Italian cuisine is becoming increasingly popular with Singaporeans who are a carbohydrate-loving bunch. With ‘favoured‘ pastas like carbonara and spaghetti bolognaise that are served at numerous restaurants island-wide. In order to stand out from the crowd, owner-chef Fabio Iannone decided to transform his modern Italian restaurant Fuenti into the present-day Il Gladiatore. The restaurant now focuses on a Roman theme with floor-to-ceiling columns reminiscent of olden-day Roman architecture. Another interesting thing about the place is their staff, who are dressed in the long flowy robes & armour of the Romans on weekends.
What you see here is the raised level dining area of the restaurant on the left, and the main dining area on the right. The former is only available to diners on weekends, upon request or for private functions. Alfresco dining is also available.
Here at Il Gladiatore, they recreate the taste of ancient Roman cuisine with the use of ingredients like artichokes, fava beans, herbs, olive oil and vinegar. With the origins of Roman cuisine dating back thousands of years, it is no surprise that these simple ingredients are used to flavour grilled meats – a staple in the Roman diet back in those days.
I visited the place on a saturday in July to celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday. Before dinner I was frantically calling the restaurant to confirm my reservation and to ask if I could bring a cake. I wanted to ensure that I wasn’t in breach of some undisclosed restaurant policy that will eventually lead to my embarassment during dinner. To my delight, restaurant manager Mark Anthonisz, together with his staff were extremely helpful in decreasing my anxiety levels. They schemed together with me to transport the cake from the fridge right up to our VIP table. Kudos to them for great service!
We had their Traditional Fava Beans Soup ($10) [****], Three Mixed Meats ($38) [*****] –a combo of Argentinean beef tenderloin, charcoal-grilled lamb shoulder & home-made fennel pork sausage and Crayfish with Prawns ($32) [****] as seen here. The portion of the grilled meats was deceptively small, but it turned out to be more than sufficient for one. If you’re a carnivore at heart, I strongly recommend that you try their grilled meats which are tender, juicy and flavourful in all the right places. The Crayfish with Prawns was a little too dry for my liking, but good nonetheless.
However, you might wanna order an additional pasta to share because their seafood portions run rather small. If you’re interested, their tagliatelle with braised oxtail ($20), ravioli with spinach and cheese with artichoke sauce ($18) and cream-free spaghetti carbonara ($16) passed the taste-test of AsiaOne.
“If you’re feeling ravenous and want to eat all the way, go Roman to the Maximus, as it were, with the whole family. Il Gladiatore offers a Sunday brunch with unlimited servings of eight signature dishes, including a soup, four starters, a pasta dish, a main and dessert – all for $38. There are also two set lunch options on weekdays, at $18 and $28.” – says Geoffrey Eu on The Business Times, 6 Mar, 2006
//prices stated above are subjected to +++.
Food – 7/10
Price – $$$
Service – 9/10
Ambience – 8/10
Accessibility – 7/10
[$]-cheap like peanuts: ($10 & below/person)
[$$]-average Jane ($15-$25/person)
[$$$]-you might wanna tke tht card out..($30-$60/person)
[$$$$]-extremely exorbitant ($70 & above/person)
207 River Valley Road,
UE Square #01-61.
Tel: (65) 6333-8875
Dress code: Smart casual
Nearest MRT: Clarke Quay (NEL) or Dhoby Ghaut MRT
Buses: 123, 143, 64
Opposite Liang Court at the junction of Clemenceau Ave