Ever since Saizeriya Ristorante E Caffe had opened its doors in Singapore, it had always been synomynous with terms such as “cheap and good” or “value for money”. Even years after with countless of outlets opening across the island, prices remain affordable. While there was a new outlet that opened in town at The Cathay (replacing Cafe Indulge), my friend and I went to the outlet in Toa Payoh.
The Toa Payoh outlet located not too far from the Toa Payoh HDB Hub is spacious and bright, with a wide seating area available on the inside that feels so homely and brightly lit due to the amount of windows; a good environment to sink yourself in for both lunch or dinner. For those who had not been to Saizeriya before, they serve appetisers such as Chicken Wings, Sausages and even Escargots and sells Pasta, Entrees and Pizzas for mains and desserts too. Don’t be fooled by the completely italia sounding name and italian cuisine sold here; it’s origins started all the way back in Japan.
The appetiser we ordered was Potato Omelette. Despite it’s name, it was egg served with potato, corn, mushroom and bacon. The omelette is particularly thicker than omelettes you get at hawker or tzechar stalls and there were a fair amount of ingredients being tossed inside. No doubt the ingredients of this dish tasted good, basically every item tossed into the omelette was a shared ingredient from what could be found in their main courses, and the dish just tasted confusing because it just was everything that was inside it without complimenting each other. It just felt like even food had to go through some sort of identity crisis. It was not hard to swallow, but there just seem to have no main point towards it.
(Mushroom Meat Sauce Spaghetti)
The Mushroom Meat Sauce Spaghetti actually came to the table before every other dish which was weird because we had an appetiser that had yet to come. The meat sauce seemed little but enough to make the dish taste. The mushrooms though small carried a good amount of flavour too. My friend who had this dish told me that the only thing she did not like was the strong taste of the noodles, otherwise I guess there was not really much to comment about.
(Pork with Cheese Chicken)
Pork with Cheese Chicken was a dish I ordered before but have decided to order again. It comes with some potato wedges (boiled, not fried) and a generous amount of corn nibbles too. The corn nibbles were juicy and I liked the wedges as they come with potato skin. The was also ample amount of cheese, but it came pretty close to being tasteless as the chicken was fragrant and firm. The pork was juicy and had a nice flavour to it, but the only letdown was that a few pieces of bones in it, though not as serious enough to rate the dish down entirely because of it.
We told the waiter to get our desserts but it only came after we got another waitress to check on them if they were ready. The Panna Cotta here is definitely smooth and firm enough, and has quite a sufficient amount of caramel on it. While the caramel of most Panna Cotta invokes a slight hint of bitterness and sweetness to the light-tasting custard pudding, this one was relatively sweeter. This would probably appeal to those who find that they dislike the bitterness in Panna Cottas that they had tried elsewhere.
Chocolate Lava was served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. It was my friend’s order and I had a pinch of the molten lava cake. No doubt it was slightly crumbly, but the cake was warmed and the chocolate was flowing with every cut made into it. My friend found it a bit too sweet but it was fine for me, and I would consider it to be a proper Chocolate Lava cake without any flaws.
Many people have mixed views on Saizeriya; some find their food to be lacklustre while some find it to be great. Let’s put it in this way; it is definitely easy on the pocket; an appetiser, two main courses, two desserts and two drink bars (for the free flow drinks) costs $35.70. That makes up to 5 items and a counter variety of hot and cold drinks for two and averages out to be $7+ for an item with the drinks disregarded. While it is definitely pricer than eating at hawker centres or coffeeshops, it definitely is more affordable comparing on restaurants or even fast food level. Of course, some standards would have to be lowered when prices are low. I would not say that Saizeriya serves low quality food, but it definitely would not be fair to judge them with according to standards of mid-range restaurants. For food of such prices, it is indeed good value and definitely tastes the part, and definitely a good replacement to fast food if you are looking for a more affordable alternative without having to head down to coffeeshops or hawker centres for local fare.
(PS: The photo of the Pork with Cheese Chicken was an archive photo of the same dish from the City Square Mall outlet at least a year ago. There is no intention of misrepresenting the dish from the Toa Payoh outlet and it was only used purely for illustration as the pictures I took of the dish during my visit to the Toa Payoh outlet was of a very bad quality and pretty much unusable.)
Saizeriya Ristorante E Caffe
Blk 190 Toa Payoh Central
Telephone: +65 6253 8001