Thursday, June 1, 2023

Acqua e Farina @ The Rail Mall - Authentic And Hearty Italian Fare In Homely Italian Family Restaurant


Along the stretch of dining options at The Rail Mall is a cosy little Italian restaurant, Acqua e Farina. It is helmed by Chef Antonio Manetto and Chef Roberto Galbiati, who are natives from Southern and Northern Italy respectively. They bring together a full menu of authentic Italian cuisine for diners to enjoy.


As the restaurant's name suggests, Acqua e Farina, which is Italian for water and flour, reflects the Chefs' goal of showcasing their Italian fare using simple traditional recipes and top-quality ingredients.


The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating. I have passed by this restaurant several times but always assumed it has a more formal setting. What I loved most about our dining experience here was how warm and cosy it was! Stepping into the restaurant felt like stepping into an Italian friend's home.


We went with a glass of Limoncello Prosecco ($13) and a Blood Orange San Pellegrino ($4) for drinks. If you are a fan of wines, the restaurant features an entire wall of wines you can pick from. The Chefs also offer recommendations based on preferences.

Capesante con Funghi 4.2/5

First up was the Capesante con Funghi ($28), with pan-fried Hokkaido scallop dressed in a creamy and richly earthy mushroom sauce paired with baby spinach and croutons. We had the tasting portion here, while the full portion includes three scallops.

Gamberetti con Pancetta e Spinaci 4/5

Our next starter was the Gamberetti con Pancetta e Spinaci ($27), which has pan-fried shrimp wrapped in pancetta, served with sautéed spinach. My dining companion and I found the prawn a touch drier than we would like, but we appreciated the balance of flavours. I especially liked that it wasn't too salty.

Fettuccine Nere alla Polpa di Granchio 4.5/5

Our first main was the Fettuccine Nere alla Polpa di Granchio ($34), homemade squid ink pasta with crabmeat tossed in tomato sauce. The pasta is made fresh daily, and diners can also request for gluten-free spaghetti. I don't often choose my pasta with a tomato base, but I would come back for Acqua e Farina's rendition.

Their tomato base has a touch of cream and hence is not as acidic as usual. The slight creaminess complemented the chunks of sweet crabmeat.

Pizza Quattro Formaggi 4.5/5

The Pizza Quattro Formaggi ($34) is one of the restaurant's only two pizzas with a white cheese base. The other nine pizzas on the menu use a red tomato base.

If you are a cheese fan, I am sure you will enjoy this. It uses four types of cheese - Mozzarella, Gorgonzola (Blue Cheese), Smoked Scamorza and Asiago. Chef told us this is one of the top two popular pizzas here. It's not difficult to understand with its generous topping of cheese and a whiff of truffle fragrance on a crisp and slightly chewy base.

Linguine alla Bottarga e Capesante 4.2/5

Acqua e Farina regularly launches special menus which keep things fresh and fun, especially for their regular diners. It was coincidentally Mother's Day weekend when we were here, and we had the pleasure to try one of the dishes on their Mother's Day Special menu, the Linguine alla Bottarga e Capesante ($38). The linguine tossed with cured fish roe, garlic, chilli, and herbs was appetising, and we polished this off quickly.

Dessert Platter 4/5

The Dessert Platter ($19) is the easiest way to try an assortment of their dessert offerings. Each platter comprises mini portions of Crème Brûlée, Lava Cake, Panna Cotta and Tiramisù.

The highlights for us were the Lava Cake and Crème Brûlée. The former had the perfect cook and was not too sweet. We wished the caramelised layer on the Crème Brûlée could be thinner, but we enjoyed the smooth and fragrant custard.

Overall, our dinner at Acqua e Farina was a fantastic experience put together by the quality food and servers who go the extra mile to provide a comfortable environment for diners.

Photos and words by Jo. A girl who loves her Mala (麻辣) at Da La (大辣), discovering hidden food gems and a good cup of matcha latte. Note: This is an invited tasting.

Acqua e Farina
The Rail Mll
400 Upper Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 678050
Tel: +65 69708191
Nearest MRT: Hillview MRT (DT Line)

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 1130am - 230pm, 530pm - 10pm

1) Alight at Hillview MRT station. Take Exit A. Turn left onto Upper Bukit Timah Road. Walk down Upper Bukit Timah Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 8 minutes. [Map]

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