Wednesday, June 5, 2019

[Tasting] June 2019 Dinner @ Grissini

Grissini is located within Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel and is a cosy contemporary Italian grill restaurant. Head Chef of Grissini, Mirko Vinci is from the Puglia (pronounced as ˈpu lyɑ without the 'g' sound) region in Southern Italy and he brings forth a solid, down-to-earth homely flavours of Southern Italy with a twist. There are new items in the May 2019 menu and we were invited to have a bite.


I asked the waitstaff on his recommendation from the cocktail menu and he suggested the Strawberry Mojito. Interesting as I have not come across this in any drinks menu before.

drinks menu from Tempo

Was a tad disappointed when the drink was served. Its presentation was unlike the one as illustrated in the menu. Strawberry Mojito is made the same way as the regular mojito (rum, lime, brown sugar) but without the leaves as those were replaced by the strawberries. Tasted more like strawberry soda which is refreshing in our hot humid Singapore weather.

Strawberry Mojito @$18
The Devil's Blend @$20

The Devil's Blend cocktail was the most interestingly presented. Concocted of vodka, rum, gin and triple sec, lemon and mango juices and ginger ale, this was a more potent drink. Strawberry Mojito was child's play in comparison.

If you prefer bitters, the maybe you'd like "Yum Cha". Made of honey chamomile tea, Jim Beam, lemon and bitters. For the older taste buds.

Yum Cha @$20

With drinks on hand, we are set to commence on dinner. First was the amuse bouche of Sour Cream Panna Cotta, Oscietra Caviar and Chives. Served on a spoon, and meant to be eaten all at once.

We probably will not find this in the menu as this was one of the surprises that Chef Mirko and his team might delight you with when you dine at Grissini.

Sour Cream Panna Cotta, Oscietra Caviar, Chives

The Sour Cream Panna Cotta with Oscietra Caviar and Chives was a full-bodied flavour that's creamy and dense, much like a soft cheese but with a light tangy edge and finishes off well with the fragrance of savoury chives.

Next up, we had the Tuna Tartare. This dish had surprised me with its bold and strong flavours which I had not quite expected. Chopped raw tuna marinated with soy sauce on top of a thick luxurious spread of creamy avocado and topped with sliced avocado and crispy bread croutons. Those tiny tomatoes at the side were not to be missed, for its intense sweet tangy flavours were bursting for showtime!

Lovely appetizer and I will strongly recommend the Tuna Tartare to be shared, unless you had the intention to do a two-course meal.

Tuna Tartare @$24

Then, onwards to pasta. Do you know Tonnarelli? I certainly don't know it by this name but if you were to say spaghetti, then it would become familiar again. Tonnarelli is the pasta from Lazio that is similar to the one that we know by its more popular Abruzzese name, spaghetti alla chitarra.

Chef Mirko had paired the black ink tonnarelli with wild Mediterranean langoustine, juicy succulent sweet prawns, softly sweet and gentle edgy tomato sauce, combined with lemon zest and cherry tomato. Its result was superb. I enjoyed this dish with tremendous gusto even when the stomach had become full from the earlier starter.

Black Ink Tonnarelli with Wild Mediterranean Langoustine @$38

If your preference is for more subtle flavours, then the Seabream Fillet will allow one to slowly relish and discover the fresh natural taste of its ingredients.

Seabream Fillet with Sicilian caponata in white wine, cream and parsley sauce @$38

Let's rewind a bit. I had to Google up on Sicilian caponata and Wiki says "it is a Sicilian eggplant (aubergine) dish consisting of a cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar, with capers in a sweet and sour sauce." Oooh, now I understand better.

The overall texture of the caponata were very much like green peppers where it had a bit of vegetable crunch. Certainly interesting and tasted of an appetizing light sourish tang. There was beetroot on the plate and one gets an earthy sweet flavour from it. It was as though the sea and the land had met. The seabream fillet itself was well cooked with firm meat. The fish natural sweetness shone through and this was a lighter dish overall.

Ended our meal with two chocolate dessert. These were not in the menu, hence interested diners could enquire if the kitchen has them on that day.

Started our sweet trail with Chocolate Bonet. Bonnet means hat, so does this mean it is a dessert that is shaped like a hat? Such a curious name. This dessert is a typical sweets from Piedmont, Northern Italy and is believed to have been in existence since the 13th century. Its original recipe did not contain cocoa and chocolate was only added in later into the kitchens of wealthy families.

Chocolate Bonet

It tasted like a chocolate flan/pudding with an aftertaste of almond. The Chocolate Bonet was lightly sweet with slight bitterness from the chocolate, soft and reminiscent of softer agar-agar. Cut a piece and dust it with those biscuit crumbs (was it amaretti biscuit or macaroons?) and it was a level-up enjoyment in the mouth. I thought I was too full but ended up finishing the entire plate of this Chocolate Bonet. Surprisingly, it was more enjoyable with each subsequent bites! Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Have you tried Chocolate Salami? Never came across it till yesterday. Again, Chef Mirko likes to tease us by introducing items that may be common elsewhere but yet to be seen in restaurant menus. Chocolate salami is not a meat product and its aptly named because of its appearance. It does really resemble a salami!

Originated in Portugal and Chocolate Salami gained popularity across Europe. The Italian version is spelled as Salame. Its main ingredients are cocoa, broken cookies, nuts, butter, and eggs. I think Chef Mirko might have added coffee to his version.

Chocolate Salame

Its texture was something I'd describe it as compact powdery texture much like a shortbread but rich in cocoa instead of butter. Maybe like a lightly compacted injeolmi (bean powder) chocolate roll? Loved the whiff of coffee and the lightness of this piece when placed on the tongue. Easy to eat and goes well with coffee/tea.

Grissini is a cosy place to gather with your loved ones. Its ambiance is suitable for business dining or intimate gatherings. Private dining is available in the beautiful Bellissima Private Room as well.

Be delighted with new discovery of items in its updated menu, and be surprised by off-menu items prepared by Chef Mirko and his talented team.

Once again, thank you Gilbert for the invite and Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel for hosting the dinner tasting.

Grissini @ Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel

Location: G/F Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, 392 Havelock Rd, 169663
Contact: 6233 1100
Business Hours:
Daily - 12.00pm to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm


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