Cheesy Chocolatey Chomp

February 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

We spent a lazy long weekend lunching at one of Da Paolo’s outlets, Il Giardino, located on Bukit Timah Road by the Cluny Park Road entrance to the Singapore  Botanic Gardens. The Da Paolo Group is a well-established F&B institution in Singapore, having begun its first eatery more than twenty years ago by owners Paolo and Judie Scarpa. It has now expanded into ten other themed/branded restaurants, bars, and shops—all featuring authentic Italian cuisine.

Il Giardino is a casual outlet with an assortment of gourmet delicacies that you can order off the à la carte menu or, if you’re pressed for time, grab from the takeaway section. The outlet has several tables and chairs along the storefront—sheltered from the elements within the five-foot way—thus creating an enchanting little alfresco dining area (albeit a little noisy and dusty due to the adjacent MRT construction work). We were pleased, after checking with the staff, that dogs are permitted to accompany their owners in the outdoor seating area.

After ordering our dishes, MM and I settled into our seats and secured Maple into her harness and leash. Maple was extremely chilled out—she certainly knows how to play the role of a ‘tai-tai’ (i.e. lady of leisure) very well. As Maple took in the sights and smells of the new environment, MM and I chomped into the Eggplant Parmigiana (S$8.50). I was really impressed by the quantity and quality of cheese used in this dish, and the eggplants were baked to perfection. Actually, ‘baked’ is an exaggeration. Re-heated in a microwave oven would be more accurate. Nevertheless, the cheesy, tomatoey, and smooth consistency of the Eggplant Parmigiana left me full and satisfied.

Next, we had the Chocolate Chip Scone (S$3.50). I think Il Giardino offers the best deal in town for their generous-sized scones that, if paired with a delectable cup of tea, would make for a lovely afternoon snack to tide you over before dinner. MM ordered the Chocolate Chip Scone, which is loaded with itty-bitty chocolate chips—every morsel is a chocolatey explosion. To get a nice crisp texture on the outside and moist buttery inside, request that your scone is heated in the oven as opposed to the microwave. Although I enjoyed the Chocolate Chip Scone, my personal favourite will still always be Il Giardino’s White Chocolate and Cornflake Scone. Simply irresistable!

The next time we make another trip out to Il Giardino, I’ll have to try the pasta dishes as I’ve heard raving reviews about them. Until then, I think my tummy has had its fill of cheesy chocolatey goodness to last me a week or two. Maple gives her approving look of concurrence…

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