Da Paolo Pizza Bar is one of the more enduring tenants of the Chip Bee Gardens side of the Holland Village enclave. A casual restaurant specialising in pizza, it's part of the Da Paolo Group of dining concepts.
We recently met up with Kang, who lives around the area, and suggested the semi-alfresco bistro for dinner. While I liked Da Paolo Pizza Bar's laidback ambience, the Hubs felt the lack of air-conditioning stifling. And oddly enough, we found the pizzas middling, but thought the salads fantastic. Oh well, all the better for our sped-up plan to get swimsuit-ready for our holidays in two weeks.
The Homemade Crab Cakes ($24), laced with rosemary and thyme, were pretty commendable, and the sweetness of the crabmeat was a fantastic counterpoint to the spice of romesco and creamy nuance of avocado salsa. Not the best we've ever had, but a worthwhile appetizer.
The P&P ($23) was a base of wild rocket dotted with grilled portobello wedges, roasted butternut pumpkin cubes, and feta squares, and dressed in sticky-sweet-piquant balsamic vinegar reduction. Wonderfully balanced and a must-try.
The kitschily named Caliprawnia ($23) was a heap of baby spinach, cherry tomato halves, fresh mango lumps, herbed croutons, avocado segments, and peppered shrimp drizzled with a light vinaigrette. Clean, light, simple flavours, classic to California cuisine, and another must-try.
The Bufala e Crudo ($31) was a white pizza of melted buffalo mozzarella base topped with parma ham, sliced tomatoes, and fresh basil. While the pizza was imbued with the requisite smoky char from the wood-fired oven, the dough itself left us wanting. It was missing that chewy lightness of a dough that was allowed to rise properly. We ended up picking off the parma and basil and adding them to the salads.
Da Paolo Pizza Bar
44 Jalan Merah Saga
Tel: 6479 6059
Open weekdays from 12noon to 2.30pm for lunch; 5.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner;
weekends from 11am to 10.30pm