Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Donna Carmela

Donna Carmela/Caipirinha is a home style Italian (and brazillian) restaurant hidden off Bukit Timah Road, in Greenwood Avenue. It is both an Italian restaurant (Donna Carmela) and a brazilian

From the appetisers, menu and down to the dishes, it's a spitting image of Sopranos. Maybe they both have the same management/owners?

Complimentary starters -
The bread isn't very nice cos it's cold - save your stomach space for the mains!
I quited liked the very oily eggplant, but not the pickled onions (generally don't like pickled onions).

The menu here classifies the dishes by the type of pasta (ie linguine, penne, ravioli etc) and the sauces that they have for that particular pasta. I suppose that it's because some sauces will not match the pasta (especially the filled ones). Ravioli Granchio ed Aragosta (Ravioli filled with crab and lobster)
We had it in the Al Pomodoro e Basilico (tomato sauce and basil, $16++) as recommended by the waiter (and partly because I wanted to eat the ravioli with truffles in a cream based sauce).
The tomato sauce isn't too salty, and has the strong sweet and sour taste of tomatoes. The basil made the tomato sauce even more fragrant, and it went very well with the crab and lobster stuffing. Though I couldn't really taste the crab and lobster.
The same ravioli filled with crab and lobster in a different sauce. This one is the Al Salmone e Caviale (salmon cream in creamy sauce and caviar) which is also $16++. Personally, I prefered the tomato sauce and basil, but for the same price, I would say caviar is definitely more worth it.

Lunette al Tartufo (Ravioli moon-shaped, filled with truffles paste). We had this with the Al formaggi sauce (combination of cheeses) for $16++. The cheese sauce was lighter than I expected, and wasn't the thick, pastey kind which coagulates when cold. It was pretty creamy, and the cheese went very well with the truffles paste. This was my favourite dish of the night (it's a hard fight between the crab and lobster ravioli and this, but since I like truffles more than I like crab and lobster...The same truffle paste filled ravioli, with the Al funghi de Bosco (Wild wood mushrooms in creamy sauce, $16++), which is exactly what I ate at Sopranos! It tastes about the same too. Next time a pasta craving hits, I don't have to rush down to Sopranos for their truffle filled pastas! Maybe I'll even try the pumpkin filled raviolis next time.
The Linguine nero seppia (squid ink linguine, $15++) was pretty disappointing, probably because we thought it'll come with some squid or seafood. However, on reading the menu again, we realized that the menu states exactly what the pasta comes with, no more, no less. So in the menu it's really just 'squid ink linguine'. It was pretty oily, and just coated with squid ink and garlic. There was also some chili padi (I think it's chili padi) which gave a spicy kick to this dish, but on the whole, I would not order this again.
Donna Carmela Pizza ($29++)
With buffalo mozzarella, arugula, cherry tomatoes and parma ham
The pizza is a 'pizza bianca' (I think?) - it doesn't have the usual tomato paste. It's more like a pizza crust topped with all the ingredients. There's also no melted cheese, so it's not like the normal pizzas. The parma ham had a very porky smell and taste, which I didn't quite like.
My toppings kept falling off the crust when I was trying to eat it, but it's a pretty interesting pizza. It's a very big pizza, probably can feed 2 people (I think maybe if I'm really hungry I'll be able to finish 3/4, but no the whole thing).
Complimentary profiteroles - they were filled with chocolate mousse and doused with melted chocolate. They also had a guitarist the Friday we went, and of course the birthday girl got saboed to sing a song with him!

Service isn't tops, but then again, it's a home style restaurant, and we were a huge table (12 of us) so service was a bit slow.
Btw those people who have free time, do go and read the management responses on hungrygowhere! They're totally hilarious! Usually management responses will either be those peaceful kind (where they try to placate the customer by saying they'll get free this or that if they go back to their restaurant, or the kind that's very curt, snotty and pissy), but this is just super entertaining and funny.
Looks like this will be my cheaper alternative to Valentinos! I used to think that it's very hard to find a cheap dinner place along Bukit Timah Road, but looks like I'm wrong. Just that you have to search harder.
Donna Carmela/Caipirinha
2 Greenwood Avenue
Hillcrest Park
Tel: 6463 4206
It's along the row of restaurants near the Lana Cake store.
There's also free valet (not sure if it's on Fridays and weekends only?). It's a very long walk from the main road.

I was searching hungrygowhere, there's a branch along Pasir Panjang Road, which is super near school (just at the other end of South Buona Vista Rd). Shall go there one day after school!:)

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