Focusing on traditional Italian food where pizzas have a light, crispy crust and pastas are doled out in hearty portions, Acqua E Farina is a nice change from restaurants more concerned about their plating (this one’s for you, Influencers) than what’s actually on the plate.
Co-founders and executive chefs Roberto Galbiati and Antonio Manetto, who met while working in the Da Paolo Group, come from the north and south of Italy respectively, so the food here is a good mix of light and rich dishes.
Take a steamy plate of house-made squid ink pasta by Galbiati, for instance. While pastas from south Italy tend to lean towards aglio olio-style, Galbiati’s creamy version is a perfect rendition of how it’s done in the north. Fresh tomatoes from Italy are cooked down with a dash of cream to create a coral pink sauce that coats the fettuccine. Mixed into this are generous pieces of fresh Sri Lankan crab meat hand-picked daily by chef.
Manetto does the pizzas on the menu, taking care to let the dough rise for near 30 hours. The light crust that comes out of it is the perfect base for him to work his magic, turning it into Sicilian boats, calzones, and using the crust as a canvas for delicious toppings like ricotta and salami.
Acqua E Farina isn’t where you’ll come to take a dozen pictures of your food. The lighting here is dim, and the dishes more hearty than pretty. It’s a place where you put aside your phones (at last), and linger over a good dinner and some real conversations.
Our take: Honest food worth the hike out for.
ACQUA E FARINA
The Rail Mall, 400 Upper Bukit Timah Road