How far would you go for delicious food? If you’re willing to travel from east to west, head to Acqua e Farina, a family restaurant serving authentic Italian fare located at The Rail Mall in Upper Bukit Timah.
The kitchen is helmed by chef Antonio Manetto, who used to own Galbiato Gourmet Deli, and chef Robert Galbiati, formerly of Pizza Bella and Pasta Bella at Robertson Quay. They make a great team: Manetto is from Naples and is an expert at Neopolitan-style pizzas, while Galbiati is from Milan and makes excellent, hand-made pastas and meat dishes.
At first, the co-owners said they could not agree on which dishes to include into their menu. Luckily (for us diners!), they struck a deal and decided to showcase the best of both their hometown’s offerings.
To start, try the fagottino di mozzarella e prosciutto, a platter of fresh, milky buffalo mozzarella that’s soft, chewy and delicious. It’s made even better with a generous amount of olive oil, tomatoes, basil and slices of addictive parma ham. The freshly-baked focaccia gives the dish an extra hearty bite.
Leave space for the fungo ripieno because these huge porcini mushrooms are baked to the right tenderness so that their earthy flavour shines. They are served with spinach and a moreish mushroom sauce.
For the main course, the must-try pizza is the Pizza Acqua e Farina, made from a traditional dough recipe and laid to rest for 30 hours, in order to achieve the crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside consistency. It’s layered with thick and gooey mozzarella and ricotta cheese, and topped with fresh tomatoes, salami and sautéed spinach. This simple dish is possibly one of the best pizzas we’ve ever tried. The best way to eat each slice, according to Manetto, is to use your fingers to fold it in half before you bite.
If you’re a bigger fan of pasta, the fettucine nere alla polpa di granchio stands out for its al dente texture. The squid-ink infused pasta is also served in a rich, tangy tomato sauce and generous chunks of crabmeat.
Complete the meal with the piatto di dolci, a platter that includes mini portions of crème brulee, lava cake, panna cotta and tiramisu. We liked that the desserts were satisfying and not too cloyingly sweet.
Acqua e Farina | 400 Upper Bukit Timah Road, S(678050) | 6462 0926