Saveur boys Dylan Ong and Joshua Khoo were abundantly blessed, starting with a small French stall to two branches of Saveur and the new Concetto by Saveur at Cathay Building (replacing Billy Bomber’s which finally bombed) in a matter of few years.
There was already a short queue outside Concetto before the restaurant opened at 12pm on a weekday. But you are still likely to get a space quick enough as the industrial-hip restaurant has a spacious setting with two levels which can sit about 90.
Concetto’s menu is divided into four main sections: Earth (appetizers), Land (vegetables and meat), Seas (fish and shellfish) and Light (desserts), with dishes said to be skilfully prepared using cooking techniques found in higher end restaurants, gathering from the chefs’ past experience in Guy Savor, Fifty Three, Jaan and Tetsuya’s in Sydney.
Dishes that we ordered, such as the Creamy Pork ($9.90) – fettuccine cooked in flavoured cream sauce with sous vide egg and confit pork, and Crab Risotto ($12.90) were certainly restaurant quality in its taste and aesthetic presentation, but possibly not at fine-dining standard yet.
While the fettuccine cannot be much faulted for its evenly succulent meat and balanced cream, the risotto however, was slanting towards bland and could have more intensity in its execution.
Concetto’s major drawback is in its portion (and several have complained online), and I hope it is not a lousy excuse just because it is ‘cheap’ or ‘fine-dining’ branded. The Pork Ravioli ($10.90) came with three pieces of ravioli. Three pieces. And this made sharing rather embarrassing.
Service though awkward, was prompt and personable. No major problems with it. My water was constantly refilled by this shy bespectacled waiter (whoever you are, thank you for quenching my thirst).
If Concetto wants to present itself as chic, then some attention has to be paid to its music played, a variety of the usual Top 40s from the 2012s of varying volumes – sometimes soft, sometimes booming loud. The experience just felt out of sync with the image the restaurant might have wanted to portray.
Despite minor hiccups, I would choose to return again. The deconstructed Tiramisu ($10.90), all beautiful with several layered sensations, is already a good enough reason to. Food is reasonably priced and enjoyable, though yes, a few more pieces of ravioli is greatly appreciated.
Concetto by Saveur
The Cathay, 2 Handy Road, 01-11/12 Tel: +65 67351141
Opening Hours: 12:00 – 9.15pm (Sun-Mon), 12:00 – 9.30pm (Tues-Sat)
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