Galbiati Gourmet Deli @ Rail Mall

Galbiati Gourmet Deli
Date: 050410

My Boss (whom I shall refer to as “Boss”), Moses and I were on our way to the zoo. However, on empty stomachs, we reckoned that we can’t work on empty stomachs. Therefore, we decided to stop by the Rail Mall, where my Boss hung out quite often due to its geographical location between the North and South.

Bukit Timah Road was one of the earliest roads in Singapore. In the early days, Bukit Timah area was notorious for numerous incidents of tigers preying on people. It is also the spot where the last defence against the invading Japanese forces during World War II took place. According to my Boss, the Japanese instead of using the Bukit Timah Road, (you know why if you have been in the army) decided to use the ridgeline that is behind the Rail Mall today to make their advance towards the British defences catching them by surprise. Nearby is also where the British surrendered to the Japanese, the Ford Motor Factory.

We went to Sweet Salty Spicy, a Thai restaurant related to Café Epicurious. However, we were disappointed by the fact that not only Café Epicurious was closed, Sweet Spicy Salty too. They were having some General Staff Meeting.

Therefore, we when to Galbiati Gourmet Deli instead as it was opened. This Italian Restaurant has decorated like a Deli. It adopted a rustic yet modern approach for its interior design. Dark, textured tables were used along side with contrasting white curvy chairs. Chalkboards filled with today’s specials, beverages and part of the menu dominated one side of the wall, flanked by displays of wine bottles.

The is a antipasto counter like those cake displays in cake shops manned by staff dressed in white long sleeves with black pants or shoes with an apron over it. And Chef Roberto of the restaurant would check the antipasto and entertain questions from the customers from time to time before retiring back into the kitchen again.

My Boss knowing the place more than Moses and I do, decided to ask the Chef for recommendation. After a short conversation, Chef Roberto recommended the Antipasto Misto and 3 plates of pasta as he tried to cater something for everyone.
Trio of Bread with Olive Oil Dip
First we had some complimentary bread. There were 3 kinds of bread, of which I enjoyed the walnut one the most. It was soft and aromatic, punctuated by crunchiness from the walnuts. The bread was slightly cold, but I still enjoy the bread, they are quite different from the usual bread I had. They probably baked these by themselves since it is a deli. It came with an Olive Oil Dip with Balsamic Vinegar in it.
Tea Set

Next came our drinks, the waitress tried her best to balance the tray of beverages on her hand as she poured the coke into a glass for Moses before serving my Boss his cup of coffee and me a Tea Press(?) filled with tea together with a cup, this was my first time being served this way, kind of interesting for me. The tea was sweet-smelling and pleasant.
Antipasto Misto III
Our Antipasto Platter ($25.00-$34.00) came next. It has all kinds of antipasto on it, so as to relieve the headache of what antipasto to choose.

Here are what was on the plate:
Insalata di Fagioli (Bean Salad)
Flan topped with Capsicum
Slices of Parma served with Rock Melon
Artichoke topped with Capsicum
Grilled Egg Plant
Funghi Trifolati (Sautéed Mushrooms)
Kalamata Olives
Grilled Asparagus
Smoked Salmon with Russian Salad
Antipasto Misto II
Generally, this is a platter where you get all kinds of flavours and textures. I shall just mention the ones that left an impression on me.

The Smoked Salmon with Russian Salad, I enjoyed the Russian Salad, it is creamy and chunky with potatoes, carrots and green peas. Overall a sweet, zesty and creamy complement to the raw and fresh salmon slices.

The Flan was an item I like here, the custard has a rich hint of cheese that crumbles and melts into your mouth when you savour it. My only complaint is that the capsicum on top of the flan seems to have made the flan slightly moister due to the heavy olive oil dosage.
Antipasto Misto I

Grilled Zuchinni topped with Sautéed Mushrooms, this was my first time eating egg plant, there general trend with the vegetable antipasto is the heavy dosage of olive oil. The egg plant antipasto was relatively soft and it has a kind of herb-like and smoky (probably due to the grill) flavour.

The Parma Ham is on the salty side, it is very delicate and smooth. The Rock Melon offset the saltiness, allowing one to enjoy the nice texture of the Parma ham and enjoy the sweetness of the honey dew.

Next came the pastas:
There were three kinds of different pastas that Chef Roberto has made. One thing in common among all the pasta is that the pasta was good, not overcooked, and just nice.
Tagliatelle Based Pasta

The first pasta was a black Tagliatelle pasta in a tomato based sauce, the Squid Ink Pasta with Crabmeat Sauce, probably made with fresh tomatoes and cream. Parsley was sprinkled over it as garnish and within this heap of black pasta are generous chunks of crab meat. The sauce carries a taste that I normally relate to lobster, however it was not too heavy to be pungent but rather come across as something interesting to me because I am not put off by the taste, and the fresh tomato and crab meat drew me back to have a few more mouthfuls. My Boss and Moses enjoyed this pasta the most.
Tagliolini ai Funghi

The second pasta was an Aglio Olio style of pasta, the Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Mushrooms. My Boss and Moses commented that it was more conventional as it has a taste similar to Chinese noodles like EE-Fu noodles for example. The pasta was topped with generous slices of mushrooms, bits of fresh tomatoes and chopped chilli. It is quite fragrant thanks to the olive oil and has a bit of spiciness due to the chilli. My Boss enjoyed this pasta the least. I like this kind of pasta, so I am alright with it, the best pasta I had was an Aglio Olio at Basil Alcove long time ago, ever since I just enjoy this simple pasta of garlic and oil with a kick of spiciness.
Tomato Based Penne

The third pasta was a tomato based pasta, Pasta with Spicy Tomato Sauce. The sauce is more fluid and it made use of both fresh tomatoes and chilli to build its flavour. The penne pasta was good as mentioned earlier. The sauce is quite spicy. Moses commented that it seemed to cater to the local taste. Chopped garlic, tomatoes and chilli can be spotted in this pasta. I am not into spicy stuff, but I quite like it though I still like the simple Aglio Olio because I just love Aglio Olio style pastas.

If there is no ranking, I can confidently say the three pastas are indeed different. Each of them carried a unique taste and texture, one was creamy and chunky, one was light and herbal, and one was spicy yet fluid. I broke the experience I had with usual pastas which in some cases tasted very similar to each other, despite being a different item. This had been a refreshing experience with pastas.

The food is hovers around decent to good and the place is rather pleasant with a backdrop of Bukit Timah Hill and a railway bridge in sight. The area reminds me of a scene I saw in Japan with low rise buildings and mountains forming its backdrop. Just that this is a mini version of it.

All in all, quite an experience for me and a very costly one, the total cost was $177+ for 3 people. To be fair, the quality, the ingredients and the reasonable portions did justified the price tag though. It is affordability that I am talking about here, not everyone could afford it.

However, they do offer set lunches at $18++.

Many thanks to my generous boss who had been treating us for a number of meals!

400 Upper Bukit Timah Road
The Rail Mall

Tel: +65 6462 0926

Opening hours
11am – 10pm
10am – 10pm
(Closed on Tue)


  1. Oh Basil Alcove! It really left a gap in my life when it closed. Let me know when you find a decent aglio place!



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