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11
SEP 12

Spuntino, in Italian, means a snack or a casual, easy-going neighbourhood spot to eat and drink. Opened by the Staunton’s Group, Nico’s Spuntino Bar and Restaurant is a new Italian restaurant which offers a variety of rustic, snack-size dishes that represent different regions of Italy. These days, small, intimate restaurants are in vogue, so we found it quite liberating to be able to dine at a restaurant which has a spacious interior, featuring a relaxed bar area and an airy dining room.

(1) Our evening started with a Seafood Antipasti platter ($188). The spicy baby octopus had a firm texture and a spicy kick, and the selection of smoked fish had a fatty, complex flavour. The platter also consisted of garlic focaccia, marinated fresh anchovies, and a shrimp cocktail.

Seafood Antipasti platter ($188)

Seafood Antipasti platter ($188) - Nico's Spuntino Bar and Restaurant in Central )
Seafood Antipasti platter ($188)
(2) The Frittata ($38), which was a caramelized onions and potato omelette, left me quite happy. I liked the fluffiness of the eggs, which was matched with the softness of the potato. A hint of sweetness from caramelised onions added a nice touch.

Frittata ($38)

Frittata ($38) - Nico's Spuntino Bar and Restaurant in Central )
Frittata ($38)
(3) We were mildly shocked by the fact that you could choose from a choice of crocodile, calamari, prawns, capelin and oyster for the Crispy Breaded Goodies ($108). Were we ready to eat some crocodile? Turned out not, so we stuck with plain old calamari. The calamari was deep fried in crunchy batter, and we drizzled some lemon juice on it. I happily munched on this dish while having flashbacks of the ticking crocodile in Peter Pan.

(4) Fried cheese always makes me feel blissful, so I could not resist ordering a portion of the Caciocavallo Silano in Carrozza ($98). This crispy-fried, fresh cow’s milk cheese was stringy and chewy, and was gorgeously crunchy on the outside. It was funny, though, how my friends thought that it was a piece of fried fish at first sight!

Caciocavallo Silano in Carrozza ($98)

Caciocavallo Silano in Carrozza ($98) - Nico's Spuntino Bar and Restaurant in Central )
Caciocavallo Silano in Carrozza ($98)
(5) We were faced with a variety of pizzas on the menu, and decided to go with the waitress’ recommendation. This Mamma Assunta’s ($118) was topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh pork sausages and white mushrooms. The mozzarella was delicious and alluring, and the pork sausages were succulent and tangy, but there were too few pieces of them!

(6) As I adore freshly made pasta, I very happily tucked into this Carbonara Panna e Prosciutto ($158), which had a fresh cream and egg yolk sauce and was scattered with tempting pieces of Pancetta Bacon.

Carbonara Panna e Prosciutto ($158)

Carbonara Panna e Prosciutto ($158) - Nico's Spuntino Bar and Restaurant in Central )
Carbonara Panna e Prosciutto ($158)
(7) It was, however, the Pappardelle Salsiccia & Porcini in Bianco ($178), which really stood out. It was done exactly how a hearty Italian pasta should be done – the pasta was perfectly al dente, it was simply seasoned with olive oil, pepper and cheese powder and had in it scrumptious chunks of pork sausages and porcini mushrooms. It was authentic, and was reminiscent of the pasta that I had in Bologna, the food capital of Italy!

Pappardelle Salsiccia & Porcini in Bianco ($178)

Pappardelle Salsiccia & Porcini in Bianco ($178) - Nico's Spuntino Bar and Restaurant in Central )
Pappardelle Salsiccia & Porcini in Bianco ($178)
(8) We were a little bit unimpressed with the meat dishes at Nico’s. The Porceddu ($188), which was a crispy-roasted suckling pig served with honey gravy, had an inch-thick layer of fat. I am not an advocate for lean meats, but this suckling pig was even more greasy than pork belly! Since when did little piglets become obese?

Porceddu ($188)

Porceddu ($188) - Nico's Spuntino Bar and Restaurant in Central )
Porceddu ($188)
(9) The Aged T-Bone Cut to Order ($390) was smartly served on a metal plate. The steak was magnificently grilled, and was indeed sizzling hot when it was served, but the texture was a bit too chewy. The roasted rosemary potatoes at the bottom, however, were moreish.

Aged T-Bone Cut to Order ($390)

Aged T-Bone Cut to Order ($390)  - Nico's Spuntino Bar and Restaurant in Central )
Aged T-Bone Cut to Order ($390)
(10) We shared this Digestivo & Sigaro Cubano ($98), which came with a shot of Sicilian sweet wine called zibibbo. The dessert was supposed to mimic a havana cigar. Wrapped in thin chocolate film, it was very crunchy and flakey, and was a simple, gorgeous delight. Having already had our fair share of alcohol for the night, none of us wanted to down the shot of zibibbo…

Digestivo & Sigaro Cubano ($98)

Digestivo & Sigaro Cubano ($98) - Nico's Spuntino Bar and Restaurant in Central )
Digestivo & Sigaro Cubano ($98)
(11) A crepe is not something to be turned down, no matter how full one is! We ordered this Nutella & Nuts Crepe ($68), and we all liked how it had lots of nuts in it, giving it an excellent crunch.

We liked the casual and unpretentious vibe at Nico’s and its hip, small-plate fashion, but there was certainly room for improvement on the food.
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