Bottura - Closed
3 Temasek Boulevard
#02-472 Suntec City Tower 1

Tasty, Creative Gelato, Decent Italian Food, Poor Service

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 6
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 6
Service: 3
Value for Money: 5
Spent about SGD $37 per person.


Bottura in Suntec City was opened in May 2015, by ex-banker and 5th generation Italian restaurateur Luca Bottura, a native of the city of Bologna in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, and cousin to 3-Michelin star celebrity chef Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana. A multi-faceted concept store, Bottura is more than just a restaurant, also offering a cafe-lounge, a wine bar, a gelato bar, and a gourmet retail store stocked with imports from Italy! However, their main draw is still the Bottura restaurant, which offers decent, tasty Italian food in a casual setting, with affordable prices.

Ambience at Bottura is akin to a casual bistro, with simple, modern furniture in tones of metal, wood, and black, neatly laid out within a wide open, spacious area. Its location comes with a balcony which overlooks the main foyer, great for people watching. Suitable place for business meals, or simply chilling with friends. The gourmet retail store itself is rather small and non-descript, you wouldn't even know it's there unless attention was called to it. I like the attractive and bright display of the gelato bar, great eye-catcher!

Service at Bottura is their weakest point. While I understand it's meant to be casual, staff aren't observant, and it takes quite a while to attract their attention even during non-peak periods, as they tend to stand around and talk amongst themselves. At least guests are quickly ushered to seats, and orders taken quickly as well. I do commend staff for being efficient at clearing empty / dirty tables, possibly the best thing about the service here. Also inconsistently performed is requesting for feedback, sometimes staff do so, and other times they don't. Oddly, despite being a tableside service restaurant, payment is self-service.

Mistakes are made with requests, staff once asked if I wanted cheese or chili flakes, and even after I requested only chili flakes, the staff brought me pepper and cheese. On another occasion, I had to ask for my dessert twice, and waited over 20 minutes for it to be served. Finally, we once visited at 9:10pm (Bottura last order is at 9:30pm), but staff refused to seat us, saying they had already stopped service. Well, they're right...

Food at Bottura is the closest to authentic Italian you'll find at a really affordable price range... so wallet-friendly that even students can dine here! Portions are medium-sized to large, and usually very filling, making Bottura great value for money. On top of that, the taste of their Italian food is usually average / decent, to above average, though not the best I've had. The highlights are their homemade pastas, made fresh daily, cooked till al-dente, and gently covered in tasty sauces. Even their bread and gelato are made in-house, thumbs up for the level of effort! Overall, Bottura is worth visiting for their decent, affordable Italian food, provided you can stomach the inconsistent service.


Bottura Exterior

Bottura Interior

So many colourful and interesting flavours of gelato! I tried the double scoop Gelato Scoop Of Mr. Tobby & Malaga (SGD $8), the Mr. Tobby has a deep chocolate flavour laced with an intensely sweet caramel swirl that was too overwhelming to finish. Much more palatable was the Malaga, their version of a rum & raisin flavour, with a nicely balanced taste of rum, the sweetness of raisins, and a nice creamy texture. Melts fast though.

Gelato Strawberry Cheesecake

Gelato Prince Charming

Gelato Limon

Gelato Mandarin

Gelato Mr. Tobby

Gelato Malaga

Gelato Scoop Of Mr. Tobby & Malaga

The Beer Menabrea Birra Bionda (SGD $10) is a bright golden premium lager brewed by Menabrea Birra / Menabrea Brewery in Biella, Piedmont, Italy, using natural spring water sourced from the Alps mountains. With a rounded body, aroma of sweet grains and corn, and flavours of malts, lemon, and slightly toasted grain, this very drinkable, light beverage has a moderate bitterness with a creamy mouthfeel that pairs well with fish or poultry.

Beer Menabrea Birra Bionda

The rather salty Zuppa Piselli E Prosciutto / Pea And Ham Soup (SGD $10) has good pea flavour, grassy and bright on the palate, balanced by the salty, deep, meaty flavour of cured ham. Served with crisp slices of crostini / toasted bread, this would have been much better if they toned down the amount of salt within.

Zuppa Piselli E Prosciutto / Pea And Ham Soup 01

Zuppa Piselli E Prosciutto / Pea And Ham Soup 02

The Burrata (SGD $18) features a ball of semi-soft, mozzarella cheese and cream. Served over fresh arugula / wild rocket leaves, and juicy cherry tomatoes, the cheese is clean tasting, so fresh, with a slight hint of sweetness, lacking bitterness. Has a rich, buttery, milky flavour. Good!

Burrata 01

Burrata 02

Loved the Prosciutto Di Parma Con Melone (SGD $15), with its generous slices of fresh and sweet rock melon, pairing well with the salty savoury, thin strips of parma ham. Juicy cherry tomatoes and a single, sour green olive rounds out the plate. There was a small and sad mesclun salad on the side, not good as it was dry.

Prosciutto Di Parma Con Melone 01

Prosciutto Di Parma Con Melone 02

The Lasagne Al Ragu (SGD $16) arrives in a generous portion, warm and satisfiying. Straight forward, no frills, the layers of lasagne noodle pasta are well laid, and the beef bolognese ragu meat sauce is nicely savoury. Could be better with less cream sauce, and it also lacks that bright sweetness of fresh tomato, knocking this dish into the decent category. Still, it's great value for money, possibly among the better tasting versions for this price range!

Lasagne Al Ragu 01

Lasagne Al Ragu 02

The Tagliolini Zebrati Con Gamberetti E Zucchini (SGD $18), or Zebra Tagliolini Pasta With Shrimp And Zucchini, features a visually pleasing duo of tagliolini pasta; a bright egg tagliolini, and a dark squid ink tagliolini. Pleasing to the palate as well, with its combination of al-dente texture, earthy and eggy tastes, and light cream sauce. The fresh, crunchy, thinly sliced zucchini round out the plate, along with 4 fresh but small shrimp / prawns. Completely delicious, and worthy of being a bestseller here. Highly recommended!

Tagliolini Zebrati Con Gamberetti E Zucchini 01

Tagliolini Zebrati Con Gamberetti E Zucchini 02

Tagliolini Zebrati Con Gamberetti E Zucchini 03

The Spaghetti Alla Carbonara (SGD $12) has a rich, thick, cream sauce, enhanced with a runny egg yolk, and savoury salty bacon strips. The spaghetti noodles pasta, instead of being done al-dente as per Italian tradition, is done till soft, which is apparently how most Singaporeans prefer it. Still, it's a good, straight forward dish, worth ordering!

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara 01

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara 02

Felt the Tagliatelle Con Ragu Tradizionale (SGD $15) fared much better. While it has the same tasty, savoury beef bolognese ragu meat sauce, I find it has more moisture in texture, plus, the portion is slightly more generous. The tagliatelle noodles pasta is done al-dente, with that slight bite, quite satisfiying. Good!

Tagliatelle Con Ragu Tradizionale 01

Tagliatelle Con Ragu Tradizionale 02

The Tiramisu (SGD $8) deviates from its traditional Italian presentation, but still retains its classic taste. The espresso coffee soaked ladyfinger sponge biscuits form the base, on which sits the rich and creamy whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, dusted with cocoa powder, and garnished with a slice of strawberry. Despite its small size, the richness of this dessert can fill you up quickly! Taste is above average, worth ordering.

Tiramisu 01

Tiramisu 02

The Panna Cotta (SGD $7) features a sweetened vanilla pudding, rich with flavours of vanilla and milk, and with the correct wobbly, semi-firm texture. But what made this even better was the sweet strawberry compote, which brightened each mouthful, along with the juicy blueberries. Loved every bite of this. Highly recommended!

Panna Cotta 01

Panna Cotta 02

Update Jan-2016: The Cherry Tomato & Ham Risotto (SGD $18) is among the worst risottos I've ever eaten, with a taste and texture like congee; soft, mushy, and bland. Even the juicy cherry tomatoes, and salty crisp nuggets of bacon can't save this dish. Skip this.

Cherry Tomato & Ham Risotto

Update Jan-2016: The Pizza Hawaii (SGD $20) looks like a plain, unassuming version of the classic Hawaiian pizza, but at least it's pretty decent in taste. The fresh tomato sauce on the crisp, thin pizza dough is the star, complemented by the slices of juicy pineapple and onions, and savoury salty proscuitto cotto / ham. Frankly though, I've had similar tasting pizzas at cheaper prices elsewhere.

Pizza Hawaii

Update Jan-2016: Loved the Pizza Porcini (SGD $20), with its crisp, thin pizza dough coated in fragrant fresh tomato sauce, studded with a generous amount of porcini mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and straw mushrooms. The trio of mixed mushrooms have a beautiful earthy taste, but I didn't like the mushy texture of the straw mushrooms. Still, this is a very good pizza!

Pizza Porcini

Update Jan-2016: Shared with her 2 scoops of ice cream, the Gelato Scoop Of Mocha & Sour Black Cherry (SGD $8). Love the rich, creamy texture of the Mocha gelato ice cream, with its floral hints of chocolate, and espresso coffee. The Sour Black Cherry gelato ice cream has a slight sour sharpness, followed by a pleasant maraschino cherry taste.

Gelato Scoop Of Mocha & Sour Black Cherry