We ended really late at the gym so we went to Ristorante Bologna, the Italian mainstay at Marina Mandarin, which only took their last orders at 10.30pm. Please note that the restaurant has a dress code policy (we weren't allowed to dine in the restaurant as the BF was in berms and sandals).
They politely informed that we could dine at the atrium lounge though (located just outside the restaurant), which had a very nice and romantic ambience. The seats were plush and the tables weren't too low, so you don't have to strain your necks to eat. Although most people were there to listen to live music (a sultry songbird was churning out easy-listening classics) and drink with their friends, it was still fairly peaceful and quiet enough to carry on a decent conversation with your dining partner without raising your voices.
The thing we noticed about the wait staff here was that ALL the waitresses were very good-looking and slim, which made their sky-high double slits cheongsum uniforms very very VERY distracting. Guys, this is one eye-candy place to drink with your buddies. Just don't bring your girlfriends or dates here if you're the type who lacks the peripheral vision to discreetly stare at other women. Luckily, the BF did really well, I hardly noticed him checking out the waitresses (For the record, the BF claims he didn't check them out AT ALL).
We ordered the Tortelloni ripieni di Funghi Porcini con la Crema di Parmigiano ($26), tortelloni pasta filled with porcini mushrooms in a cream of parmesan cheese sauce. This was delicious. The cream cheese sauce was divinely light, which complemented the delicate mushroom pasta.
You know how I've said before, that food connects us all? Did you know that our Chinese wantons was part of the Silk Road trade? In addition to trading spices and silk, early traders had shared their recipes with each other. That's why you see Russian "wantons", called pelmeni or piroshki, and Italian "wantons" called tortelloni or ravioli.
We also ordered the Pappardelle con Granchio, Spinaci e Salsa di Aragosta ($26), one of the chef's recommendations of homemade pappardelle pasta with crab and spinach served in a lobster sauce. The soft chewy pasta sheets were perfect for wiping up the freshly shredded crab and spinach. The lobster sauce was delightfully light, which was a pleasant surprise.
We also ordered a side dish of Funghi trifolati ($14), sauteed mushrooms with garlic and parsley, which was aromatic and addictive. This was incredibly light, focusing on the use of fragrant thyme and rosemary for flavour. We practically inhaled this classic dish.
The Minestrone alla Genovese col Pesto ($15), traditional vegetable soup with pesto sauce. This was a variant of the usual tomato-based soup, in the style of north-western Italy (the region of Liguria, where Genoa is its capital). This is clearer and emphasizes on fresh herbs, the addition of the pesto lent a crisp accent to the comforting soup.
Tel: 6845 1111
Open Mondays to Fridays from 12 noon to 2.30pm for lunch and 6.30pm to 10.30pm for dinners. Closed on Sundays