Papi Pizza Pasta Trattoria
It's interesting how Mohamed Sultan has pretty much transformed itself from a street full of bars to a street full of restaurants instead. This place (5 Mohamed Sultan Road, 6235-0014) is another one of the many popping up there, just a couple doors down from Banoo, and has been one that we've had earmarked for a while. Tonight, we finally came down here to check it out.
The food turned out better than I thought it would. The sauces used in both the penne arrabiata as well as the spaghetti carbonara were distinctive and robust enough that I would come back, even if I could still think of how much further they could push the carbonara. The pasta was cooked just right, and they even had a bottle of chili oil on each table (rather than the Tabasco that's interestingly so common at Italian restaurants in Singapore), which I unfortunately did not notice until the end of the meal, but a taste of a quick drop on a spoon as we were leaving proved surprisingly good. And yes, the starters and desserts pretty much got my approval too.
It was pretty darned packed tonight though, and clearly, they were buckling under the weight of it, as seen by things like them forgetting my chianti. Don't get me wrong - the attitude of the staff was actually one of the best that I'd seen around here (almost as good as Da Paolo)...but they were severely understaffed for a Friday night crowd. What impressed me though was the fact that they were honest and mature enough to let me know that they couldn't deliver my pizza because the dough would not settle, and were apologetic without being excessive (well-handled in my opinion).
As I left, I noticed that the sign said that this place was "by Colleoni & Chiarini," who are the guys behind Oso (and also the guys behind Senso, if I'm not mistaken). That explains a few things, seeing that the food was something that I'd generally consider to be dependable and pretty much on the better side of things. While there are other Italian places around that I like just a little better for being cozier and more homely, this place certainly isn't a bad choice, and I'll happily come back again (probably on a less-crowded weekday).