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Restaurant review: COVA Pasticceria (closed)

COVA Pasticceria – Confetteria 
290 Orchard Road, Paragon #01-20A
(+65) 6773 0777

This spot seems to attract both locals and visitors lured by its upmarket European café aura. It has two seating areas: one in the open shopping atrium, the other a brightly lit space dominated by a print of Milan’s La Scala theatre, in whose shadow the original COVA has lain since 1817.   

We start with the signature Mozart salad , arugula, carrots and grilled prawns dressed with a rich, sweet balsamic reduction; and delectably crispy crab cakes with plenty of juicy, tender crab flesh – truly European and, happily, nothing like their rubbery Thai cousins.

The term “comfort food” is much abused in Singapore, mainly by PR copywriters, but the ravioli  filled with richly aromatic braised veal genuinely deserves this accolade. Roy is pleased that the rack of lamb with eggplant, artichoke salad and coffee sauce  has been cooked to pinkness, rather than served fashionably still-red (or “bloody raw”, as he is inclined to snort).

The original COVA probably doesn’t serve this outlet’s divine mango dessert (. But as all recipes have to be approved by the mother restaurant in Milan, the sacher torte  is as sweet and rich as it should be, not, as sometimes happens, toned down to suit local tastes.

Choose a seat that doesn’t face the Citibank sign, or close your eyes and think of Italy.