Waterfall Ristorante Italiano – A New Southern Italian Trattoria by Chef Marco De Vincentis
Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore has appointed Marco De Vincentis as chef de cuisine of Waterfall Ristorante Italiano. In his new role, Chef Marco is responsible for transforming the former Waterfall Café into a Southern Italian trattoria featuring handmade pasta and fresh seafood.
Born in Naples, the largest city in southern Italy, Chef Marco spent his childhood immersed in rich culinary heritage. His birth city is traditionally regarded as the home of pizza. Growing up with his grandfather, who is a chef, and being exposed to various culinary influences as a result of Naples’ history, it was natural for Chef Marco to apply for the Culinary and Pastry Arts School.
During his apprenticeship, he gained kitchen experience in prestigious restaurants, including Vincent’s Restaurant in California, La Locanda della Tamerice in Italy and Le Doyen in Belgium. After graduating with the highest honours, Chef Marco relocated to Milan and trained under Chef Sergio Mei, who was presiding over Milan’s only Michelin-starred restaurant. Subsequently, Chef Marco embarked on his journey to Asia when he joined modern Italian restaurant La Cucina at Al Faisaliah Hotel, Saudi Arabia.
Joining Waterfall Ristorante Italiano as its new chef de cuisine, Chef Marco will conceptualise its menu every season, source for gourmet merchandising and provide leadership to the restaurant’s culinary operations team. He hopes to introduce a diverse menu that retains the tradition of authentic and classic Southern Italian favourites for all diners.
Most people will recognize pasta and pizza – two of the most popular dishes that form part of the Italian cuisine. However, Italian cuisine has a lot more to offer than just these two well known dishes. Most importantly, Italian cuisine also has a rich and tempting history – just like the different dishes that form part of its offerings.
Chef Marco is quite a stickler about classic Southern Italian dishes, which forms the foundation of Waterfall Ristorante Italiano. His pastas taste the way they are supposed to taste, the sauces not too complicated or heavily applied, and the seafood is of excellent quality.
Among the appetisers, Insalata Di Mare All’Amalfitana ($23) appeals. It is a popular and always fresh signature seafood salad. Originated from Amalfi , a beautiful coast just a little South of Naples, fresh catch is common. Using fresh seafood tossed in lemon dressing, Waterfall’s version provides some clues as to just how serious they are about offering a quality submarine experience.
In the Southern part of Italy, eggplants grow beautifully and thus appear in a variety of traditional dishes, like this Parmigiana Di Melanzane ($20). In a melt with Parmigiano and tomatoes, the carefully-sourced eggplants lends significant flavor and is a much-loved dish by many.
Within the eclectic, colonial interiors lies a treasure trove of fresh seasonal produce. Linguine Allo Scoglio ($28) is authentic Southern Italian seafood pasta with prawn, scallop, mussel, clam and cherry tomatoes. The sauce is made with fresh tomato sauce, which makes all the difference. It tastes fresh and light rather than ketchupy, and allows the fresh seafood to shine.
Color is splashed around with retina-filling gusto in Chef Marco’s kitchen. Inspired by the classic Parmigiana starter, Doppio Ravioli Alla Parmigiana ($26) comes in duo – one wrapped with eggplant, the other in sun-dried tomato. The shiny green pockets made a visual impact and is cooked with mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and basil butter sauce. Scamorza cheese is added for extra kick of smoky flavour.
Chef’s Lasagna Croccante Ragu’ Bianco E Porcini ($24) is a great twist on the classic made with a delicious slow cooked ragu. He created this crispy lasagna recipe in memory of his childhood cravings for the crispy edges of his mother’s lasagna. This delicious lasagna dish is a passionate variation of an Italian ever-green… and white… and red!
The most memorable dish was Chef Marco’s Stufato di Pesce ($68). Inspired by a recipe from chef’s grandma, this traditional and comforting seafood stew kept the family warm at the dinner table on mild winter evenings along the coast of Naples. It’s a robust dish packed with mussels, squid and fish chunks in a tomato-based broth. The devilishly red stock draws extra flavour from the array of crustaceans and is suitable for minimum two persons.
Fans of beef will not want to miss this most popular beef recipe – Tagliata Di Manzo Rucola E Grana in Italy. To make this Italian dish, you need some really good and tender beef. Choose from 3 different cuts – Striploin Black Angus 120 days grain fed ($38), Tenderloin Hunter Valley grain fed ($41) or Wagyu Rib Eye 5+($56).
Marinated with capsicum, we had the Wagyu Rib Eye that was beautifully seared for maximum flavor and left pink in the middle (medium rare). Resting on a bed of fresh rocket leaves, covered by paper-thin shavings of pale yellow parmesan cheese, drizzled with balsamic vinegar, every piece is a slice of joy. Pair it with a glass of good red wine and perfection has been achieved.
With room for just one dessert, my dining companion and I decided to share Torta Caprese ($16), a traditional flour and gluten free chocolate cake originated from Capri in the 1920s. There are several tales about the invention of this cake, but all tales have something in common: it was created by mistake, since flour was forgotten or probably being replaced by cocoa powder. Nevertheless, it was a delicious mistake as the cake has a thin hard shell covering a moist interior. Almond flavor is a perfect marriage with the chocolate – it’s dense, decadent and delicious.
The new Waterfall Ristorante Italiano is an improvement in many ways, and Chef Marco’s cooking is deeply appealing – both for the flavours and the experience of eating it. For instant online reservations, please click here to make reservations.
Waterfall Ristorante Italiano
Address: Shangri-La Hotel, Garden Wing Level One
Tel: 6213 4138
Opening Hours: 6.30am to 10.30pm daily
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