It’s rather easy to associate Italian fare with comfort food. After all, the cuisine — which spans pizzas, pastas, cured meats and seafood — is generally heavy in carbs and cheese, hence making for pretty hearty meals. While it may not be our go-to option when we’re trying to shed a few pounds or eat clean (confession time: when presented with a choice between pasta or a salad, we’d gladly pick the former), one can’t deny that Italian food is, well, absolutely delicious. The mere thought of a crisp wood-fired pizza or creamy heap of pasta is enough to get us drooling.
Like many other cuisines such as French and Japanese, Italian food varies across the country’s regions. Lombardy, for instance, is famed for risotto dishes such as risotto alla milanese (which is infused with saffron), while Tuscany is known for its Florentine steaks, and Campania for pizza. Here in Singapore, we’re fortunate to have an abundance of Italian restaurants to choose from, with a number of eateries serving up a variety of dishes from different parts of Italy — so we don’t even need to make a trip there.
If you’re up for a carb-laden, utterly sumptuous meal this week, hit up these 5 best Italian restaurants, which offer everything from pasta to burrata and steak.
(Main photo: Resorts World Sentosa; Featured photo: Amò)
Opened in 2003, Garibaldi is pretty much an institution in the local dining scene. The newly minted one-Michelin-starred restaurant offers a repertoire of traditional Italian fare, with highlights such as risotto with Porcini mushroom, grilled Iberico pork rack, rigatoni with beef bolognese, and pan-seared scallops. For those feeling extra indulgent, the restaurant also has a caviar-focused menu of dishes such as wagyu beef tartare and cold angel hair pasta — all of which are served with Carelian caviar obtained from Siberian sturgeons that are farmed in an indoor facility in Finland.
Garibaldi Italian Restaurant & Bar, 36 Purvis Street, #01-02, Singapore 188613, +65 6837 1468
Operated by famed chefs Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton, as well as prominent US restaurateur Joseph Bastianich, Osteria Mozza is an upscale Italian eatery at Marina Bay Sands. Its menu ranges from antipasti such as fried calamari and smoked sea trout salad, to pastas and mains like lamb chops and wagyu rib eye. What sets Osteria Mozza apart from many other Italian establishments is its mozzarella bar, where diners can savour a variety of burrata and ricotta dishes. It also has a sister restaurant, Pizzeria Mozza, which specialises in wood-fired pizzas.
Osteria Mozza, B1-42-46, Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956, +65 6688 8522
(Photo: Marina Bay Sands)
This one-year-old trattoria and pizzeria is run by chef brothers Enrico and Roberto Cerea from Da Vittorio, a three Michelin-starred restaurant in Lombardy, Italy. It rolled out a refreshed menu in June, showcasing tantalising dishes such as square spaghetti pasta with braised beef short rib ragout, and Paccheri alla Vittorio, which puts a spin on the traditional pasta al pomodoro (tomato pasta) by adding different types of Italian tomatoes and using a thicker tube pasta. Don’t forget to try the restaurant’s signature pizzas, such as the Bianca, a tasty combination of freshly baked focaccia topped with soft burrata cheese from Puglia, slivers of cured parma ham, and rucola salad.
Fratelli, Level One, Festive Walk (next to Hotel Michael), Resorts World Sentosa , 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098269, +65 6577 6555
(Photo: Resorts World Sentosa)
Amò may have only opened its doors in June this year, but it’s already one of our favourite spots for hearty, contemporary Italian cuisine. The restaurant’s operated by the Illido Group and serves an extensive variety of antipasti, pastas and pizzas. Must-try dishes include bone marrow pizza (which is layered with wild garlic pesto and anchovy salsa verde, and baked in a wood-fired oven) and spaghettoni with Boston lobster and tarragon — which comes with the lobster helpfully cut up into portions, so you don’t have to worry about getting your hands dirty.
Amò, 33 Hong Kong Street, Singapore 059672, +65 6723 7733
This classy restaurant at Mandarin Oriental offers a repertoire of traditional Italian cuisine incorporated with produce imported from Italy. It underwent a refurbishment earlier this year, as well as launched a refreshed menu of dishes such as spaghetti carbonara (which features pasta loaded with cured pancetta, pecorino sabayon and black pepper spices), grilled US prime beef bone-in ribeye, and our favourite, Treccia Campana di Bufala — silky smooth buffalo mozzarella cheese from Naples, served with tomatoes and anchovies.
Dolce Vita, Mandarin Oriental Singapore, Level 5, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797, +65 6885 3500