Back in the student days, Bonta has always been one of the Italian restaurants on my "To-Go" list. But when financial freedom finally came, it kept getting pushed down the list as I was taking it for granted with the "aiya won't run away one" mentality. Well, served me right that Bonta did close shop awhile ago but lady luck showed up in the form of District 10.
Located at UE Square, the revamped District 10 now features some of Owner-Chef Luca's signature dishes at Bonta which I was invited to try out on a weekday night. With a spacious alfresco area and an attractively-lit bar counter, happy hour here with bar snacks seem like a pretty good idea.
The main dining hall is furnished bistro-style, keeping that casual vibe with a certain touch of class.
Now if you have enough people for a small gathering, the private room will make a great venue with its cosiness, boasting a mini lounge area for pre-meal chats.
Some drinks before the meal proper, shall we? Now I was obviously the alcoholic that night as we shared the giant punch that has moscato as base with plenty of fruits and berries, and had two more cocktails by myself. The coffee one, completed with coffeeshop kopi glass, was rather strong in flavour, while I preferred the last one as it was smooth and very easy to drink with the aftertaste of watermelon lingering on the tongue.
And so I finally met Chef Luca's famed complimentary bread at Bonta. First welcomed by the fragrance of fresh-bakes, its fluffy texture was a joy to munch on and was made savoury by the chunks of feta cheese within. Lived up to its reputation indeed.
The cheese made a simple appetiser with its creamy flavour balanced by sourish tomatoes, while the asparagus fan in me had me nodding in delight at the other one.
Wagyu or not, the version here had a lighter shade of pink and went well with rocket salad, cheese flakes and strong hint of truffled oil. The prized pan-fried liver is always an indulgence that I take time to savour, this time paired with wild berries sauce to reduce the greasiness.
Duck leg confit? Plenty. Goose leg? That's a first. Alas, I thought it was a little dry beneath the crispy skin with the mind drifting off to roasting it Cantonese-style. I would imagine the rich and creamy ravioli to be a little overwhelming as main course (especially after the pan fried starter), but suited fine when shared among the table.
When you put two of my favourite dinner ingredients with fried eggs, it inevitably becomes a highly-desirable brunch dish. The juicy steak was perfect with runny yolk and truffle slices, while the accompanying fries cooked in goose fats had us in awe too. But I had to say the underdog for the night goes to the pasta which looked unassuming, but came nicely together with the refreshing tomato sauce coating every strand of (slightly over) moist angel hair pasta. Simple yet satisfying.
Honestly, not too much impression on the desserts with us snapping a tad too long for the lava to harden, while the sundae was too sweet for my liking.
Another classic, being the best among the three.
With Bonta temporarily MIA, its good to see some of the old favourites being revived at District 10, alongside a new dining concept in a chic, revamped environment. Foccacia, steak with truffles and lobster pasta are awaiting!
#01-15/16/17, UE Square
81 Clemenceau Avenue
Tel: 6738 4788
Special thanks to Shasha and Cyndiana of FoodNews for the invite!
Taken with Nikon D70