It’s not often when a young and promising chef gets to operate his own namesake restaurant and be given a blank canvas to express his culinary creativity.
Yet one daring hopeful, Italian native Davide Giacomelli, is now doing exactly that after beating almost 120 other chefs around the world and being given the opportunity by InterContinental Singapore to do so.
Taking over the space formerly housing Ash & Elm, LUCE by Davide Giacomelli brings the young but experienced chef’s ‘bistronomic’ vision to life, offering gastronomic Italian cuisine set within a venue with a non-intimidating bistro vibe.
As Chef de Cuisine, Giacomelli brings his 13 years of experience behind the kitchen, including at Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe, to the hotel’s new flagship restaurant.
LUCE, meaning ‘light’ in Italian, shines the spotlight on fresh, local produce with a seasonal a la carte menu that will be refreshed quarterly. Yet there’s nothing ‘light’ about the flavours found in Giacomelli’s succinct all-star offering.
From the Bruschetta (S$19) starter – expect one large hearty toasted bread rather than the usual bite-sized ones – to the pastas and mains, Giacomelli’s food screams warmth and authenticity.
The Acquerello Lobster Risotto (S$46) is a must. Here, starchy Carnaroli rice is cooked in rich lobster stock then served together with a half Boston lobster. Each spoonful of this decadent dish is satisfying and moreish.
Pastas here are homemade. And of the two available, the Tagliatelle Coda di Manzo (S$36), made using fresh homemade pasta and a deboned oxtail, is our favourite. The chunks of meat are generous, and when intertwined with each forkful of tagliatelle, makes for highly comforting chomps.
Then there’s the Merluzzo alla Puttanesca (S$46), which is, in our books, the star dish. This plate of pan-fried Atlantic cod coated in a homemade tomato sauce, taggiasca olives, anchovies, pantelleria capers, and fresh herbs, is the definition of a classic done to exceeding standards. Trust us, you wouldn’t want to share too many bites of this main with your dining companions.
To pair with the food, a good selection of wines, beers, cocktails, and Italian digestifs are available. We especially enjoyed The LUCE Sling (S$24), a less tropical, more herbal take on Singapore’s national cocktail, as a great way to start the night on a spirited note.
It’s the InterContinental Negroni (S$28) however, that will steal the limelight. The concoction of barrel-aged gin, coffee, Jasmine tea-infused vermouth, Campari, and bitters, is stiff and bitter as a Negroni should be, yet layered with accented aromas and textures not often found in the Italian classic cocktail.
If you’re more in the mood for wines, a vast list of Italian vino is available, and there are staff on hand who will be able to recommend pairings for you.
Oh, and feel free to say hi to Giacomelli if you see him. The affable and dashing chef is hospitable and welcoming as if you’re dining in his own home – the way a ‘bistronomic’ venue should be.
LUCE by Davide Giacomelli is located at 1/F InterContinental Singapore, 80 Middle Road, Singapore 188966.
About the Author
Dannon Har is the Managing Editor of Spill. Discovering his innate gift for drinking only at a ripe age, he spares no time trying to find more delicious drops to imbibe during his time on Earth. When he’s not minding every detail at Spill, he spends his time concocting luscious libations and sharing them with folks that visit his home bar.