Cacio e Pepe is a hidden gem tucked away in Hillview District serving authentic Italian cuisine using quality ingredients. Many times when we were having breakfast just at the stretch of shophouses, we spoke about making plans here and finally we are here.
From words of mouth, we knew that pasta here was something that we should not give a miss and even before entering the restaurant, the number of articles plastered on their glass door had revealed several media reports. You will be surprise that in this quiet area, the 50 pax restaurant during night time is lively. Due to our impromptu decision (as always), we did not make any reservation and was "punished" to take the non reserved seat at the Alfresco area way back into the restaurant.
Though it was equip with powerful fan blowing towards us, the weather was still very hot and humid.
While waiting for our order, toasts was efficiently served with vinegar and oil on the wooden board.
Soup of the day was cream of broccoli with a piece of fried cheese tucked by the side of it. There was moderate taste of greens here luckily and was quite appetizing indeed.
Quite a number of pasta item on the menu was recommended by staff on duty and the method of preparation of Linguine al Cartoccio as explained by her had impressed us. Pasta was cooked to al dente perfection with seafood like crayfish, mussel, clams, calamari, prawns and home made marinara sauce and was then placed in a baking bag and baked.
The 2nd part of the preparation (baking) actually brings out the rich flavours of the sea. I came to realise this when the baking paper was opened right in front of my eyes.
The hitting sound of meat from the kitchen had indeed make the pork loin tender breaking the fibres in the meat.
Besides being a thin slice and tender, it uniqueness comes with the combination of Mozzarella cheese, parma ham and sage accompanied with potatoes and mix salad.
We didnt get the chance to try out their pizza as they mentioned that the kitchen could not cope with the efficiency during crowded timing. Thus we ended up ordering desserts before we bid good bye.
Couple with Cocoa Powder and yummy pillow soft mascapone cheese. Every mouthful of the dessert is to die for!
You get a tinge of zesty citrus flavour in between the taste of cheese and cappuccino here.
With 3 distinctive texture, you get to enjoy the middle portion of the dessert without soaking up with Cappacino and got a good taste of the spongy madness. Totally Yummy!
Service was professional and friendly. Our ice water was promptly topped up even though we were the only customers in the Alfresco area. Too bad that we did not get to try the pizza this time, I guess I will be back for them!
Somehow stumbled upon some reviews of the place and was intrigued by the reviews I saw. They weren't your usual reviews but users used the words "Hidden gem", "rare find" etc... That was something unusually delightful so I had to check it out!
When we reached the place, the whole setting seemed totally homey and dull in the good kind of way. The restaurant menu, décor, ambience seemed to slow time down and transform our dinner into an experience. Good eating places these days require a fair bit of booking, shoving, q-ing and it simply turns the dinner mood into a quick, rushed affair. So you could see why I was absolutely pleased! We were tucked into our table and given quaint but simple menus to order from. The server announced some specials for the day which was good as it shows they do customize their dishes so it won't be the same old stuff everyday!
Read more at my blog!
Tucked away in a quiet residential area of Bukit Batok, Cacio e Pepe is a casual and cosy Italian Restaurant. This feels like a neighbourhood trattoria, like in Italy, where people can pop by and not worry about having to dress up. The chefs are trained by one of the owners’ Italian mother-in-law. The pasta menu isn’t just confined to the just the usual spaghetti Bolognese. There is an array of linguine, penne and spaghetti cooked in various ways to appeal to both cream-sauce lovers and those who prefer something lighter on the palate. Tagliatelle al Tartufo ($24) is my favourite. The homemade egg pasta is tossed with scallops and prawns in truffle cream sauce. Ok I am biased because of the truffle cream sauce. But the tasty sauce is really aromatic and not overpowering. The egg pasta is equally good and because it is homemade, you need to give them some time to prepare. There are plenty more other dishes that I will gladly eat again, such as Risotto al Nero de Seppia ($20). The Italian Arborio rice was cooked to perfection, tossed with QQ prawns, calamari, clams and mussels with squid ink sauce. It is a good indicator of quality and is well balanced and very tasty. The decor is homey, the atmosphere is warm and the service is friendly. The boss is very friendly and it makes us feel like we are having dinner at a friend’s house. More importantly, the food is up to scratch as well. Pasta is done al dante, sauces are tasty and prices are really reasonable!
Another one of those places where your GPS device comes in handy. Off Upper Paya Lebar Road, this is literally a neighborhood joint. Other than the next door coffee shop, I didn't see much else going on other than a pretty flat residential hood in there. The advantage, we could still get a table at the last minute on the weekend. Not that it was empty - there was still a good crowd going when we got there closer to 9pm.
Service was a little spotty although friendly but we were thankful for the bread which arrived fairly quickly, since we were starving. Although it looked a little dry when it did, it was a nice chewy texture and was much better than it looked.
The Spinaci salad with bacon, mushrooms and Feta tossed in a Balsamic Vinaigrette was tasty.. perhaps a tad too salty even after losing sodium from 2 hours of tennis. Plenty replenishment there. However, we were pleased with the quality of the spinach and tomatoes which were crisp, fresh and sweet. The bacon and Feta added dimensions to it and because these were salty too, we could have done with less salt overall in the dressing.
This was my least favorite dish of the evening but I can imagine it to be a hit with a lot of Singaporeans who like their food spicy. There was way too much chili heat in the Linguini al Cartoccio for me to handle. I thought it covered whatever seafood taste from the seafood sealed within the aluminum foil while being cooked. While the Calamari was done best, the rest of seafood was unfortunately not catch-of-the-day fresh, and the linguini was not al dente and so a tad soggy.
But we made up for it with the Quattro Stagioni pizza topped with artichokes, spinach, anchovies, ham, black olives and mozzarella. A well balanced pizza that wasn't overly salty, it had a combination of slightly tangy from the artichokes, contained by the salt from the anchovies, ham and olives, then texturised with the mozzarella on a slightly charred smoky pizza base. This was still good the next day after you heat it up on a pan lightly.
Although our sweet ending was a little burnt, probably from a over enthusiastic blow torch, the custard itself was actually the kind I like - very eggy, not overly sweet. The berries were a little dead from the off season but once you get over the charred top and dried fruit, the custard is all you need to concern yourself with.
Overall, an "ok" for a neighborhood joint and at fair prices. A little reminiscent of Al Forno in the good ole days before they sold out (it's pretty abysmal now) and the has the makings of a nice alternative to fighting for a reservation in the more popular spots on the weekends.
For the original post with photos, visit edeats.blogspot.com