It's been a while since I last ate at Cugini. Dining at its sister restaurant Los Primos reminded me of that. So as soon as I was back in its vicinity, I made sure to pop by for a spot of lunch.
As with all the Club Street restaurants, afternoons will find the street a ghost-town of sorts, even though Amoy Street which runs parallel to it is bustling with the CBD lunch throng. It's funny how people can mimic the behaviour of lab rats sometimes, that a street barely a 5-minute stroll away can be such a confounding deterrent.
On the upside, this means that lunches at the establishments along Club Street are tranquil and such a peaceful respite from the toils of work. Predictably so, Cugini's service was attentive and efficient, while food got churned out lightning-quick.
We started with a platter of Selezione di Formaggi Italiani ($21.90), a curated assortment of Italian dairy: gorgonzola, parmiagiano, fontina, and scarmorza, accompanied by honey, walnuts, and a berry jam.
The Filetto di Branzino al Vapore ($45.90) was a delicate secondi option of a poached Medditerranean seabass fillet, sided by steamed baby carrots, fresh arugula, and a velvety hollandaise sauce. I liked the citrusy notes in the sauce, it lent a bright richness to the somewhat stodgy fish.
Beautifully plated, the Filetto alla Griglia ($55) was a perfectly medium Black Angus tenderloin sided by fluffy truffled mash and garden vegetables.
The Diavola Pizza ($28.90), oozy with melted mozzarella, tomato sauce, was laden with salami rings, and spiked with lashings of fresh red and green chilli. The thin pizza crust, boasting a wonderfully smoky fragrance, was crispy at the edges and chewy on the inside.
The photo is, admittedly, awful, but don't let the quality of the shitty photographer deter you from the delicious Raviolo al Tartufo ($30.90), an honest-to-goodness homemade dumpling bursting with truffled potato, and slathered in a silky walnut butter, and topped with additional shavings of black truffle.
Complimentary crusty Bread with EVOO and a tart balsamic vinegar; it's the simple things in life that's the best, isn't it?
Cugini Trattoria Pizzeria
87 Club Street
Tel: 6221 3791
Open daily from 12noon to 2.30pm; 6pm to 11pm