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Restaurant review: Sopra Cucina at the Pan Pacific Hotel

Sopra Cucina
10 Claymore Road
#01-02 Pan Pacific Hotel
6737 3253

 

We all love Italian food, so Italian restaurants are ubiquitous – but authentic Sardinian cuisine? Sopra Cucina promises something a bit different.

Pecorino cheese and lamb are staple ingredients, explains manager Mauro Serrajotto; canalau bread and suckling pig reflect the Spanish influence; pastas are eggless, and giant semolina (fregola) replaces risotto; sauces are Mediterranean in style, with neither wine nor cream.

The degustazione menu for two ($98 each; $158 with wine pairing) is the ideal introduction to this regional cuisine. And with three specialty chefs in the kitchen, two of whom hail from Sardinia – head chef Simone Depalmas; Manuel Bernardino Baima Besquet on pastries, breads and ice creams; and Pier Luigi Giuseppe Gianni on pizzas – we’re probably in good hands.

From the choice of three starters, don’t miss the zuppa gallurese. This traditional Sardinian “bread soup” is far from soupy; instead, it’s thick with tender lamb and rich with pecorino.

 

Pasta course choices include the signature culurgiones ogliastrini filled with potato, mint and pecorino cheese; and the fregola with seafood. We tack on a small, thin-crusted pizza, too.

I’m already planning a return visit for more of the porcheddo Sardo (an additional $15): this suckling pig melts down the throat and crackles blissfully between the teeth. Tonight’s fish of the day is outstanding, too: fresh sea bream cooked with tender slices of potato, fresh tomatoes, rosemary and thyme. Tasty agnello alla Sassarese is a slow-cooked lamb and olive stew.

Often happy to skip pudding, I’m seriously glad to be sampling this dessert trolley: blood orange sorbet, pistachio ice cream, and I’ve never tasted anything more delicious than the cannoli Siciliani; tubes of fried pastry filled with creamy sheep’s ricotta with candied fruit.

Must-try dishes: Zuppa gallurese, porcheddo Sardo and cannoli Siciliani

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