Restaurant review: La Barca Ristorante & Wine Bar
Read our review of La Barca Ristorante & Wine Bar and be sure to make your brunch booking for this weekend!
Being somewhat of a foodie, I love trying out different cuisines and checking out restaurants.
But as a mum of 2 little boys under the age of 5, I’m always on the lookout for kid-friendly restaurants so I can satisfy my foodie cravings and make sure my kids are both entertained and have yummy food to eat at the same time.
Because of this, I was eager to review La Barca Ristorante & Wine Bar as I had previously heard good things about how kid-friendly it was, as well as recommendations for its cuisine.
My family and I were invited to taste food off La Barca’s brunch menu and I wasn’t disappointed, as you will soon find out!
The menu and cuisine
La Barca is known for its Italian cuisine and is a popular spot for brunch among Singapore’s East-siders.
At the helm of La Barca (which, incidentally, is the Italian word for ‘boat’) is Michelin star-awarded Italian chef Michele Sorrentino.
Chef Michele explained that much of the food on the menu is traditionally Italian, but with a modern twist, and includes some of his favourite recipes from southern Tuscany.
He explained that whenever possible they source ingredients locally and only use the freshest of ingredients in their meals.
I was happy to find out that the team at La Barca are quite willing to customise dishes for those of you who might have allergies or dietary restrictions. If you are vegetarian, there are a few dishes that will suit you too.
Elegantly understated is what came to mind when I walked into La Barca. Cheery bunches of bright yellow flowers brightened up the interior, which featured large windows framing the greenery outside.
It’s very spacious, and when we went there on a Sunday it wasn’t crowded at all (probably a good thing if you’ve got kids in tow!)
If you’re visiting La Barca for brunch, there’s no need to dress up in your Sunday best — the ambience is quite laid-back and relaxed so you too can dress accordingly.
Dishes on La Barca’s brunch menu are priced between S$16-28. They offer a good selection of cold plates, salads, pastas and pizzas, as well as Italian brunch specials and delectable desserts.
They also have a kid’s menu, which, for $20, offers a soft drink or juice, Spaghetti or Penne Bolognese/ Pizza Margherita and Ice Cream, which I thought is a pretty good deal for the price.
La Barca also offers a selection of fresh juices, as well as coffee, tea, beer, wines and cocktails.
Here’s what my family and I sampled off the La Barca menu:
Freshly squeezed Orange and Watermelon Juice — $7 per glass
The pictures speak for themselves: the juices were fresh, tasty and refreshing!
Plus point: no sugar, water or ice is added to La Barca’s fresh juices!
Warm Seafood Salad with Potatoes, Celery, Cherry Tomatoes and Fresh Basil — $24
I’m quite particular when it comes to seafood and intensely dislike overcooked seafood.
But this dish was delicious — the prawns and cuttlefish were melt-in-the-mouth yummy and cooked to perfection!
The warm seafood was well complemented by chunks of floury potato and starbursts of cherry tomato. Crunchy bits of celery added texture to this dish, the flavours of which were heightened by delicate basil. A perfect start to our meal!
Mozzarella-filled Savoury Toast with 2 Homemade Chicken Sausages, Cannellini Beans, Hard-Boiled Eggs with Pink sauce, Roasted Potato Wedges — $22
This was just one of the dishes my 4-year-old son tucked into. What he really enjoyed was the mozzarella-filled toast (he devoured both pieces!).
The toast was actually pretty delicious and was filled with oozy, cheesy mozzarella goodness! I also liked the subtle spread of pesto on top of the toast.
My son avoided the beans as he saw a chili on top. However, the chili certainly didn’t stop me from tasting the beans, which were creamy and delicious, and encased in a rich, homemade tomato sauce.
The sausages were good but I would have liked to taste more herbs mixed in with the sausage meat, given that the sausages were homemade.
Overall, it was a good, satisfying brunch dish.
Vegetarian Pizza with Tomato, Mozzarella, Bell Pepper, Eggplant, Zucchini, Fresh Tomato and Basil — $24
Chef Michele prides himself on his pizzas and this one certainly didn’t let him down.
A thin, crispy crust (just how I like it) topped with delectable veggie goodness — this one is definitely for all you vegetarians looking for a good pizza.
My husband — who makes delicious pizza from scratch at home — also gave this one the thumbs-up.
Italian Hamburger with Fried Eggs, Parma Ham, Burrata Cheese, Tomato, Roasted Potato Wedges — $26
Just look at that burger! Don’t you feel like grabbing it off your computer or phone screen and eating it? It was certainly visually appetizing, but I do wish the meat patty was a tad juicier.
I really enjoyed how bursts of flavour were added to this dish by the parma ham, wedges and cheese.
Spinach Omelet with Grilled Vegetables, Cannellini Beans, Roasted Potato Wedges, Pecorino Cheese — $22
This was certainly a hearty brunch meal.
I loved the omelet, which was packed full of spinach and was light and fluffy — just as a good omelet should be.
The grilled vegetables, beans and wedges were tasty accompaniments to the omelet. I was told by Chef Michele that the spinach used in this dish was fresh and locally sourced, and the eggs were freshly delivered that morning too.
Chef’s tip: To make a perfect omelet, use 2 large fresh eggs (65g each) at room temperature. The trick is to move fast — heat the oil till very hot while whisking the eggs, and continue gently whisking after pouring the eggs into the hot oil.
Spaghetti Bolognese — $20 inclusive of a drink and ice-cream
Always a favourite with kids, my 4-year-old gobbled up half of the Spaghetti Bolognese in record time (he had already eaten 2 eggs and 2 mozzarella-filled toasts by the time he came to the bolognese!).
The dish was really tasty — perfectly cooked pasta, a rich tomato sauce and tender beef — you really can’t go wrong with this combination!
If you want to recreate this dish at home for your little one, keep an eye out for the recipe, soon to be published on theAsianparent.com!
Dark Chocolate Tart with White Chocolate Sauce — $16
Yum, yum, YUM is all I can say about this one! A must-try for all you chocoholics visiting La Barca.
A moist, dark chocolate filling encased in a crumbly, buttery tart shell with lashings of sweet, creamy white chocolate sauce — to die for!
Plus-point: Just look at how pretty this dessert is! I could have just kept staring at it, but eventually, greed overcame me!
Orange-scented Crème Brulee — $16
This dessert was creamy and smooth in texture, and subtly spiked with the delicate flavour of orange and vanilla.
The caramelised sugar topping cracked like glass when I tapped it with a spoon — an important feature of a good crème brulee. So delicious and a must-try if you’re after a not-so-heavy dessert after a scrumptious brunch feast.
The staff were super-friendly and very attentive. They knew the menu well and were helpful in recommending what we should try.
My 2-year-old son took a bit of a tumble while we were there and the staff immediately brought out ice wrapped in a clean napkin and also a first-aid box in case we needed it, showing they were well prepared to handle such a situation.
Is it child-friendly?
Yes, it most certainly is! We were asked if we wanted high chairs. They also have plastic cutlery and crockery for the littlies.
The best kid-friendly feature? The well-equipped kids’ playroom stuffed full of books and toys to keep the little ones busy and entertained!
There’s also plenty of outdoor space for the kids to safely run around in while you can keep an eye on them in La Barca’s comfortable patio seating area.
Do note that the kids’ playroom is only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-3pm.
La Barca Ristorante and Wine Bar is located within the Goodman Arts Centre at 90 Goodman Road, just off Fort Road and Mountbatten Road on the East Coast.
Once you are within the Arts Centre, you just need to follow the signs to the restaurant, to Block C.
The Goodman Arts Centre is a 5-minute drive from Suntec City along Nicoll Highway, or a few minutes drive off the ECP via the Fort Road Exit.
BY TAXI: Drop-off and pick-up are at Block A
BY BUS/TRAIN: Nearby MRT stations are Dakota, Mountbatten and Paya Lebar. The closest bus stop is at 91091 before Kampung Kayu Road, Mountbatten Road.
There are 8 parking lots close to the restaurant. As you enter, follow the service roads to Blocks B and C.
Complimentary parking coupons are available from La Barca upon request.
There are another 20 lots at the staff car park which may be used on weekends and after 6pm. Complimentary parking coupons are available.
74 parking lots are available at the visitor car park. However, you’ll need a cash card as a complimentary parking coupon cannot be used for this area.
Lunch, from noon-2.30pm
Dinner, from 6.30-9.30pm
Brunch on weekends, 11am-2.30pm
Closed on Monday
For further enquiries and to make a reservation, click here.
*Prices of food featured in this review correct at the time of publishing.
Have you been to La Barca Ristorante & Wine Bar? Tell us about your experience by leaving a comment below!