Review: Squisito Shines with Halal Italian Food in the Heart of Bugis

Review: Squisito Shines with Halal Italian Food in the Heart of Bugis

Need some spice to go with your Italian? Try out Squisito in downtown Singapore, where Italian dishes have been adapted to suit the Singaporean palate

When it comes to getting Italian food that’s halal, there’s always that fear of it being a bit too pricey or it just doesn’t taste quite right. Enter Squisito (‘delicious’ in Italian), a new contender in the halal Italian food scene which opened its doors in November 2019 right on the bustling Bali Lane.

So, what makes Squisito stand out from the other similarly themed restaurants? Squisito’s owner, Chef Deepak - who has had 3 years of experience working at another established halal Italian restaurant - develops the menu with the Asian palate in mind. That’s right, all you spicy food aficionados will now be able to enjoy Italian food without having to resort to just sprinkling on the chilli flakes.

Start off with their best-selling Gnocchi Ripieni ($13.50), fried gnocchi stuffed with spicy beef and served with a marinara sauce that helps temper down the heat of the chilli padi found in the beef. This dish is best eaten hot when the gnocchi is still crunchy on the outside yet soft on the inside - soft is exactly how they should be when they’ve been made fresh.

Gnocchi Ripieni. Photo: Atiqah Rosle

Another gnocchi dish that you should definitely try out is their Gnocchi de patate with truffle ($20) which features pillowy gnocchi doused in a creamy mushroom and truffle sauce that is further enhanced with black pepper. There’s no fake truffle here as Chef Deepak assures that he only uses actual black truffle in this dish! He blends them up as opposed to using the synthetic truffle oils that can be found in some places.

Gnocchi de patate with truffle. Photo: Atiqah Rosle

Have a preference that skews towards the carnivorous side? Squisito’s got you. Take a bite out of the Involtini di manzo ($25). That's thinly sliced ribeye fillet stuffed with turkey ham, mushrooms, ricotta cheese and Italian herbs served with mashed potato and black pepper sauce. The steak has been cooked with the respect that it deserves: brilliantly seared on the outside while still being tender and juicy on the inside.

Vesuvio pizza. Photo: Atiqah Rosle

Is an Italian eatery considered truly Italian if it doesn’t have pizza on its menu? Fear not! Squisito features an array of pizzas -ranging from the classic tomato, fresh buffalo mozzarella and basil combination of the Margherita ($15), to the spicy Vesuvio ($18.50), a pizza no doubt named after the imperious Mt Vesuvius of Pompeii that features a tomato-based sauce, mozzarella, beef sausage, homemade meatballs and slices of chilli.

The thin crust pizza base and meatballs have all been made in-house under the watchful eyes of Chef Deepak, thus ensuring that what is being put onto the tables of the diners are of the utmost quality.

Both the crust and meatballs have been baked to perfection -the crust was crunchy enough to hold up the copious amount of mozzarella and toppings, yet have some chewiness to leave you feeling satiated. The homemade meatballs were baked just enough to give them crispy tops all while sealing in the beefy juices; you’ll definitely know they were homemade as were not rubbery at all - a common occurrence found in frozen meatballs.

Tiramisu. Photo: Atiqah Rosle

No visit to an Italian restaurant is complete without trying out their dessert, and their Tiramisu($8) is a classic that you’ll need to try. Layers of sweet creamy mascarpone give a much-needed contrast against the bitterness of the espresso-soaked sponge and ladyfingers.

Squisito is not the place to be if you’re looking for small servings, the restaurant is not stingy with their portions, so do come by with someone to share your dishes with. Additionally, Chef Deepak is constantly developing new items to be added to the menu monthly, so diners will be spoiled for choice.

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 11:30am-3pm & 5:30-10pm. Saturday -Sunday, 11:30am-10pm

  • The restaurant's opening hours might be different due to Singapore's Covid-19 safe-dining measures, check their website for the latest.
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