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Restaurant Review: Verve Bar & Bistro (closed)

Verve Bar & Bistro (closed)
7 Lock Road, Gillman Village
+65 6473 3655

This casual-chic bar and restaurant is in unspoilt Gillman Village and perfect for alfresco dining. Housed in what used to be an old army cinema in the 1950s, Verve is a lovely place to get away from the crowds for simple Italian cuisine, and even better cocktails.

Owners Karen Yeo and Rob Coldman gave up their jobs in the financial sector to follow their passion for food. Long-term expat Rob, who hails from Surrey in England, says, “Given what has happened in the financial sector, we both seem to have got out at just the right time! We wanted our restaurant to deliver on the promise of ‘simple things done right’, something I always look for when eating out.”

The apple martini Karen insisted I try was without doubt the best I have found in Singapore so far, made with the juice of a whole apple and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Our starters of aubergine parmigiana ($12), coriander fish cakes ($12) and calamari fritti ($16) were all were very good, but the calamari stood out – fresh, coated in a very light batter and served with a heavenly tangy garlic cream.

Verve specialises in pizzas and pastas. The pizzas are named after characters from The Godfather; we selected Enzo ($19). Topped with a very nice combo of Peking duck, cucumber and spring onion, the crust was freshly baked, crispy and delicious. Those who prefer a more traditional taste might want to give the Corleone or the Santini a whirl. Our gourmet pasta dish was fettucine with sundried tomatoes, pesto and chicken, topped with crispy prosciutto ($26). The pasta was perfectly al dente and the prosciutto, which really makes this dish, was a melt-in-the-mouth taste delight.

Ice cream holds the key to happiness, and the selection at Verve is sublime. Rob told us that he found his supplier by chance. “I came across a lady selling ice cream through a hole in the wall, and it tasted amazing. She uses only natural ingredients and it’s 95-percent fat free,” he says.

Though we usually steer clear of anything that has “fat” and “free” in the same phrase, we tried the vanilla and cognac, hazelnut, and lemon sorbet flavours ($7 per scoop); all were truly fantastic. We also sampled the yummy mango and Galliano crème brûlée ($12).

Lovely surroundings, good food, and free parking. I can’t wait to gather some friends to work our way through the rest of their delicious martinis.

Note: Prices stated are subject to change and may not include taxes and service charges.