Garibaldi is one of our two favourite Italian restaurants; the other being La Strada. A lauded old-reliable, it relies on good honest food that's elegant but not stuffy. And warm personable service that doesn't superficially or preferentially discriminate. Attributes all that have made, and kept, Garibaldi top dog in the local restaurant scene.
A seasonal delicacy, the Hokkaido Scallops with Truffle Emulsion & Chives ($68), plump and juicy, were sumptuously decked with Alba white truffles. A must-try if ever it's available.
Although slated as a dessert, the Selezione di Formaggi Italiani con Crostini e Frutta Secca ($22), an assortment of asiago, pecorino, and taleggio, trimmed with melba toast and a melange of accoutrement: dried apricots, fresh grapes, pear slices, and walnuts, was served right at the beginning of the meal with the starters. Ingenious move actually, so we get the entire meal to graze through the platter languidly.
A off-menu special as well, the Cauliflower Soup with Smoked Salmon ($18), aromatic with truffle oil, was wonderfully balanced. The salmon providing a salty counter to the delicate sweetness of the cauliflower.
The Linguine al Granchio ($38), sweet with lashings of fresh Australian spanner crab, was slathered in a potently rich tomato-vodka cream sauce.
The Risotto al Porcini ($32), an oozy concoction of al dente acquerello rice was pure earthy cheesy goodness. Fantastically finessed.
I'd shamelessly informed the staff it was our wedding anniversary, and they comp-ed dessert ($15 usual price), a lush chocolate mousse cake. What a lovely bonus to round off a perfect day.
The meal was already carb-heavy, as Italian cuisine tends to be, but we still wolfed down Garibaldi's freshly baked bread, fluffy, delicious and redolent of herbs and olive oil.
Skinny breadsticks that make for a most addicting crunch.
Garibaldi Italian Restaurant & Bar
36 Purvis Street #01-02
Tel: 6837 1468
Open daily from 12noon to 2.30pm for lunch; 6.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner