Friday, January 25, 2008

Baraonda - Beachside Italian Dining

UPDATE (Oct 2008): Baraonda seems to have closed. Website still up but no one's answering the phone.

Salamino pizza, originally uploaded by Camemberu.

We finally visited Baraonda last night and I am glad for it. Yes, this is the eatery that the original Al Forno guys have set up at the East Coast Parkway, oddly at a golf driving range and sharing premises with a Chinese seafood restaurant. Originally a casual eatery called Artzpizza (which now seems to be their pizza delivery branch), Baraonda is a full-fledged restaurant with over 100 items on its menu.

Lots of gooey hot mozzarella!, originally uploaded by Camemberu.

We did not have too good an experience with the Artzpizza delivery some time back (the pizzas had some strange smell), so we were crossing fingers hoping for a better experience here. We took a salamino pizza (S$18.50).

And oh what a difference dining in makes! I am wowed. This is the best pizza I've had in ages. Firstly, pizza is best eaten piping hot out of the wood-fired oven. Secondly, the taste is wonderfully assembled from a light tomato base, generous cheese and pepperoni salami atop a great thin crust. We polished it off in record speed.

Also good but less spectacular are their pastas. We tried the aglio olio e peperoncino (S$12.50) - a dish that is so simple and yet not easy to master. Well, the spaghetti is done right, al dente. Interesting taste from bits of burnt garlic and dried chili - not sure if it's really chili padi (bird's eye) as it wasn't spicy at all.

On the whole, it was still a bit bland and a tad heavy on the olive oil (the squeamish may want to look away from the grease puddle that remains on the plate). Ah sigh, we're still seeking the peppery hot peperoncino experience we had in, of all places, Kyoto.

Spaghetti Alle Vongole, originally uploaded by Camemberu.

The spaghetti alle vongole (S$25) came in a huge portion. Loads of clams, minced garlic and parsley with a light hint of white wine. The robust flavour will have you licking the clam shells. By the time we were done, we were too full for dessert.

It's quite lovely dining here, with the cool sea breeze and beach resort-like ambiance. The whole place with the driving range has a stuck-in-the-'70s feel about it, which gives it some character.

Baraonda also seems to have scaled down its prices a little since opening. Service on the whole is fairly decent and they serve plain water here (unlike many joints that force you to purchase a drink). But kick back with a cool beer and enjoy that pizza. After that you can literally walk to the beach if you wish.

920 East Coast Parkway
(Inside Parkland Golf Driving Range)
Tel: 6345-1111
Operating Hours:
Mon to Fri: 4pm - 11pm
Sat, Sun & Public Holidays: 11am - 11pm



  1. The Aglio Olio looks delicious and healthy. and the al fresco dining is sure windy! :)

    Its my first time here. Hello! :)

  2. Hi Jaime, welcome! Nice blog you have. I'll add you to my blogroll.

  3. Holy cow! that pizza looks cheesy as cheese can be... I've got to try it soon

  4. Any service charge and GST? Am always on the lookout for great food at reasonable prices like Cafe Oliv and Astons...esp with the current inflation levels and a possible recession looming ahead.

  5. Hiya Indigo! I was quite happy with the meal, so I didn't check for the presence of +++ charges. Anyway, one (awesome!) pizza, two pastas and an $8 beer came up to S$68 - a very filling and satisfying meal for two. From rough calculations, there's GST but no service charge.

    If you just stick to pizzas and not have too many sides (e.g. starters, salads) it won't bust the wallet...much.

  6. I was a bit turned off by the their online menu prices. Guess I shall plan a visit to them soon.

    If you're ever heading west eg Hillview, do give La Noce a try. I love that place a lot and their pizza too.

    3 Chu Lin Road
    Tel: 68771986

  7. ahh.. i heard of artpizza. but didn't know they have a restaurant.

  8. went there last month after reading this on your blog. the place was dark and dead, although golf driving range was still open. i think it's closed. do you know if they moved?

  9. Oh dear! Have they closed? I have no idea where they might have gone. Thanks for the update. Must highlight this, else others may have a wasted trip too.


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