Cover Bistecca alla fiorentina

The inimitable chef’s latest dining concept at Capella Singapore was inspired by his Italian roots and his grandmother’s cooking

Since celebrity chef Mauro Colagreco’s Italian restaurant, Fiamma, opened at Capella Singapore in June, it has been fully booked for months and the reservations show no signs of slowing down. It’s not surprising considering this is Colagreco’s first Italian restaurant that was imaged from his Italian roots and life’s influences which include her grandma preparing hearty Italian fare for the family.

The menu is a gastronomic journey of Italy—from the Liguria region where the “Catch of the Day” is grilled and finished in an oven, to Napoli where Colagreco learned how to make the famed pizza Napolitana. If you manage to snag seats at Fiamma, here are our five recommended dishes.

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1. Carpaccio di pomodoro e pesca

I find that when the chefs have good ingredients, they don’t need to do much to a dish when they can just let their natural flavours shine. And Colagreco’s signature carpaccio di pomodoro e pesca perfectly encapsulates this. Inspired by his grandfather’s vegetable garden, where they would harvest greens to cook their family meals, the cold appetiser comprises thinly sliced seasonal heirloom tomatoes and yellow peach which are lightly salted to bring out their fresh and saccharine notes. Beautifully laid out like artwork on a plate (designed exclusively for the restaurant), the carpaccio is topped with chives, which lend their delicate garlicky taste, and finished with a sprinkle of lemon for a zesty and well-rounded finish. 

2. Linguine alle vongole e bottarga

The linguine alle vongole e bottarga is reminiscent of my Mediterranean holiday, where I feasted on too-many-to-count seafood pasta dishes. I can’t help it—pastas are my weakness and it’s the same story with Colagreco’s “ode to the Mediterranean”. What arrives on the table are twirls of al dente linguine tossed with fresh clams that boast delectable flavours of the sea; the brininess though is balanced by the zesty, preserved lemons and salty bottarga shavings. This is a dish worth indulging in—and worth the extra calories.

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3. Pescato del giorno

Let Colagreco bring you to Liguria—a region in northwest Italy—with his pescato del giorno. The fresh and delectable dish uses the fresh fish of the day, and it is prepared Liguria-style—grilled and then cooked in an oven for a tender and succulent flesh. It’s served with a variety of seasonal vegetables and finished with lemon-butter sauce, which imbues the fish with bright and tangy notes.

4. Bistecca alla fiorentina

Meat lovers will do well to order the bistecca alla fiorentina, a gorgeous slab of meat with the bone-in and expertly cooked to your desired doneness over woodfire, for a touch of smokiness. I always go for medium rare so the steak is still tender and juicy. It’s served sizzling hot with grilled eggplants and baby potatoes, which are drenched in the steak’s juices for maximum enjoyment.

5. Tiramisu

Sweet endings are a must for me after an indulgent meal, and the tiramisu here closes the meal on a good note. The version here is still prepared the classic way—with mascarpone cream, biscuit, espresso and Amaretto, but Colagreco finds the perfect balance of sweet and creamy with just the right hit of coffee notes.

Fiamma, 1 The Knolls, Capella Singapore, S(098297), 6591 5046

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