I have previously waxed lyrical about my love affair with Italian food, so it should come as no surprise that even in Singapore, my friends and I spend a substantial amount of time sussing out the best Italian joints in town. Of course, everyone seems to have differing opinion on how al dente pasta should be and who does the best tiramisu, but suffice to say that there aren't a lack of options here.
Here are a couple of my favourites - all for different reasons. Find the ones that suits you best and buon appetito!
Dinner with your partner/best friend: Run by two funny Italian brothers, Pietrasanta may not be as accessible as the other restaurants but what it lacks in prime location it makes up for in atmosphere and food. Tables are jammed into this small trattoria, wedged into every slice of space you wonder how the wait staff get around! Still, the pizzas are fresh - you can see them being hand-tossed through a glass window - and the meat dishes are heavenly. If they're fully occupied or you're not a fan of all the hustle'n'bustle, head next door to Soprano (7 Portsdown Road) for equally good Italian food in a quiet, monochromatic setting.
Unwind after work: Sometimes all you need is good glass of wine - or five. Get your gripe on at OSO Ristorante, conveniently located in the Chinatown area. There's a lounge/bar on the first floor, and an intimate, dimly-lit restaurant and balcony on the second. Tuck into some quality Italian food and pour great wine down your gullet - fine, savour it a little before you do, just so you don't look so ungrateful.
Impress on your first date: It's a toss-up between Forlino and Il Lido. Pick the former if you want to gorgeous views of the city skyline, and plan on nipping over to a watering hole like Butter Factory or Clarke Quay for drinks after. For something more remote, head to Il Lido on Sentosa island. Either way, the food is great, the service is sharp and the bill will hurt. Don't say I didn't warn you!
Working lunch: Head down to Otto , an immensely popular lunchtime spot amongst the white-collared and pencil-skirted. Weekly set lunch menus will have you in an our within your lunch hour, and won't break the bank either! Try to make a reservation before though - it fills up fast. If you're looking for something more quiet and casual, try Al Borgo (383 Bukit Timah Rd) one of my favourite lunchtime haunts.
Host a dinner party for 10: Donna Carmela (2 Greenwood Avenue Hillcrest Park) - incidentally also run by two Italian brothers and their efficient sister in the kitchen - is a fun neighbourhood trattoria. Once you get past the pointlessly immense menu, let the wait staff cheerfully talk you into a bottle of wine imported directly from their family vineyard in southern Italy. Their pasta and pizza dishes are to die for, and there's a stout little man in a beret who sings Italian love songs - occasional, he will serenade couples and he definitely loves birthday songs.
Yes, no, maybe so? Leave a comment and let me know if I missed anything!