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Food · Recipes · Travel

Cheap Italian Fare @ Saizeriya Ristorante E Caffe, Toa Payoh Central

Saizeriya facade

I first chanced upon Saizeriya when I was at Liang Court 2 years ago and it was also my first time enjoying a half dozen escargots in garlic butter at a mere $5.90 even though its standard was comparable with some French restaurants here. The prices for food were incredibly cheap for a decent restaurant like this, plus there was no GST or service charge too. This restaurant is perfect for group dining so more side dishes and mains can be ordered for sharing without breaking the bank.

Saizeriya is actually a Japanese chain of family-style Italian restaurants with over 750 outlets in Japan and Asia and is well known for its low, affordable prices since the late 1960s.

Saizeriya interior

Casual, family-style diner

Saizeriya 1

The variety on the menu is pretty impressive with soups, salads, appetisers, baked rice & gratin, pizza, pasta, grill and desserts.

Saizeriya  4

Once you’re ready with your order, just press the buzzer and wait for the service staff to come by your table. In fact, if you need anything from them, you just need to press the buzzer. I really like this system so I don’t have to wave and try to catch the attention of staff who’s probably busy scurrying around, serving food or taking orders. Service is swift and good here.

Saizeriya 9

Drink options

Saizeriya

Mushroom Soup $2.90

Freshly made, creamy mushroom soup that tastes more of milk than mushrooms. It is mediocre, nothing spectacular. Still better than canned soup and at this price, I have no complains, really.

Saizeriya

Focaccia with Garlic Butter $2.20

This is the best focaccia I’ve ever had! Fresh from the oven. Crispy on the outside and light on the inside. The garlic butter spread on top is so good, it makes this focaccia one to die for! I like to eat it on its own rather than dip into the soup because it’s just so buttery and fragrant yet not overly greasy. Yum.

Saizeriya 3

Octopus Carpaccio $3.90

Octopus slices that are lightly torched on the outside for a slightly smoky flavour. I thought the octopus would be really hard and chewy but I was wrong. The interior is done medium so it’s actually quite tender when I bite into it. I could taste butter, olive oil and parsley in the sauce that was drizzled over the octopus. This is a welcoming alternative to sashimi.

Saizeriya

Mussels Marinara $5.90

Mussels cooked in a tomato & garlic sauce. You really have to like garlic to like this dish because a lot of minced garlic goes into the sauce and the flavour is quite overpowering. Despite the strong garlicky taste, I still like it because it manages to mask any possible shell-fishy flavour from the mussels. There was one piece of mussel that didn’t open up so it’d be good if the chef could check on such details next time before the dish gets served to customers.

Saizeriya

Squid Ink Spaghetti $5.90

Be prepared to get your teeth and lips black when you eat this. It just tastes like any other squid ink pasta but I like how firm the spaghetti is and how tender the squid rings are.

Saizeriya 7

Salmon Doria $5.90

This is a baked rice with smoked salmon and white sauce. I can never resist smoked salmon but this dish is so creamy that I felt a little sick after a few mouthfuls. It’s good but it’s just over the limit for me. Thank goodness the portion isn’t huge so this is perfect for sharing between 2 persons.

I spent just under $27 for 2 persons which I think is a very worthwhile meal for what we have ordered. Don’t expect fine dining kind of service or food standard for such prices but if you’re into casual fare like this, then this is one place you have to try. Portions are not big so you might have to order more dishes for sharing. Will I return again? This is my second time here and I will definitely be back to try other stuffs on the menu.

Saizeriya Ristorante E Caffe
Blk 190 Toa Payoh Central #02-514
Tel: 6253 8001
Website
Opens: 11.00am to 10.00pm daily

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