Al Forno – Pastas, Pizzas and Procrastination

10 05 2010

“Procrastination is like masturbation.  At first it feels good, but in the end you realise you are only screwing yourself.”. One of my friends used this as her Facebook status update recently and I thought it was hilarious. Anyway, the point I want to make here is that I have been procrastinating my visit to Al Forno for the past couple of years. So, I was elated when E invited me for dinner @ Al Forno with her cousin C. I readily agreed, especially since there’s a 1-for-1 pasta/pizza on weeknights!

A very family friendly restaurant, I wouldn’t have felt out of place even in a T-shirt, berms and slippers. 

Al Forno literally means “from the oven”, so I was envisioning authentic Italian Fare, a juxtaposition to food from Pasta Mania which means “from the microwave oven” 🙂 Fyi, I have stayed Pasta Mania free for the past 2 years! 

E why oh why do you love Mushroom Soup($12++) so much? It really doesn’t make for nice pictures. Anyway, I really feel that creamy mushroom soups only taste good in fine dining restaurants. It might be due to the infusion of truffles or probably more so from the placebo effect, a direct result from paying through your nose where the more you pay, the greater the sense of perceived satisfaction. Hence, I safely arrived at the conclusion that since Al Forno is no fine dining restaurant, the Mushroom Soup was just average which it was.

Being the stingy practical Singaporeans that we are, we skipped any other appetizers and went on to order the 1-for-1 pastas to get the most bang for our buck. The Spaghetti with Squid Ink & Seafood($23++) had a distinct charred taste and the staff obligingly replaced it with a Carbonara($21++) upon our request though not before commenting that it was supposed to taste like that(says the chef). Despite my tender years, I’m sure that I’m a chao tar food expert after eating my own cooking a few times. Anyway, the customer is always right,  right? But I do keep a lookout for dribbles of any bodily fluids when I request for an item change nowadays(after my bartender friend G had admitted to spitting, and his collegue peeing into troublesome customer’s drinks at a reputable bar). 

Actually by the time the Carbonara($21++) arrived(nearing the end of the meal), we were more or less pretty full already so we decided to doggy bag it after picking at it for a bit. It wasn’t fantastic, to me it wasn’t even good. I found it bland, but perhaps I’m just more into tomato based pastas.

The Spaghetti Vongole($23++) however, I liked. It reminded me of the time spent at Gold Coast where I picked up live clams along the beach and brought it back to the hotel room to boil and eat when I was still in Pri Sch. The taste of fresh clams ever so subtly bittersweet yet awfully refreshing at the same time.

The Spaghetti Cicale aka Crayfish Pasta($23++) wasn’t too shoddy either though I feel that in general, Al Forno’s pastas tend to be a little bit too overcooked and thus on the soft side. I did like how the crayfish was meaty, fresh and nicely cooked.


The Risotto Pescatore aka Seafood Risotto($25++) was meh. The cheesiness wasn’t overpowering, pretty much drowned out by the tomato base. The medley of seafood(Mussels, Prawns, Clams, Squid) was fairly fresh. 

Surprisingly, there was no dessert section in the menu. You probably have to ask the staff what fresh desserts they have prepared for the day. However, we really weren’t too excited about the desserts here after the mediocre meal. So, we all went to Ice Cream Chefs instead!

Imo, Al Forno strives to serve affordably priced authentic Italian fare and relies a lot on natural flavouring which I find is a little too mild for me. E, along with other food blogs I have read did mention that Al Forno serves a decent Spaghetti Cartoccio(in serving sizes of 2 pax) so if I do return, it would probably be to try that.

Bon Appetit!





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