1. La Braceria
This hidden gem nestled in the sleepy estate of Greenwood might look small and humble, but it serves authentic Italian cuisine that has been highly lauded. It was also endorsed by the Embassy of Italy for its authenticity, so you can be sure everything you order is the real deal.
You won’t go wrong with classics such as the Spaghetti alle Vongole (spaghetti tossed with clams in white wine sauce) or the Spaghetti Frutti di Mare (spaghetti with mix seafood and cherry tomatoes in garlic and olive oil). Both boast fresh seafood and springy, flavourful noodles that are both satisfying and comforting. The restaurant, admittedly, is not the easiest place to get to unless you drive, but is worth the effort.
La Braceria is at 5 Greendale Avenue Singapore 289501, tel: 6465 5918.
2. Cacio e Pepe
A cosy little spot and a neighbourhood favourite, Cacio e Pepe (which literally means cheese and pepper) offers generous meals that are big on flavours. Here, you get authentic and homely offerings in a relaxed atmosphere.
Go for its Spaghetti agli Scampi, which is served with firm crayfish meat in a piquant spicy tomato sauce that hits the spot. Or if you’re adventurous, order the Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia, which serves spaghetti and seafood in a rich and flavourful squid ink sauce. Definitely not run-of-the-mill.
Cacio e Pepe is at 3 Chu Lin Road, Singapore 669890, tel: 6760 7745.
3. Al Forno East Coast Restaurant and Pizzeria
Only 20 Italian restaurants in Singapore are awarded the coveted Ospitalità Italiana Seal of Quality— a prestigious award given out to authentic Italian restaurants—and Al Forno is one of them. It’s a fine dining restaurant with gold standard service and even better food.
Although they’re better known for their pizzas, their pasta dishes are delicious too. Carbonara dishes are aplenty in Singapore but at Al Forno, they’ve mastered the art of balancing the right amount of cream in the dish so that all the flavours work harmoniously to give you a mouthgasm. Their Spaghetti Carbonara comprises al dente pasta, eggs and bacon— a simple yet fulfilling meal that’ll satiate your cravings. Its Spaghetti Al Nero di Seppia (squid ink pasta), comprising a mix of clams, prawns and squid, also gets two thumbs up from us.
Al Forno East Coast Restaurant and Pizzeria is located at 400 East Coast Road, Singapore 428996, tel: 6348 8781.
4. Ristorante Pietrasanta
Nestled in the cosy Wessex Estate, Ristorante Pietrasanta is loved by its regulars for its authentic Italian fare. It is owned and operated by two Italian brothers and named after the town of Pietrasanta in Tuscany, where they came from. Any of their pastas and pizzas are a good bet, but try the Spaghetti ai Frutti di Mare, which is served with a generous heap of prawns, scallop, squid and clams in white wine sauce.
Bonus? Surrounded rustic greenery, it’s a great place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Ristorante Pietrasanta is located at #01-03, 5B Portsdown Road, Singapore 139311, tel: 6479 9521.
Helmed by Italian chef Marco Turatti, the meals you get here are authentic and sumptuous, not to mention you get to enjoy a tranquil riverside environment while you’re at it. Pastas are handcrafted in-house, so you’re guaranteed a fresh and satisfying dish.
Go for the Lobster Spaghetti which comes with cherry tomatoes, garlic, white wine and chilli — it’s a warm and yummy plate of food that sends a myriad of flavours through your mouth. For something lighter, the vegetarian Spaghetti Chitarra of fresh egg spaghetti, cherry tomatoes, smoked olive passata, parmesan, liguria basil, and chilli flakes will do too.
Publico is at 1 Nanson Road, InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay, Singapore 238909, tel: 6826 5040.
6. Pasta Brava
Having clinched several awards, Pasta Brava is one of the best authentic Italian restaurants in Singapore. Their delicious Spaghetti Del Pescatore comprising a generous serving of crayfish, scallops, prawns, clams and squid tossed in exquisite squid ink sauce, is reason enough to pay this restaurant a visit. The dish has a distinct aroma that can be likened to seabreeze (thanks to its fresh seafood) that simply invigorates your palate.
Another notable dish is their Mezzelune Ripiene di Zucca, which features perfectly al dente half moon-shaped pasta liberally filled with pumpkin and served in a delicious capsicum cream sauce — a great option for vegetarians.
Pasta Brava is located at 11 Craig Road, Tanjong Pagar Singapore 089671, tel: 6227 7550.
7. La Strada
La Strada is at #01-11, 1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208, tel: 6735 6656.
8. Ristorante Luka
Situated along Tanjong Pagar road, Ristorante Luka—by chef-owner Takashi Okuno— serves affordable yet tasty Italian cuisine with a Japanese twist. It has gathered quite a fan base, judging by the queue during lunch time.
The usual bolognese, vongole and carbonara are offered here (but are not served with spaghetti), but we say try the decadent Mentaiko and Ikura spaghetti — it’s a rich and creamy dish served with umami salmon roe, mentaiko cream and marscapone cheese that is guaranteed to send you into a food coma. Meat lovers might prefer the Amatriciana spaghetti of bacon, garlic, onion, chili, tomato sauce and parmesan. Worth braving the queue for.
Ristorante Luka is located at 18 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088441, tel: 6221 3988.
9. Da Luca
Located in the rundown Goldhill Plaza, this unpretentious Italian restaurant’s friendly and inviting atmosphere makes dining here all the more enjoyable. Opened and managed by chef-owner Luca Pucciani with his wife, there’s a reason why it earned a Michelin star. Food served here is a little pricey, but is delicious and flavourful, not to mention generous in portions.
Several highlights are on the menu, such as the truffle emulsion-infused cold pasta with Hokkaido scallops, cavier, creamy uni and a jaw-dropping amount of truffle shavings. Mouthwateringly decadent, it will leave you wanting more. Spaghetti options include the vongole.
Tip: Get a few dishes to share with your friends and request for tasting portions to be served.
Da Luca is at 1 Goldhill Plaza, #01-19/21, Singapore 308899, tel: 6258 4846.
10. Prego at Fairmont Singapore
Prego at Fairmont Singapore offers delicious Italian cuisine for every palate. To get the most bang out of your buck, we recommend trying their Sunday Buffet Brunch (adults $94++ onward and children $48++ onward) comprising a Cheese Station, Live Pasta Crafting and Risotto Bar, Fresh Seafood and an Italian Gelato Bar with dreamy desserts.
Our interest lies in their Live Pasta Crafting and Risotto Bar where diners get to spectate as chefs skillfully create pasta on request—and yes, they’re incredibly Instagram-friendly. Here, diners will have the opportunity to create their own pasta dish by first choosing which type of pasta they’d like: Ravioli, spaghetti, or their seasonal squid ink pasta. Then, they get to pick a sauce of their choice—Spiced Tomato Sauce with Seafood, Bolognese Sauce, Carbonara Sauce or Truffle Cream Sauce— and end it off with their choice of toppings. Voila! You’ve got your very own curated pasta dish.
Bonus? Diners get to indulge in free-flow bubbly at zero additional charge.
Prego is located at Level 1, Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189560, tel: 6431 6156.
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Text: Navin Pillay and Joy Fang