In conjunction with its 25th anniversary in the industry, the Da Paolo Group has unveiled its new extension, the Da Paolo Catering, earlier this month.
I was pleased to be able to attend the showcase of their catering menu at Da Paolo Bistro Bar @ Rochester Park, featuring their strong suit in the contemporary Italian fare. It was my first visit at the Bistro Bar, and I was left in awe with the entire space and intricate interior design.
Da Paolo Catering does not only provide for the usual lunch and dinner buffet, but also canapés / high tea at your event. A minimum requirement of 30 persons is imposed. Prices begin at $62++ for lunch / dinner, and $28++ for canapés / high tea (exclusive of catering and delivery charges – they are dependent on guest requirements and nature of event). Service is to be ordered at least 4 working days in advance.
Outstandingly, the Da Paolo Group was also recently awarded the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) certification, an international recognition and assurance of the Group’s compliance with food safety throughout the entire food chain preparation. The photo of Group Executive Chef Andrea Scarpa, the man behind the catering arm, is partially there to put a face to the name, and partially for you girls to drool over.
(1) Canapés. At $28++ per person, you get to pick 6 items from both the savoury and sweet menu. The hot favourite has to be the Cured Salmon with Pasta Sheet on Calamansi. How do you eat it: pick up the pasta sheet, squeeze the calamansi on the cured salmon, and pop it in (of course, leaving the calamansi aside). The flavours of saltiness and sourness were so well-balanced and harmonised I would have no issues heading back for more (which I did, but would not have stopped if not for the need to try the rest of the menu). Because it is interactive, it also stands out from the crowd. I also like two other items from the savoury section – the Roast Beef with Pumpkin and Mushroom, and the Spinach Ricotta Tortellini with Roasted Garlic & Tomatoes on Herbed Crouton. For the sweet section, continue reading.
(2) Starters / Soups. From a number of dishes I have tried, my personal favourite is the Sliced Fresh Tomatoes with Mozzarella, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, where the portion of the two main ingredients coincides to a large extent. A good mild starter. Otherwise, a more flavourful option would be the Spinach Ricotta Tortellini, with accompaniments of italian tuna, black olives, onions, tomatoes and zucchini. For a wholesome meal, you can opt for soups too, including Lobster Soup with Butter Croutons and Pumpkin Soup with Garlic Croutons.
(3) Pasta. If you are catering for a house party and not some lavish event, go ahead and order the Homemade Spaghetti in Squid Ink Sauce. Good flavours of its kind, all perfect, save for the really, really stubborn stains from the squid’s ink. Usually a number of napkin wipes would suffice but this needed twice the effort. Otherwise, their famed Lasagna might just do the trick; ranging from vegetables, to beef, salmon and chicken mushroom ones.
(4) Mains. I quite like the Wild Black Rice with roasted chicken slices, pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes. Though it was a little oily, it was flavourful. Otherwise, the Black Pepper Ribeye was not bad too, served with dijon mustard and veal jus.
(5) Sides. They have the controversial, love it or hate it Brussels Sprouts, done with truffle-infused olive oil (which most people adore, so now what does it make out of the entire dish?) and shaved parmesan. Other sides include Grilled Zucchini, Potato Salad, and Mixed Olives.
(6) Desserts. A few of us could not wait for the sweet ending and started ourselves off with the enticing desserts (and then later ended it, again with the same). If you are familiar with them, you probably remembered it from Da Paolo Gastronomia’s celebrated desserts. Except this time round, they cut it up for you into petite, bite-sized portions. If I could pick 3 (to complete my selection of 6 in the abovementioned canapé menu), I would pick the Lemon Meringue Tart, Nutella Cake, and the Banana Toffee Tart. Okay, the Cookies and Milk Cake is good too. Other dessert pieces include Tiger Skin Roll, Crunchy Hazelnut Cake, Cheesecakes, and even their signature Crodos, where you can customise it to suit your event. You can tell I not only have a ‘savoury tooth’, I have a sweet tooth as well.
Da Paolo Catering also prides itself as a brand to impress, not only in its area of food, but also down to its fine points like elegant table displays, and the option of hiring professional butlers and service staff for the event. All as an offer for a holistic experience.
Special gratitude to Hsian Ming, Shauna and the Sixth Sense Communications & PR Consultancy team, and Chef Andrea Scarpa and the Da Paolo team for the hospitality and hosting the media session.