Saturday, November 5, 2011

La Villa @ River Valley Road

Located at the old River Valley school, this place is not hard to find. Bus #139 goes there, but if you drive, this place has parking spaces as well.

from outside

Why are we there? Why? To celebrate the birthday of the youngest in our group. That's why! Hehehe =)

secretly making our way to the entrance...

One is greeted by the receptionist right after you swung open the entrance door. Friendly atmosphere? Check. Ambience? Check.

table setting

alfresco dining area outside, viewed from the comfort of indoor (powerful airconditioned) dining

This whole place, screams ambience.

trying to be arty farty with this shot

Once we're seated, the ever smiling service staff came over and asked if we'd like to have sparkling or still water. When we hesitated for that split second, then it was obvious we wanted just regular water, which they do serve ever so gladly and for free as well.

Our birthday girl was held up elsewhere, so we ordered fried calamari for starters. After that, a complimentary basket of bread was served to our table.

righto, buon appetito, yo~

bread basket with warm breads
olive oil and balsamic vinegar

The round breads were warm and fluffy on the insides, with crisp outer crust. The pita bread was very compact and it'll fills you up rather quickly.

Calamari 'Pirata', with Pizzaiola dip (which tasted mainly tomatoes)

the tiny specks on the calamari were paprika

The deep fried calamari was done just nice with crispy batter and fresh squid. The paprika was sprinkled unevenly, so most of the time, we couldn't even taste it. Nice but not outstanding.

Happy hour runs from 6-8pm, and they have Heineken (draft) and sparkling wine (prosecco) on 1-for-1 offer during happy hour.

prosecco during happy hour (@$12)

For food, we ordered Classic Platter for 2, and a plate of Capellini (large) to share amongst the 4 of us.

Classic Platter

lamb on the right, and beef on the right, sausages way at the back

side dishes of salad and baked potatoes

it's called Oven Baked Ratte Potatoes

The Classic Platter of grilled items consist of lamb shoulder rack, chicken breast, pork rack, beef sirloin, pork and lamb sausages. It was rather sad when my friend commented that out of the items in the platter, the only likeable one was the oven baked potatoes.

True. And there were warnings from other blog review about the meat items from this place. Chose to give them the benefit of the doubt (since this place has 'Italian Grill' as part of its name)  but, this is one platter that my table wouldn't want to order again. Unless, if one likes to chew on tough meat. But, we do see a few tables having the meat platter. Well... perhaps there are people who likes chewy meat...

To be fair, I found the chicken breast (though on the dry side) was the most flavourful amongst all the grilled items. It goes quite well with the house spicy ketchup and tartar sauce.

What we (means all four of us) didn't like. The lamb rack was actually thin slices of meat (with bone) that was overly cooked and tough. Like lamb bak kwa. The beef sirloin while not too dry, it still required some work of the jaw muscles for this. The sausages were too funky for our liking. Even the pork sausages... even the pork sausages.. sigh...

Well, the Capellini lifted our mood! Angel hair pasta with lobster ragout 'Sardinia' style. After tasting the pasta, I am liking Sardinia! Hahaa. Well coated with sauce, with noodles fully cooked and if you're lucky, you may find a piece of the lobster meat on your plate!


much coveted lobster, heh heh

The large portion can be comfortably shared amongst two pax. It'll be quite 'jelak' for one person to polish it off as the dish has a 'rich' (oily) aftertaste. Seasoning was just right, not too salty, not too sweet. Just nice. Yums!

Another good point about this place was that they allowed us to bring our own cake for birthday celebration.

friendly staff helping to light up birthday cake before joining in to sing birthday song

our half-devoured strawberry shortcake from Flor Patisserie

If you drove to the restaurant and parked there, do tell the staff prior to payment. They will knock-off $2.50 per car from the final bill. Had a pleasant surprise when using Stanchart to pay, as that gave us 15% discount on ala-carte items.

Here's a link to second visit.


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