At the risk of sounding like a person totally obsessed with Italian food (I'm not, I promise), here comes another review your way. This time we visited Publico, a brand new italian ristorante that has just opened up at Boat Quay. We went there for a farewell dinner and engagement celebration for our close friends, and I have to say I really love the place. I am planning to go back there for brunch soon, but I couldn't wait to share a little bit about the dinner menu.
(I got this off Google, sorry bros didn't take pics of the place)
When ideas for restaurants were thrown on the table, I of course suggested Pastaria Abate (check out my review for it here!) But since my friends have heard of Publico and was quite keen to try it, we decided to head there for dinner. Located underneath the Intercontinental Hotel, the interior of the restaurant was stunning but cosy. After arriving we were seated at the wing of the restaurant. I can imagine that the location will make a pretty good brunch place as well.
Publico offers quite a wide range of dinner choices. From their selection of pastas to pizza to Florentine steak (though not the 1 kg variation lol) I would say that Publico is a pretty safe bet to go to for any dinner dates of gathering with friends. We decided to order the Penne "alla carbonara"($24) since we were quite curious on whether or not the food lives up to the gorgeous setting.
The penne was cooked al dente and the cream sauce perfectly coats the pasta with every spoonful. The true test of a good carbonara to me is however the Italian pancetta (Italian bacon made from pork belly meat). The one that we tasted in Osteria Bonelli, Rome, was amazingly crispy on the outside but juicy on the inside. Amazingly enough, this particular one from Publico comes a very close second. Our really friendly waiter also told us that the cream sauce was made from white egg yolks and pecorino cheese. This really makes a huge difference, at least for me, because it tastes really full and creamy rather than synthetic.
The second dish that we ordered was the Prosciutto Pizza ($26). Some of our friends joked that I only ordered this because the pizza was amazing to photograph. This was only half true, because honestly I really love prosciutto (Italian dry cured ham.) The pizza was completely packed with a generous serving of the ham and rocket leaves. Sure enough the taste of the pizza also didn't disappoint. The base of the pizza was freshly made and the tomato sauce as well of the topping didn't overwhelm the overall flavours.
Another dish that I think really deserves a shout out is the Rosemary Fried Potatoes with Garlic Avioli ($8) It's quite amazing that this simple dish is so delicious. The one that impressed me the most were actually the chestnuts that is mixed with the potatoes. Perfectly fried and flavoured, the difference in textures really highlight the experience of the dish.
Overall, I'm really impressed with our experience at Publico and would definitely come back there for brunch. My friends around the table ordered other dishes that seemed really nice as well such as the La Griglia ($36) and the Beetroot Insalata ($15). The wide array of dishes also offers vegetarian and gluten free dishes. Though I can't to help but to admit that the price points of the dishes makes Publico one of those dinner or brunch places for special occasions and not a casual hang out place. But I wouldn't be so worried about that, I still have Pastaria Abate around.