade fresh pasta I’ve had. Strange as I may be, I’ve always preferred dried pasta for its bite. That teeny bit of hardness in the noodle is what I look for… fresh pasta is always just a tad soft for my liking. Chef Matteo’s tagliolini had that wonderful bite, I couldn’t quite believe it was fresh pasta! With the gorgeous red pesto sauce, this could very well stand on its own without fancy Mr Lobster! Totally love it!IMG_6760The tagliolini was a hard act to follow, but Chef Matteo’s Ravioli, also freshly made, is surely worth some precious stomach space! The ravioli is stuffed with shredded beef that’s been cooked snail speed for hours to achieve a soft, tender texture. Then combined with juicy porcini mushrooms for that earthy rustic flavor, topped with a touch of aromatic truffle oil. But it doesn’t end there! Chef makes a jus, from veal, which takes a few hours of simmering, filtering and reducing. All that for a drizzle over pasta!? This savory jus, though just a small amount, lifted the rest of the flavors in the pasta. You wonder if it was worth the time and effort and the answer is a clear ‘yes’. IMG_6763Main course for the evening is the Tagliata di Manzo! This is a slab of Argentine Beef Sirloin, lightly seared and served in its own jus and mash potato. The beef is not as tender as I would have liked but having tried this country’s cattle meat several times, that’s just how it is. Unless you like a good chew from your steak, listen to the Chef and have this rare.  IMG_6767All three desserts were fantastic. Chef Matteo’s personal favorite, Mom’s Salame di Cioccolato, is a soft cake-like biscuit built like a salami! The soft and slightly chewy chocolate “salami” is rich but not too sweet. Take a bite, then follow with a spoonful of the cappuccino mousse. If you like just a bitta cake with coffee after a meal, this one’s got’em both!IMG_6769My Semifreddo loving guest has her eyes on the Semifreddo al Croccante from the start and what’d you know, it is high on Chef Matteo’s recommendation list too! This half frozen, half ice cream, half mousse dessert scores full marks in taste, texture and oh, that fine raspberry purée, a little sweet, a little tart and a little goes a long way (although we did wipe down every last little drop of it!).IMG_6772Finally, the Panna Cotta in a pot! Chef made this with almond milk giving his version of this creamy dessert a fresh light taste. The silky smooth cream is very fine and  delicate. Brilliantly combined with crunchy salted dark chocolate crumble… Mmmm…. its easy to fall in love with this one. It is a joy watching Chef Matteo discuss his work… That glint in his eyes! If you think you might miss the old Ricciotti menu, let me tell’ya, the new one rocks!

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Don’t forget the wine! Ricciotti’s got a pretty dope collection.
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Complimentary bread basket. All freshly made at Ricciotti. So good its hard to stop reaching out for more!
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The Tagliolini all’ Aragosta, before….
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….and after!

Ricciotti @ 20 Upper Circular Road B1-49/50 The Riverwalk Singapore 058416

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