Sunday, January 11, 2009

Donna Carmela, Greenwood Avenue

Spaghetti al Pomodoro e Basilico

There are a few things that I could nitpick on about this place (2 Greenwood Avenue, 6463-4206). I once got noodles that were a bit softer than I preferred. I had encounters with some staff that kept staring off into space. And I have a pet peeve about places that don't take American Express. But despite all of this, something has continued to draw me back here on multiple occasions.

Indeed, I've been coming here many more times than La Braceria around the corner despite how much more emotional bang I get from their competitor. Maybe it has been the S$5 (US$3.40) wine by the glass. Maybe it was a savory saffron risotto that I had the other day. I suspect that it has just been because of how humble everything was. They don't even serve any second courses here - it is more or less just pasta, and somehow, I've been hooked.

One could argue that this is something that one could just prepare at home. But I've liked coming here, as it has all been very hearty and down-to-earth (I suppose explains their "traditional home style cooking" tagline). If I ever get the craving for some simple pasta and a glass of wine, then this place will no doubt come to mind. I may not have liked everything about it, but something about it has been good enough for me to come back.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another good pasta place? Great! Though I need to go to La Braceria first, hadn't heard they'd reopened. Funny, the only time I made it there just happened to be the last day before the move, been waiting to go again! :)

Pemmi said...

I'm salivating only by seeing the picture...

Anonymous said...

Alright..lets give the folks out there some facts. I've eaten here on 3 occasions and have always enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. As I just came across this blog I'd like to give some pro's & con's and list what I ate and what I paid for it.

PRO'S
1. Food is good straightforward italian home cooking. No chinese cook in the kitchen 'trying' to cook italian food which is great from once here in Singapore. The use of ingredients is balanced therefore no murder of the food with un-needed cream and other ingredients mainly used to cover-up the cock-ups of amateur wanna be chefs from some cooking school that hammers into their heads that the best cuisine in the world is French!?!

2. The owners are all family and they know how to run the place...they do a great job! They suggest according to what they have fresh during that day and I have to say they know their thing

3. Environment is like back home..none of this crossover crap menu or wannabe interiors..which have nothing to do with Italian cooking..its well-balanced between class and casual (ofcourse I suggest some people buy a pair of shoes and leave their flip-flops at home..have some decency for once!!)

4. Price is definitely in! No rip-offs here..you really get value and the owner doesnt kiss ass which I respect..unlike other places which will do anything to get a guest..even bend-over and get in the 90 degree position!

CONS

1. The staff need some serious training. They are busy looking nowhere and talking to themselves when they need a serious Italian school about doing things...when I say doing things I dont mean trying to be nice or serving you with twenty million types of cutlery..it means keeping ones eyes open on whats going on..or dont douche the espresso with grappa thinking you'll make-up for the shitty attitude you had before..and the list goes on...BUT I have to say, one gaze and the owner puts them all back in their cages and he fixes the situation at once.

2. The staff, staff, staff...I cant stop repeating it because they are wrecking the place! They need to learn what italian food is about..first thing is to forget Hollywood and fettucini al-fredo as Yanks pronounce it..LOL..they need to be themselves..EYES OPEN! and on the ball! not standing around like flagposts.

and...here's the dinner bill from January 9th 2009 (2 pax)

1 Decent sized assortment of cheese, cold-cuts and grilled vegetables = SGD20.00
1 Plate of Tagliolini pasta with Porcini mushrooms and grated white truffle = SGD15.00
1 Plate of Farfalle 'alla donna carmela' (really tasty!) = SGD15.00
1 Bottle of Red Wine (Corvino grapes from the region of Verona) = SGD39.00 (good, tough, and filling red wine!)
1 Bottle of San Pellegrino = SGD3.50
2 Espresso's well doused with Grappa (Veneto style) = SGD 19.00

Sub-Total = SGD 111.50
10% Service Charge = SGD 11.15

TOTAL SGD122.65 (without to mention we were offered another two espresso's with grappa for free)...in otherwords SGD60.00/head..

With all that said..I can only say: go check-it out and enjoy...with that quality, taste, homely feeling and prices...forget whatever else you may find in Singapore.

Max

Anonymous said...

I've been there 3 times, the most recent one being my last.

Why? because the pasta is so raw, it stuck to my teeth! It happened on occassion 2 & 3.

Raw is not al dente.