It is astonishing to see the number of Italian restaurants in Singapore, and this is not including Western-styled casual restaurants and cafes selling pastas and pizzas.
But the newest kid at Tras Street shophouses, Buttero offers something different up its plate.
When I entered Buttero I thought “This doesn’t feel Italian…”. In Singapore, ‘Italian’ may give the connotation of mid-fine dining, romantic, and classy. The irony is that the restaurants in Italy is a different story all together.
Buttero has an open-kitchen at the back of the restaurant, presenting an edgy ambience with the strong use of stainless steel, ply wood and street art. Black and white photographs of Executive Chef Logan Campbell’s family members and relatives hang on the raw brick walls.
This feels Sydney. Or maybe New York.
My starter was the Pulled Pork and Waffle Fries ($15), doused in an oh-so-good three cheese sauce. Seriously, if you crave for comfort food, nothing can go quite wrong with cheese on fries, but with tender strips of pulled pork… This box sealed the deal. Can I bring some more back home?
Chef’s Logan’s (this reminds me of Wolverine) handmade gnocchi ($21) is one of the best versions I tried here. While most others are overly chewy and someone gummy, his was melt-in-your-mouth, and the simple sauce of honey, lemon and sage provided a delightfully delicate sweet and tangy aftertaste. Absolutely a winner.
Note: mine came with asparagus because they ran out of brussel sprouts. All the more better for me, but my dining partner who tried the original version said it was a better complement.
There were some dishes that went under the mark though, such as the rotisserie Porchetta with braised beans ($32) supposedly the signature. It was unfortunately tough on its crackling exterior and needed more than the average strength to cut through. The Paccheri & Eggplant Ragu ($22) felt safe.
At least the desserts, namely the Cannoli filled with whipped ricotta, lemon and strawberry salad ($12), and creamy indulgent Milk chocolate rosemary pot ($12) compensated for that.
Tras Street is fast transforming into a diners’ row, and Buttero adds to its vibrancy with its hearty Italian grub. Not really a place for quiet dates, but somewhere you can let your hair down with a bunch of cool friends.
Oh yes, there are no pizzas here. Told you it is different.
54 Tras Street Singapore 078993 (8-10 min walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Opening Hours: 12pm-3pm, 6pm-late (Mon – Sat), 6pm till late, Closed Sundays