7 Portsdown Road
(+65) 6472 2100
If you’ve been to the Portsdown area, you won’t need me to tell you about its leafy, construction-free vistas and its laidback, artsy vibe. The pre-war Wessex Housing Estate is the kind of place where you can knock on your neighbour’s door (without calling first) and ask to borrow a cup of sugar. It’s a fitting location, then, for a new family-run restaurant.
On first glance, Soprano looks like a fine-dining restaurant, but look closer and you’ll spot casually dressed parents spooning mouthfuls of pasta into eager young mouths. We didn’t hear a peep out of any of the children that were there during our visit – and there were quite few. I put it down to the good food and the calming music.
The restaurant occupies a large, leafy area that, come nightfall, is illuminated with fairy lights. The recipe for success, however, is the integrity of the food and the fact that the honest Italian produce is prepared with pure love. Chef Carmen works, on average, 18 hours every day, splitting her time between Soprano and the other restaurant she owns with husband Mauro, Donna Carmela in Pasir Panjang. When it comes to her menu, she is a perfectionist.
I’m not kidding when I say that her pasta stuffed with truffle and served with four types of wild mushroom in a cream sauce ($16) is almost too good to be true – I had to take at least ten bites just to make sure. The clams in marinara sauce ($13) were fresh, plump and juicy, and the mozzarella with Parma ham ($28) is, as far as I’m concerned, one of her best dishes. We shared a bottle of Prosecco ($39), but there is also a good selection of reasonably priced wine from the owner’s Italian vineyards, starting at just $25 a bottle, plus a wide selection of cocktails.
Soprano is open daily for lunch and dinner, and free valet parking is available.