Take your family out this weekend to these family-friendly Italian restaurants. Buon Appetito!
#02-01 Hill V2, 4 Hillview Rise, Tel: 6710-7150. Open daily, 10am-10pm.
Helmed by Anna Borassi, executive chef of Sicilia Mia group (which also manages Etna Italian Restaurant), Io Italian Osteria is a spacious restaurant boasting an open-concept kitchen. The restaurant has a convivial air, and showcases picks from 20 regions in Italy at pocket-friendly prices. While you’re there, you can even stock up on pantry essentials like pastas, olive oil and jams – all imported from Italy.
What we loved:
- Start off with traditional Italian street food, like the Crispy Golden Seafood in Semolina Crumb ($9), an addictive medley of prawns, squid and fish in light-as-air batter, and Rice Suppli ($9), a crispy rice ball stuffed with mozzarella that makes a satisfying mouthful.
- A standout dish, the Porchetta ($12) is a baked pork belly with wild fennel that’s perfectly crunchy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside. The fennel is a brilliant addition, adding a light, bright fl avour and masking any trace of porkiness.
- If you have a hankering for cured meats, try the Burrata, Parma Ham and Rucola ($19). The parma ham was not overwhelmingly meaty and paired refreshingly well with the homemade burrata and rocket leaves.
- A family favourite, the Assorted Pizzas ($28 for a large pizza) are a mix of three types of pizzas – sausage, ham and mushroom – so there’s something for everyone.
Level 1 Garden Wing, Shangri-La Hotel, 22 Orange Grove Road, Tel: 6213 4138. Open daily, 12-3pm, 6-10.30pm.
The former Waterfall Cafe, which used to serve Mediterranean food, is now a full-fledged Italian eatery. Specialising in southern Italian fare, its dishes are healthful and light on the palate, featuring a delightful selection of fresh seasonal produce.
What we loved:
- A refreshing start to a meal, the Insalata Di Mare All’Amalfi tana ($23) is a fresh seafood salad that hits all the right spots with its tangy, white balsamic vinegar-marinated onion bits tossed with succulent seafood.
- The kid-friendly Parmigiana Di Melanzane ($20) is wonderful cheesy goodness with its eggplant, tomatoes and Parmigiano cheese.
- The Pizza Genovese ($29) is a shrimp pizza with basil pesto on a homemade tomato base. With its thin crust and light, herby flavours, you’ll find it hard to stop at just one slice.
- Born out of a craving for his mother’s lasagne, executive chef Marco De Vincentis’ Lasagna Croccante Ragu Bianco E Porcini ($24) off ers a twist on the classic version in the form of crispy pasta sheets, which taste as delectable as they are whimsical.
#01-02 Pan Pacifi c Orchard Hotel, 10 Claymore Road, Tel: 6737 3253. Open Mon, 5pm-midnight; Tue-Sun, 11.30am-midnight.
Sopra Cucina & Bar harks back to a bygone era. Decked out in wood tones, its eclectic mix of vintage furniture was sourced from Italy and adds to its charm. The staff are warm and friendly, and the restaurant has extensive kid-friendly offerings.
What we loved:
- Light and refreshing, the Polpo Alla Carlofortina ($18) is a slow-cooked fresh octopus salad, littered with celery, olives, pine nuts, basil and a special in-house dressing.
- Not overly oily, with a super-light batter and perfectly done, the Calamari Fritti ($18) is hands down the best calamari we’ve had.
- Good for a family of four, the Deep Ocean ($54) is a premium pizza with a hand-stretched thin crust, topped with fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and generous chunks of lobster.
- The oven-baked Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina ($25), with tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, has a light, delicate flavour, thanks to its perfect potato-flour balance.
3 Binjai Park, Tel: 6468 4886. Open Tue-Sun, noon-2.30pm, 6-10.30pm.
Tucked away in the cosy Bukit Timah neighbourhood, Capri Trattoria & Pizzeria oozes a welcoming vibe, offering Italian specials showcasing a different region every month, on top of its a la carte menu. Good news for families with cars: There’s complimentary valet parking at dinner time from Friday to Sunday.
What we loved:
- The Gamberi E Cappesante Alle Erbe ($20) contains plump prawns and scallops seasoned with Mediterranean herbs, pan-seared and served with sun-dried tomatoes and olives. You’ll want to mop up every last drop of the tasty broth with the homemade bread it’s served with.
- Perfectly al dente, the Cannarozzi Allo Zafferano ($25) is a tube-like pasta sautéed in a rich, earthy saffron sauce, with ricotta cheese and smoky bacon. We liked that the pasta was lightly tossed, not smothered, in the sauce.
- Great for sharing, the Cotoletta Alla Milanese ($48) is a generous portion of deep-fried breaded veal chop – crispy on the outside and unbelievably juicy on the inside – served with roasted potatoes and a side salad.
- Heaped with fresh mussels, prawns, squid, clams, crayfish and cod in a tomato-based sauce, the Cacciucco Alla Livornese ($28) is a hearty seafood stew brimming with flavour and comfort.
More great pizza places!
By Cheryl Leong, Simply Her, July 2015