(Grazie had since ceased operations.)
We had previously visited Grazie on a few occasions when it was a stall at Serangoon Gardens Market & Food Centre; Grazie had since expanded its operations and had moved into a new space of their own at Blk 34 Whampoa West.
Taking over the previous location of Oh My Tian Bakehouse & Cafe, Grazie seemed to have retained most of the fittings and furnishings from its previous tenant; from the eclectic door handles to the murals painted on the wall and the odd carousel seating area that occupies a corner of the bistro, the interior is largely similar to that of the previous tenant. The menu offered at Grazie at Whampoa West is slightly more diversified as compared to what they used to serve at Serangoon Gardens Market & Food Centre; the menu now sees the addition of a few more starters while also seeing a number of mains aside from pasta (though there seemed to be a shorter list of pasta available). It is also interesting to note that they do have peculiar flavours of ice-cream stocked in their freezer (e.g. Wasabi and Nacho Cheese), while also serving quite a good variety of drinks including bottled cold brew coffee that is flavoured, as well as cold brew tea. A small range of bakes from CRUMBS are available for dessert, while Grazie also serves waffles with ice-cream as another dessert option.
(Tomato Cream Seafood Pasta)
Skipping the starters, we went straight for the Tomato Cream Seafood Pasta. A dish done pretty decently, the Tomato Cream Seafood Pasta came with sea prawns and squid. At $16.90 (Grazie does not take service charge or GST), the dish felt a little pricey given the type of seafood it came with; the prawns were rather decent but the squid did feel a little rubbery at requires a little effort to chew. That being said, the noodles were done al-dente, while the tomato cream sauce carried a hint of tanginess while with a thicker consistency than the usual tomato-based pasta sauces for a creamier touch. Pretty decent, but nothing much to shout about.
We also went for the Chicken Ballotine; essentially chicken thigh wrapped with minced pork and spinach within just like a chicken roulade, while dressed with Cranberry Sauce while sitting atop potato mash and purple cabbage. While the chicken thigh itself was crusty on the exterior, the meat felt a tad dry inside; the minced pork and spinach were wrapped loosely within, lacking a tactile bite as one goes through the layers of meat. The Cranberry Sauce did help to provide a dimension of tartness to cut through the meatiness, but the overall dish was made lackluster with the cold potato mash that laid at the bottom; the stark temperature contrast simply throws things off-balance, especially given an expectation that the entire dish should have been served warm. The flavours are also generally rather flat overall save for the fact of the cranberry sauce and failed to give much of an impression.
While the Popcorn Coffee did sound interesting, we were a little surprised by how diluted it seemed to look as we were taking our first sip. The concoction, despite sounding rather interesting, was more of a diluted version of coffee with a tinge of sweetness from corn syrup; a little off-balance for the tinge of sweetness attempts to overwhelm the coffee though the flavours felt a tad washed out. It could have been due to the diluteness of the drink, but it felt like an odd concoction overall.
Grazie seems to need a lot of work on the food — it came rather surprising considering Grazie was a place that we somewhat used to enjoy when it was still at Serangoon Gardens Market & Food Centre; the standard seemed to have declined quite a bit since then. A particularly concerning problem was the cold potato mash; digging into a stone cold element within a supposedly hot dish did indeed throw things off a little. The flavours are generally decent, but nothing particularly outstanding. Perhaps Grazie would need the time to refine their process, listen to feedback and improve on various aspects to their food to recreate that sparkle they used to have in the past.
Blk 34 Whampoa West
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