la dolce vita

My boss M, new colleague MA and I had dinner with our editorial board yesterday evening at Sicilian restaurant Etna in Duxton Hill, a rather cosy yet classy place. All eight of them turned up, to my pleasant surprise. And we welcomed a new ninth member, Dr JT! My ex-direct boss G, who left our company recently, also attended – in a way, this dinner was also a farewell one for her.

First we had focaccia bread studded with olives dipped in a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The bread had a really interesting taste and texture, and the olives were surprisingly mild and unsalty.

I thought the olive oil and balsamic vinegar came in a really interesting dispenser. The inner container was made in the shape of a bunch of grapes!

We also had garlic bread, which was really garlicky and quite nice. No photos, though!

When A/Prof DF arrived, he kept trying to psycho us into ordering wine. Most of us weren’t keen at first as we don’t drink. But he was very persuasive and finally won us over, and triumphantly ordered a bottle of red and a bottle of white. I tried the white. Very dry! :O

And we shared two pizzas!

One was a pork sausage pizza which I didn’t try as I dislike sausage. :P

The other was a prosciutto and mushroom pizza which I did try. The crust was thin enough and the toppings were reasonably generous. Wished they’d put more cheese, though!

Almost everyone ordered pastas for their mains. I bucked the trend, though, and ordered this!

Trancio di Pescespada del Mediterraneo con Olive Taggiasche, Fior di Capperi, Pomodorini Pachino e Tortino di Caponata! Translation: grilled swordfish steak (from the Mediterranean sea) with Taggiasche olives, capers and Pachino cherry tomatoes, served with Caponata pie.

I was a little taken aback when my main course arrived. Hadn’t expected the swordfish to be drowning in tomato sauce, haha. But the fish wasn’t too bad. Some parts were rather chewy but others were tender. The Caponata pie (right), made of a mixture of vegetables, was really savoury and flavourful though. In all, a rather healthy tasting dish.

MA, who was sitting on my left, had linguine with scallops. She later commented that it was ‘okay only’ though.

Etna decorates all their pastas in the same way – with a lightly daubed ring of pesto!

While they were serving us the main courses, a cock up occurred. As Etna is reasonably fine dining but not that fine dining, they did not serve all the main courses at once. So some people got their food before others.

My editor Dr THC was one of the first few to get his food, and he finished his pasta in a thrice. A/Prof CT was one of the last to get his food, but our waitress brought him the wrong dish of pasta. So she went back to the kitchen to check, and realized that they had served A/Prof CT’s sea urchin and prawn pasta to Dr THC, who had ordered pork and truffle cream pasta!

And the best thing was that Dr THC ate the whole thing without noticing that it was the wrong dish! I think he mentioned that it tasted a little off but he still finished everything anyway! Naturally he gave the waitress a not-very-strict dressing down and made her bring out a dish of pork and truffle cream pasta because he still wanted to taste it. All of us did as well, and it was pretty good! But I think truffles are an acquired taste. And of course A/Prof CT got his sea urchin and prawn pasta in the end as well!

One of my ed board members, Dr JVI, was the last to arrive. Everyone had finished or was finishing their food by then. He quickly ordered, and when a waitress brought his food to the table, she asked whose it was. Erhmmm…… who else could it be?

Sorry Etna, your staff need extra training!!!

And then, dessert!

Etna’s signature dessert is pistachio tiramisu. The addition of pistachio paste to tiramisu gave the dessert a rather intriguing edge. (Took a shot of A/Prof CT’s tiramisu, but a scoop of Dr JL’s tiramisu!)

I ordered the chocolate lava cake with hazelnut ice cream, and so did Dr TYS. She said that the cake should have been served warmer, but I thought it was fine. It was rich but not very sweet. Would have preferred a stronger chocolate flavour, too. But it went well with the ice cream!

Look at all the chocolate oozing out……!!! Yum yum!!! :D

Had a rather enjoyable dinner, with good food and good company! And Duxton Hill seems really happening, gotta return and check out the other eateries there.

Etna Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria
49 – 50 Duxton Road
Singapore 089513
+65 6220 5513

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