Wednesday, May 23, 2012

PepeNero, Stanley Street, Singapore - Homely, Seductive Italian

Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Home-made Bread, PepeNerobalsamic vinegar and olive oil, PepeNero
Interior, Home-made Bread, Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil

PepeNero - a relatively new kid on the block that has stolen my heart. The interior is simple but snazzy. There are the usual pristine white tablecloths and cream-coloured chairs, but a pop of green on one side of the walls keeps the look fresh. I prayed that the bread would be served warm, and couldn't be happier when it was. Crisp, soft and airy, the home-made bread and grissini (breadsticks) were perfect for the accompanying pomodoro pesto and olive tapenade. It's wonderful to go beyond olive oil and balsamic vinegar for bread, sometimes.

Hand Made Spaghetti with King Prawns and Zucchini Chips, PepeNero
Home-made Spaghetti with King Prawns and Zucchini Chips, $26

I'm in love with the menu because it has such a strong seafood focus. Roasted octopus? Yes. Fritto Misto (Fried Seafood Platter)? YES. Grilled lobsters, king prawns, squid ink, cod fish, clams, sea urchin, mullet roe... all their ingredients call out to me. Actually they yelled out at me, shook me by the shoulders and kept asking me over and over, "why didn't you order the whole menu??" Seriously, PepeNero serves my kind of food. Our favourite for the night was the King Prawn Home-made Spaghetti with Zucchini Chips. The chips were lightly salted and tasted fantastic dipped in the sauce, which was full of hearty crustacean notes. The home-made spaghetti was rustic and incredibly delightful, picking up just the right amounts of sauce in each bite. Delicious down to the last bite.

Linguini with clams, sea urchin and Bottarga, PepeNero
Linguini with clams, sea urchin and Bottarga, ~$26

The Linguini with Clams, Sea Urchin and Mullet Roe was a superb combination, but lighter and much more subtle in flavour - not for those who need their flavours strong and obvious. The clams were large and generous, though a tad chewy. To be frank, the sea urchin has all but disintegrated into the pool of deliciousness at the bottom of the plate and almost takes concentration to detect. Just don't go in expecting bites of sea urchin and you'll definitely enjoy the pasta. It's the lesser dish but tasty, nonetheless. Now I only need to decide what I'm having on my next visit.

* honest, gritty photos courtesy of an iphone 4 (my nikon took the day off)

What others have said:
> Asia City Singapore
> Time Out Singapore
> Ed Eats

14 Stanley Street, Singapore
Tel: +65 6222 5808

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Leave a comment (1)

  1. Good sharing, PepeNero is a pleasant place for a quiet dinner or lunch for 2. Good food and service. One of the few Italian restaurants with my favorite beef tripe (tripo) on the menu. See my blog about PepeNero at:


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