Located just a few units away from Pepperoni Pizza of Les Amis fame, one would question the viability of Capri Trattoria & Pizzeria at Binjai Park which similarly dishes up Italian classics. We were torn between safe and adventurous and were glad to be rewarded for picking Capri.
A waiter greets us at the door and leads us to a cosy corner. It’s homely and inviting and we instantly fall in love with this charming little Italian restaurant. Capri is as authentic as can be, with an artfully-styled brick-laid walls decorated with paintings reminiscent of what a restaurant in Italy would be like.
The menu features an affordable array of appetisers ($10-$18), pasta ($20-26), pizzas ($16-25) and mains ($26-148) including a tantalizing-sounding Florentine steak ($148). We asked for recommendations, and were pointed out more than half the menu. We’d like to think that is because the chef has got them all perfected.
The soup of the day was a stunning Seafood Soup ($10). The piquant tomato base with bold crustacean notes whetted our appetites. We appreciated the generous portion of seafood – prawns, clams and squid – that were sufficiently fresh to leave us wanting more.
And so more seafood we had, in our next dish of Scialatielli di Capri ($24). Baking in a parchment paper isn’t exactly our favourite cooking method for the way-past-al-dente noodles which lacked the satisfying bite and chewiness of a good pasta dish.
Touted as a must-try, the Ricotta e Pera ($10) fell short of expectations. While the biscuit crust and creamy ricotta was a fun contrast of textures, the taste came across as a tad one-dimensional.
We know a good squid ink pasta when we taste it, and the Ravioli al nero di seppia ($22) certainly fulfilled all the criteria for one. Said to be simmered over 6 hours, the viscous, unctuous sauce was a star of its own but eaten with the seafood and mascarpone ravioli brought this dish a notch higher.
The Lava Cake ($10), on the other hand, was phenomenal. Rich, warm and decadent molten chocolate beneath a crisp, almost wafer-like layer of baked chocolate cake, the theatrics that came with it – being set ablaze when served – was worth an order in itself.
We loved the food, but it was unfortunate that our experience was marred by the preferential service to the extent that we noticed even difference in the portions of our food; on a second visit our order of tagliere all italiana, unlike the opposite table, came with a single slice of parma ham and meagre pieces of burrata, and our lava cake didn’t come flaming (yes we still can’t get over that). But overlooking the patchy service, the chef’s passion is apparent through the attention paid to the preparation of Capri’s dishes. While portions weren’t exactly hearty, flavours are strong yet well-balanced. Capri’s definitely a gem of a restaurant and a welcome addition to the Bukit Timah area.
Capri Trattoria & Pizzeria
3 Binjai Park
Tel: +65 6468 4886
Daily: 12 noon – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10.30pm
Words and photographs by Sarah Lim.