The west of Singapore might not be the most exciting zone in terms of culinary offerings, but it does have its hidden gems. Cacio e Pepe is one of them.
Nestled in the quiet residential estate along Chu Lin Road (off Jalan Remaja) in the Bukit Batok area, the small and cosy 50-seater restaurant serves up Italian cuisine in a relaxed dining environment. I can imagine myself turning up in shorts and slippers if I live nearby lol. Their kitchen serves lunch and dinner daily, and the coffee bar is always opened for coffee and deserts.
“Cacio e Pepe” translates to “Cheese & Pepper” which are two things that always go well together. Well, I do think that bread with olive oil and vinegar dip goes very well together too (that I can even ditch my favorite butter haha).
The menu covers a good selection of Appetizers ($4-$35), Soups ($8-$12), Pastas ($16-$25), Pizzas ($18-$28) and Mains ($24-$38). Price is in the affordable range which is just fine for dwellers in the suburban location.
Meal proper began with Zuppa al Funghi ($10), a creamy rich mushroom bisque, followed by Zuppa al Frutti di Mare ($12).
I especially love the appetite whetting tanginess of the seafood soup. Given the generous portion of prawn, clam, mussel and squid, it can even be a meal by itself for small eaters.
We were also recommended the fried Tomino Cheese ($24), which is a off-menu special. I remember having this item at Valentino and enjoyed it very much. The rendition here at Cacio e Pepe did not disappoint.
Using a gas-brick oven, it churned out a pretty decent pizza topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, parma ham and rocket leaves which we all enjoyed.
If there is one dish not to be missed, make it the Tagliatelle al Tartufo ($24). The egg pasta had a perfectly al dente texture that was utterly delightful. Tossed with fresh scallops and prawns in a highly aromatic truffle cream sauce, it was happiness which you can literally taste.
Our order of Scaloppine di Maiaie alla Romana ($24) is translated to pan-fried pork with mozzarella. The unique combination of pork loin layered with mozzarella cheese, parma ham and sage proved a tad too heavy and rested rather uncomfortably on the tummy.
We ended with a Lava Cake ($13) oozing with chocolate for dessert.
The food at Cacio de Pepe are certainly above average, undoubtedly better than your run-of-mill café or chain restaurant. Though not located in the most accessible or hippest of locations, it does hold enough charm to draw diners back.
Cacio e Pepe
Address: 3 Chu Lin Road, Singapore 669890 (off Jalan Remaja)
Contact: +65 6760 3534
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 11.30am-2.30pm & 6pm-10.30pm / Closed on Mon