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Fine Dining: Da Paolo II Giardino

I’m a Da Paolo fan, especially the one at Holland Village. But yesterday, my friend suggested going to the the one at Bt Timah instead. I’ve only been there once sometime back as it’s kinda inconvenient if you don’t drive. It’s a little different from the one at Holland V, not so commercialized. I like the ambience, the long stone-lined walkway sheltered with cool bamboo & slate walls; into the little stone garden with al-fresco tables & onto the luxuriously sleek interiors...... and I love their see-through glass kitchen where you can have a peep at the chefs.

The set lunch menu’s pretty reasonable @ S$24++ for a 3-course. But then, I was in a mood for their Beef Carpaccio S$24 & Ink Squid Pasta S$26, so I went for Ala Carte instead.

I was introduced to this delicacy many, many years ago during a lunch over at the Holland V outlet with my ex-colleagues. One of them ordered this black spaghetti thingy & offered us some. None of us was willing or daring enough to try what we thought was yucky then. Not to mention his dirty, stained lips & teeth with each mouthful scoop into this alien dish. It was just disgusting but strangely, he was clearly enjoying his food.

Well, it took me sometime before I finally picked up the courage to try this “ugly duckling”. I was curious to find out why this pasta is so popular. I’ve never regretted that moment since. Of course I was not alone then. I managed to convince another friend to go for this creepy experiment. As soon as we finished our starters, the server exchanged our usual white napkins with black ones instead. Guess I don’t have to tell you why………

The pasta came Al Dente, exactly how I like it done. The instant I sank my teeth into “Medusa’s Hair”, I was overwhelmed by the richness of the creamy ink pasta & soft, rubbery squid. Both of us looked at each other & started giggling. We quickly took out our mirrors to examine ourselves & cleaned up our stained lips & teeth before we started talking. The food was yummy & both of us loved it. It turned out to be one of the best pastas I've ever had. It’s simply SQUIDALICIOUS!

My only complaint is that no restaurants so far, has the initiative to provide a toothbrush kit. Unlike eating hairy crabs, where some restaurants actually provide you with toothpaste to clean your hands to get rid of the musty smell.

There again, it's not so bad. Through the years, I've somehow mastered the art of eating this infamous dish. I would usually scoop a small amount, just the right size for my mouth & chew it using the molars instead & wipe my mouth from time to time. Try to get your partner to eat it together with you so you won't be so conscious. It's fun!

So, those who haven’t tried Medusa’s Hair, why not try it this Valentine’s Day? Just don’t use it as a weapon like Perseus did. It’s so tragic. But, I certainly wouldn’t recommend this dish if you’re on a first date. Have fun, go ahead & laugh at each other!!


Da Paolo Il Giardino, 501 Bukit Timah Road, #01-05 Cluny Court. Tel: (65) 6463 9628


  1. Haven't tried this restaurant but have had squid ink pasta a few times. Like it but not crazy over it!

    So, your nick is black swan? Nothing to do with the black ink, is there?

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