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To some, Cicheti was the hole-in-the-wall, no-signboard Italian that if you knew, you knew, on Kandahar Street. To pizza punters, it was one of the first few pizzerias in Singapore equipped with its very own two-tonne, hershey-shaped wood-fired oven that gives its Neapolitan pizzas—kneaded with dough that’s left to its own devices over a tight-lipped, three-day fermentation process—an irresistible char.

To regulars, it was the odd little trattoria where a Penang-born chef and his all-local team serve up their take on traditional Italian recipes that were at times sacrilegious, but always delicious and kept them coming back time and again.

With all the makings of a decent antipasto—salumi, pepperoncini, buffalo mozzarella and radicchio—are chopped up with iceberg lettuce, tossed in a bright oregano vinaigrette and dubbed the Cicheti Chopped Salad (S$16) – simple and straightforward with robust Italian flavours. 

Chopped Salad
Image Credit: by John Heng (@daphotographer)

Over the years, while Cicheti did enjoy somewhat enviable reputations as the go-to, all-occasion Italian for a devoted few, it somehow managed to lurk relatively under the radar as one of the local dining scene’s “best kept secret”.

All that, however, changed when Bar Cicheti (2018) and Caffe Cicheti (2019) opened. Expats quickly warmed up to the idea of a tattoo-clad, Singlish-speaking chef dishing out nonna-approved recipes, the locals appreciated having an Italian joint where they could wholly enjoy Italy’s many gastronomic gifts in an unpretentious setting.

Then a global pandemic came along with a wildly successful pivot to delivery that took everyone by surprise – each time sending streams of newly minted Cicheti fans on a culinary mecca to where it all began.

piZZA

Image Credit: by John Heng (@daphotographer)

The “don’t fix what isn’t broken” menu of hallmark Cicheti dishes suddenly felt stark under newfound gaze, prompting chef Aun to revisit the menu that he'd first created.

At first glance, the pizza menu may look no different than before, with all but one of chef Aun’s famous wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas making the cut.

Pizza

Image Credit: by John Heng (@daphotographer)

Ask for the off-menu special – a Sicilian-inspired Napoletana circled with dollops of creamy stracciatella, each embedded with its own sliver of white anchovy marinated in chilli flakes and lemon zest – both elements blending effortlessly into each other. 

Regulars will be pleased to find the appetisers that made them first fall in love with Cicheti remain diligently on the menu. You must try the luscious blob of Burratina (S$24) that cleverly trades in the usual suspects of basil, tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil for pesto, toasted pistachios and burnt onion marmalade.

Cicheti Calamari Fritti

Image Credit: by John Heng (@daphotographer) Cicheti Calamari Fritti

While pasta still remains traditionally the precursor of an Italian meal here at this Cicheti, the new menu welcomes two new handmade pastas and a nifty upgrade to a beloved mainstay. Whole Wheat Stracci (S$28), hand-torn pasta made using whole wheat flour tossed from Italian to Asian and back with prawns, house-made ‘nduja, garlic, scallions and a splash of red wine.

Alternatively, delight in the new rendition of Cicheti’s Vongole that sees Linguine (S$29) and its trademark, plump Hobinosugai clams with jalapeño, anchovies and onion purée bringing new depths to the dish.

Cicheti

Image Credit: by John Heng (@daphotographer) Crack Pie + Tiramisu

Sweet dreams are still very much made for Crack Pie (S$12.50) addicts and coeliacs craving the butterscotch-spiked, “I-can’t-believe-it’s-gluten-free” Tiramisu (S$14) topped with icy coffee granita.

 

INFORMATION

A. 52 Kandahar Street 198901

E. [email protected]

T. +65 6292 5012

W. www.cicheti.com/

F. www.facebook.com/pg/cicheti/

 

Comments

Rated
7.5
Richard
ELITE
1184 comments
24 June 2020
To regulars, it was the odd little trattoria where a Penang-born chef and his all-local team serve up their take on traditional Italian recipes that were at times sacrilegious, but always delicious and kept them coming back time and again.
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Rated
8
Choice Media News
INFLUENCER
16 comments
24 June 2020
“2020 was the year I’d planned to travel,” stressed chef Aun, who until recently ran a mini Italian empire without having ever stepped foot into Italy, and was on a trajectory to expand his horizons until a coronavirus threw him off. “I had plans to go out and savour the world – one hard-earned holiday at a time. Then COVID-19 came along and thanks to my second-in-command’s in each Cicheti who held the fort throughout the circuit breaker, I could really focus on fine-tuning the new menu.” “It’s the one good thing that came out of this pandemic,” he added sheepishly.
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