Make sure to read on to the bottom, mamas, to find out about an exclusive kids’ dining deal at Palio for Sassy Mama readers!
Imagine a perfect action-filled family day out on Sentosa. You’ve done Universal Studios (for the fifth time now), spent most of the afternoon underwater cooling off at Adventure Cove, and round about dinnertime, you’ve got hyper-hungry kids to feed. But where to eat among the plethora of family-friendly dining options available on Sentosa? From fast-food junkie stops to ultimate fine dining experiences, you’ve got a mind-boggling amount of choice.
Having recently staked our day in the sun, my family found quite a little treat to share with you – especially if you’re in the mood for hearty Italian! Located on Festive Walk within Resorts World and accessible via Hotel Michael, Palio Restaurant is cooking up rustic Tuscan dishes and traditional Italian pick-me-ups, with several ingredients specially flown in from Italy itself! Seriously, what’s better comfort food than pasta and a glass of wine? My sons would argue for the thin-crust pizza; why not try both?
And since it’s a family restaurant, you don’t have to feel bad about the kids running amok (within reason of course), or throwing the odd tantrum. The atmosphere is totally relaxed. We took our twin boys to dinner at Palio – they’re the ultimate food critics as fussy little eaters go – and as soon as we stepped inside, we felt the restaurant’s energy and vibrant buzz.
Truly Italian, there is an open-kitchen concept, as well as the quintessential wood-firing pizza oven, plus plenty of laughter and noise. But book in advance – tables here fill up fast! The restaurant was obviously the destination of choice for families, as there seemed to be an even number of kids to parents, making for great family ambience. And it’s easy on the pocket, too. Though service got off to a slow start, things finally got sorted out once we ordered and we were on our way.
Choose from an elaborate a la carte menu or the sharing set menu for 4 people. To start off, we had the classic Caprese del Palio – Italian buffalo Mozzarella salad with vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh basil ($22) and Porcini – a gorgeous chunky Tuscan porcini mushroom soup, garnished with ciabatta croutons, drizzles of white truffle oil and lashings of fresh thyme cream ($14). Frankly, give me anything with mushrooms and chances are I’ll think it’s great! This one really was.
If possible, order the Spagehetti alla Bolognese for the kids and sneak in a couple of bites yourself. I found the children’s portions as generous as those for adults, so if you have small eaters, there’s plenty to go around. Admittedly, the Bolognese sauce was a little bland, but it’s nothing that a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese and drops of Tabasco couldn’t fix.
For the mains, I highly recommend going with Merluzzo: pan-roasted Cod in a crunchy herb crust with aged balsamic vinegar reduction, sautéed vine cherry ripe tomatoes and mashed potatoes ($38). The fish was cooked beautifully, and the crunchiness of the herb crust was a perfect contrasting texture on the plate. Pair that with a glass of the red Col di Sasso Toscana ($16) and chances are, you should be very happy. But the wine list here is quite extensive, so take your pick!
If you like your sausages and pasta comme moi, check out the Malloreddus con Salsiccia e Funghi – try ordering that in Italian! Simply translated to “Gnocchetti with Tuscan sausages and mushrooms in a light, spicy tomato sauce” ($28), the dish certainly tasted much better than it looked. I thought I had wrongly ordered something with chickpeas in it, only to find that it was actually baby gnocchi! Think little chunks of mushrooms, gnocchi and sausages sitting atop tomato sauce – it really doesn’t get more Italian than this in my book.
Kids being kids, my boys were quite happy with their Hawaian Pizza! But if you’re a seafood person, try the Hotel Michael Signature Pizza – it’s topped with fresh seafood on a bed of traditional tomato sauce and is supposed to be quite sensational. I’d love to hear what you think of it.
And finally, dessert! You could go for the highly popular Tiramisu, but if the mood for chocolate strikes, try the Tortino Caldo al Cioccolato – a warm chocolate ‘fondanty’ tart with a crème anglaise sauce and vanilla ice cream, dusted with flaked almonds ($14). One is certainly big enough for sharing! Delicious as it was, though, the twins had no interest in the dessert – for the thoughtful service staff had brought along a touch of popping candy to go along with their ice creams. How can you ever beat popping candy?
Buon Appetito, mamas!
Sassy Mama Perk:
For the next month (through 23 February, 2015), book in advance with the kiddos and quote “SassyMamaSG@Palio” to receive up to 2 complimentary kids’ menus per dining receipt, with a minimum spend of $60 nett.
Hotel Michael, ResortsWorld Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island, Singapore 098269
Tel: (+65) 6577 6688
Hours: Open daily from 7:30am to 10pm. Breakfast: 7:30-10:30am; Lunch: 12-2:30pm; Dinner: 6-10pm; Pizza snacks (Fri-Sun and public holidays only): 2:15-6pm.