It was a night we won't forget anytime soon. 600 grams of perfectly seared steak, followed by the most decadent slice of chocolate cake? I pretty much died and went to a total food heaven. What was our first impression when we stepped into Lavo? Refreshingly decadent. Graced by the celebrities such as Jamie Foxx and David Beckham, Lavo definitely has the makings to be a restaurants that is so memorable you'll want to go more than once.
We had a feeling that it was going to be a great night when the air was filled with the amazing aroma of a newly seared steak. The rest of the night definitely didn’t disappoint as we were treated to a symphony of delicious treats.
First things first, let's talk about the appetisers. We started the night with the Burrata ($31), Eggplant Parmigiano ($28), Charred Octopus ($32), and of course "The Meatball" ($38). Does that sound like a lot? Probably. Was it worth it though? Totally. The Octopus was ace in my book, fresh and perfectly seared. It was both crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Its skin was packed with the flavours of the ocean, but perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the herbs. But oh man, we need to talk about the meatball because that shit was crazy.
If our entire dinner had a MVP, it would be the meatball. We were originally weary of the fact that it has a quotation mark attached to it? What does it mean? Is it not meatball? Well, we were half right because this thing was not just a meatball, it was a BEAST. When it arrived we know we were in trouble because we've also happily ordered three other appetisers.
The reason why this meatball was a star lies not in it's size (though it was gargantuan and loomed way above the other dishes)
but simply in it's ingredients. It was a decadent mixture of fresh ground imperial wagyu, veal, and Italian sausage.
That is just insane! If this meatball would've been made with just wagyu beef, that would've been totally crazy, but the fact that they triple it up with veal and Italian sausage? This meatball was pure heaven. From the first bite we can tell that they have used the best grade of wagyu beef and veal to create it, and the flavours definitely came through. But we were profoundly surprised by the pomodoro sauce. The tantalising sweetness of the sauce combined with saltiness if the beef was so inviting, we almost wished there were more. Not to mention, there was a generous dollop of freshly whipped ricotta sitting beautifully on top of the whole thing. This dish was insane, definitely a must order.
Bonus story: The night of when we were having our dinner there, we heard that another table have ordered THREE of this bad boy. So it's definitely worth it.
Guys, I've got to apologise, I was so caught up with the whole meatball business that I didn't take a lot of snaps for this dish. Let me paint a picture for you though. Imagine it's raining outside, it's chilly, the thunder is really crackling across the night sky. You're feeling hungry and craving for something warm and comforting. Kind of like if a warm, thick blanket exists as a food.
Enters the parmigiano, served in a warm plate and covered in marinara sauce. The aroma reminds you of the warm interior of an authentic Italian osteria. The layers so thick and decadent, you just want to finish the whole plate by yourself. "You won't even notice it's eggplant", my friend quipped. I wasn't listening, I was so deep into that first bite. The layers of the cheese was both comforting and biting all at once. If we didn't order three other appetisers, there will be no way I would've shared this dish. I didn't detect any meat in this dish, so I think it can very easily be vegetarian friendly!
When it comes to Burrata, I'm kind of a snob. I don't mean that in a way that I've tasted so many cheese that I have a discerning palate, but more like I'm a lactose intolerant that I don't think all cheese is worth the pain. I love cheese way too much to ever skip it when we go to any restaurant, but at the same time if it's not amazing I'm not planning to kill myself over it.
That being said, this Burrata was sooo worth it. My boyfriend and I have been watching documentaries about cheese recently (#NERD) so we understood just how much effort goes into such fresh cheese. The burrata was sweet and silky, the tomato gives it a perfect bite. The tomato actually soaked up the herbs, so every bite of tomato is packed with bursts of flavours. The pesto was freshly made as well, providing a clean, fresh, delicate and precise flavours to the whole dish.
I've got to admit, I pretty much geeked out over this dish. As an instagrammer I was like, "Yes gurl, look at those colors! #FRESH" But mostly it was also because when it comes to seafood, I love octopus. Sometimes even more than let's say, lobster. I know, I know, how can this be better than having lobster. Well, the key is in the word "Charred." This dish was charred and smoky, it was amazing. The contrast of course, comes from how sweet the flesh of the octopus was. It was soft an chewy, but then they hit you with that crunchy burnt bits at the side.
Not gonna lie, we were almost too full when our main dishes, the Truffle Gnocchi (SGD 46) and Bone-In Rib Eye (SGD 98) arrived, but we forgot all about it when we saw the steak. One look at the colouring of the steak was all it took for us to know that this dish was going to be amazing.
Bone in Rib-Eye Steak
I love steaks. Anything that is properly grilled and rich in decadent, juicy, fat is my favourite. When we visited Florence last year, one of the first things that we did was to head out for a Florentin Bistecca. The Florentinians were well known for perfectly grilling a whopping 1.2 kg of rib eye steak. So when we ordered this dish, which was a gargantuan 600 grams, we were only slightly daunted. But the question remains, is it as good as the one we've had in Italy?
I've gotta say, this was one of the best steaks I’ve ever had. It has very crisp layer on top, which stores all of the salt and meaty flavour. You can imagine the crackling layer of salt that can only comes from the fat from the steak. The meat was nicely medium rare and juicy, the meat cut was perfect. By perfect I mean, it was a very good cut. Does it compare to the one that we had in Italy? Damn right it did.
This pasta dish definitely got us feeling gnocchi! The moment we heard the word 'truffle', we knew we've got to get this dish. The size was on the small size, but trust me it’s enough. Gnocchi is a small soft dough dumplings and can be quite filling, and when combined with such as heavy sauce like truffle, it can definitely go awry. But the dish ended up being very chewy and bursting with flavors, the truffle was fragrant but not overwhelming.
The night ended perfectly with Lavo’s range of dessert. If there's anything that I think is totally worth it about Lavo, it's definitely the dessert range. We were so so full from the appetizer and main that when we chose the dessert we were slightly overwhelmed. But hey, we're here to conquer (and eat!) so stepped up and ordered. We settled for the Oreo Zeppole (SGD 14), Tiramisu (SGD 12), and the 20 Layers Chocolate Cake (SGD 17). We heard that the chocolate cake is to die for, so we definitely won't miss out on that!
Let me get you the low down on this dessert dish. It's oreo, but covered in sweet, thick batter, and then deep fried. Yes you've read that right. Deep fried oreo. Well, that's it folks, my life is complete, time to go home. But seriously though, I've heard of deep fried desserts before but I've never tasted it myself. If all deep fried deserts is this good, I'm definitely in. The oreo is in a crumbled form so that it's actually slightly melted by still have that crunchy elements. As if that's not enough however, there's also a very nice serving of vanilla ice cream at the side.
When in Rome right? Well, we're not exactly in Rome, but we knew we've got to try the tiramisu at Lavo. It has actually become a bit of a tradition for us to try out the tiramisu at each of the Italian places that we've gone to just to see the different tastes of tiramisu. It was definitely interesting to see how Lavo have interpreted this classic dessert dish. The great thing about it is that it was very generous in terms of the portion and cream, but it was slightly too much on the sweet side for me. The kind of tiramisu that I love tends to be ones that can balance out the bitterness of the alcohol and the sweetness of the cream.
And drum roll please for the most epic and memorable dish of the night...
20 layer choc cake
I would describe the cake the same way I would describe Lavo. A delicious mix of Italian classic, with a generous serving of American decadence. This dessert honestly summed up my whole visit there. It was just decadence on decadence. Each layer of the chocolate cake is actually layered in between with a peanut butter mascarpone.
The chocolate cake is spongy and sweet but not too overwhelming when paired with the creamy layers of peanut butter. Even though it's something that I don't have access to everyday, this dish definitely bring a sense homelinesss to it. Maybe it's the amazingly creamy peanut butter.
All in all, I think it's pretty safe to say that Lavo is definitely a must visit. From it's dreamy and lavish ambience, that million dollar view, all the way to it's decadent food, it's a place I would definitely recommend for any special occasion with your loved ones.
PS: Lavo have recently started what they termed as "Vibe Dining" every Saturday, so if you're in town and are looking for a new fresh experience of just plain ol' curious do visit them on a Saturday and find out for yourselves!