Situated along Duxton Road, two-months-old Monte Risaia represents a journey in more ways than one. For one, it is helmed by Head Chef Taizo Yamada, who moved to Singapore in 2019 for his first culinary experience outside Japan. For another, the restaurant is an homage to Chef Taizo’s background in Japanese-Italian cuisine, with a menu that executes Japanese cuisine with Italian flair, omakase style.
Expect to find yourselves whisked away from the hustle and bustle of Duxton Road, into a world of culinary perfection featuring meticulous preparation and premium, seasonal ingredients. While there are two private rooms for intimate group dinners, the best seat is always at the counter, where you can watch Chef Taizo and his team construct each and every element of your meal.
Diners can choose between Three and Four Course Sets ($68 – $98), with Desserts and Cocktails from upwards of $12. While everything at Monte Risaia is house-made to ensure only the best in quality, cocktails are skilfully mixed by a jovial bartender who has extensive experience in Singapore’s F&B and nightlife scene.
The Coconut Martini ($15) is highly recommended, as it packs a refreshing punch from the use of fresh coconut. Also doubles as a dessert if you eat the alcohol-soaked coconut slices after!
As with most omakase restaurants, every meal at Monte Risaia is unique, with the flavours and arrangements changing with the seasons.
For starters, tuck into some appetite-whetting Signature Uni Pudding which features plump, rich uni. Rich and creamy, the pudding is somewhat like chawanmushi, but with a subtle taste of uni that does not overpower the tastebuds. To the uninitiated, this tasteful starter is a good way of introducing them to the world of uni.
The alternative is a Mozzarella Al Forno, with Omi wagyu, eggplant, and avruga caviar.
With expectations set high by this promising starter, the Antipasto Misto is a dazzling assortment of appetisers hailing from both Japanese and Italian cuisine. Watching Chef Taizo and his sole Singaporean colleague (Monte Risaia has quite the international team, with chefs hailing from all nationalities) put each plate together is akin to watching a live performance.
- Prosciutto di Parma with Strawberry
- Sakoshi Bay Oyster with Ikura
- Prawn Arrabbiata
- Seabream with Parsley, Vinaigrette, Pink Pepper and Shallots
- Gnocchi stuffed with Gorgonzola Cheese
While simple, each and every ingredient comes together in the most perfect way. From the ambrosial Proscuitto di Parma with Strawberry, to the decadently fresh flavours of the Seabream, it’s amazing how well every element goes together – not just individually but with the rest of the appetisers. The fresh Sakoshi Bay Oyster is a plus, too!
And it’s just as well that the Japanese-Itailan influences blend together on this course, as the following courses present a delectable union of flavours. The Pasta includes a choice of Signature “Shiso & Omaru Dashi” Pasta and a daily special.
The Signature “Shiso & Omaru Dashi” Pasta elevates a simple, traditional dish with Chef Taizo’s perfect execution. Al dente pasta that yields a delightful texture, combined with succulent crab meat and tangy tomato sauce, makes for an excellent tasting entry to Monte Risaia’s line-up.
The inclusion of shiso, which is traditionally used to garnish sashimi, adds a refreshing note that cuts through the pasta’s richness.
The carne, or meat dish, completes this gastronomically satisfying journey. For this grand finale, Monte Risaia offers up four grilled choices, namely:
- Maple Leaf Duck from USA
- Lamb Chop from Australia
- Iberico Pork from Spain
- Aging Akagi Wagyu Ichibo from Japan
The wagyu is a clear winner for me. At the risk of sounding horribly cliche, each slice of grilled wagyu melted instantly in my mouth, engulfing my tastebuds in umami bliss.
Alas, all good things must come to an end. But that does not mean you can’t extend your time at Monte Risaia. The Homemade Tiramisu Ice Cream, featuring coffee ice cream and strawberry sorbet topped with pistachio macaron, is made in-house through a laborious 8-hour process. Touted by Monte Risaia as one of the best homemade ice cream, it is a good way to end your gastronomic journey in the world of Japanese-Italian cuisine.
Other dishes in Monte Risaia’s side menu include Cheese or Cold Cuts Platters ($18 – $20), Risotto ($24), and Burrata Cheese ($24).
With this much dedication and finesse, I was truly reluctant for the meal to end. If you would like to savour the best of both worlds in an intimate setting, look no further than Monte Risaia!
Address: 59 Duxton Road
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar EW 15
Monday to Saturday: 6pm – 12am
Closed on Sunday
Contact: +65 6970 0067