Donna Carmela is a charming little place with its rustic interior and homey atmosphere. It's located in Hillcrest Park near Bukit Timah Rd or Dunearn Rd which is quite inaccessible for those people who don't have a car. I suggest that you take a cab or your car when you go there. I must say that this is one of the Italian restaurants that impressed me not only with their dishes but also with their passion for service. Their menu offers a wide range of pasta dishes which gives you the flexibility to choose what type of base sauce you want to go with it (e.g. Tomato cream, tomato & basil, cream sauce, etc.). I ordered Ravioli Granchio ed Aragosta in Salsa Rosa (Ravioli Stuffed w/ Crab and Lobster in Tomato Cream sauce) and Semifreddo for dessert.

I was served right away with their complimentary warm, crusty ciabatta bread which I dipped in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt available on the table. The server was really friendly and served me with a smile.

Having learned that I traveled a long way just to get there, she served me complimentary antipasti comprising of some cheese, green olives and mortadella.

She also offered me a welcoming glass of their Prosecco to go with it.

The ravioli was cooked nicely and the crab and lobster stuffing had a fresh taste of the sea. The Tomato cream sauce (or Salsa Rosa) had the right balance. The amount of cream was just right to cut the tartness of the tomato and was not overpowered by the cream. I first thought that the serving was quite small but after finishing it, I was really full.

Their semifreddo, on the other hand, gave a nice ending to my meal. This is perfect especially for chocolate-lovers. Although I'm not one, I still enjoyed it because of the rawness of the chocolate flavor. It kind of gives me the same experience when I'm eating chocolate truffles (but with a cold aspect to it...hehehe!). You can tell that they used dark chocolate, which I liked, because of its richness and slight bitter taste. Also, it is not too sweet. If I had to find fault in it, the strawberry on top was not that attractive looking (it had green parts) and it was not ripe enough. It was okay for me though since the slight sourness of the strawberry gave another dimension to the dessert.

Overall, despite the long commute, I would say that this place is worth visiting with its ambiance, good food and great service. I would recommend though that you visit this place during lunchtime (Mon-Sat 12-2:30 P.M.) so that you can enjoy their set lunch (Antipasti, Soup, Main - Pizza or Pasta and Dessert of the Day with coffee/tea/Prosecco for 25++).
Donna Carmela
Hillcrest Park, 2 Greenwood Ave.
Singapore 289189

Price Range: 30 to 50 (for 2)