A friend lamented that there is a lack of specialist Italian restaurants in Singapore.
We have lots of Italian restaurants here but regional cuisines are not well represented. Almost every restaurant here serves pizza, pasta and tiramisu.
One of the newest names on the Italian restaurant scene is Atmastel at South Beach Avenue.
The venue has some great casual eating establishments, and Atmastel is among the best.
Led by chef Andrea Tarini (from the two Michelin-starred ULIASSI in Senigallia, Italy), you will find the pizza, pasta and tiramisu combo here too.
As much as I love to explore unusual offerings from small corners of Italy, there are days I just want to eat what I know.
One of the biggest blasts of flavours came from the Spaghetti with Clams & Bottarga ($32). It's divine - briny (thanks to the cured grey mullet roe), with just a light coat of olive oil over al dente pasta.
The simplicity of this dish makes it magical.
Mother knows best when it comes to food, and we have chef Tarini's mum to thank for the Meatballs in Pizzaiola Sauce ($26).
The pork and beef meatballs are tender but flavourful, and the impactful tomato sauce added smoothness.
Again, it's a simple, unadorned dish that works.
This seafood stew is a common one. The Zuppa Di Pesce ($68 for two) here is filled with fresh ingredients and the stew invites slurping down to the last drop.
It's worth the splurge.
I will admit my bias before I start: I love asparagus, so I already liked the Prosciutto & Asparagus pizza ($34) even before I tasted it.
The broccoli cream on the pizza added to the pleasure. After all the explosive flavours from the other dishes, this is a subtle but needed reprieve on the palate.
The Mixed Cold Cut Platter ($45 for two) is good if you're just peckish or want variety.
The restaurant has a big drinks menu, so you can just get this with alcohol and you're set. The meats are cut on a hand-held slicer so that the meat remains cold and the flavours are not lost.
Be sure to include the 24-month cured San Daniele prosciutto on the board.