$20-$40

PizItalia, East Coast

PizItalia is huge, taking as much space as three terrace houses. At the entrance is their mascot, a T-rex, making very scary RAWRing and wagging its tail and head.

If you sit outside, al fresco, you’ll be dining under the star by the sea, a small piece of the sea anyway.

Luckily, there is a small indoor aircon area which has a very impressive display of wines. There are also private rooms on the second storey.

Melicacy asked me and the hot boys of Six & Seven along for this food tasting. (Thanks, Mel!) Mel and I ordered some starters, wedges ($5.50) and soft soft crab ($8.90), while waiting for the boys’ arrival. (Hot things are worth the wait!) The chef did warn us that the starters are run of the mill but we were hungry.

Another starter we had is the Chef’s Seafood Salad ($9.50) that has romaine, cherry tomatoes, egg, prawns, squid and mussels with a tangy and very slightly spicy Thai-like dressing. To me, salad is salad. It was ok.

   

The Napoli Crab Cakes ($8.50, pictured above left) , as another starter, stood out among the rest because you can really taste the “crab-ness” and it wasn’t oily.

Mains

The chef is very proud of his Masala Fish N Chips ($15.50, pictured above right) which he boasted is one of a kind in Singapore. “You cannot find it anywhere else!” He also said that he uses special ingredients so that the fish would remain crispy even after 30 minutes. We tested, and sorry, it isn’t true. But I liked this dish very much; you can really taste the masala; the fresh Pacific Dory was lightly and thinly battered – we all hate thick batter right? However, the other three food reviewers showed less enthusiasm than me. I’d also suggest that the sides need to be improved. The fries shouldn’t be the sort similar to farmland fries and the coleslaw tasted like–Mel and I said this at the same time–“KFC!” Still, I was partial to the fish.

On the other hand, the three food reviewers liked this butter prawn linguine ($15.50) which came with shreds of omelet and Is that curry leaves on the linguine? On my part, I thought it was greasy and too lightly salted. The prawns seemed to have nothing to do with the dish, except that they were on the pasta. For reasons why the other three reviewers liked it, follow their websites.

Cippino ($33.50) is an Italian seafood stew that is traditionally served on Christmas eve. It has fish, prawns, mussels, and squid. In our food tasting, there was crab but I think the chef was being nice. In the restaurant version, there isn’t any crab and of course I’m sure you can request for it and pay the market price for a crab. It was addictive and tasted like minestrone that has been infused by a thousand sweetness from the seafood. We four loved that we tried something we hadn’t tried before.

Italian Chili Crab (market price). It was slightly different than the other chili crab I had; this was much more spicy and less sweet–and I can’t really take spicy, it destroys the tastebuds. But again I seemed to be the minority here; the other three food reviewers couldn’t stop spooning the sauce as we waited for our buns to be fried. Besides the spicy level, we couldn’t figure out what is Italian about the crab? The answer from the chef: “Italian herbs.”

Sexy Saunders asked, “What herbs?”

Chef replied (very shrewdly), “Secret.”

I joked, “Is it McCormick’s Italian Herbs?” Hee hee hee.

To be serious, I think I prefer the original Singapore Chili Crab simply because I can’t take the heat. But the other three might disagree.

We had the mud cake ($5.50), Walnut brownie with ice cream ($8.50, pictured above) and tiramisu ($5.50, left). I have extremely high standards for desserts so I wouldn’t recommend these desserts. The mud cake consists two layers of ice cream and a crust–the ice cream had, Saunder’s words, “shards of ice” within. I can bake better brownie from the pre-mix pack and the tiramisu just wouldn’t do.

Verdict: The food was alright. The Cippino is an interesting crowd-pleaser but I wouldn’t call the food here Italian. It is more skewed towards Singaporean/Asian cuisine. Even the butter prawn linguine tasted like Fujian mian at cze char stall.

There are two main pieces of constructive criticism I want to give. (1) I don’t quite understand the concept. The reasonable pricing and the fuss-free decor–no table cloth!–demonstrate a mid-range restaurant but the ostentatious display of wines threw us off. The eclectic music–ranging from pop, jazz, house music, and rock music–confused us further. What is the target customers?  What is the cuisine? What type of restaurant is it trying to achieve? In other words, I think the restaurant needs to re-plan and re-think its concepts. Even minor questions “the T-rex is super fun and cool but how does it fit in with the restaurant?” matter. Every minor detail matters.

The second piece of constructive criticism is the location. Before the hot boys came, I asked Mel, “Why would anyone open an Italian seafood restaurant here when people come here for Red House, Long Beach and Jumbo?” When the hot boys came, they asked Mel the same question. Mel’s reply was, “Why not? Italian food provides an alternative to the Chinese seafood restaurants.” But it’s like people go to Pearl Center to buy cloth, you can’t open a, say, car showroom there. No one goes to Peal Center to buy cars. People come to East Coast Seafood Centre to eat Chinese seafood; how can the  Italian restaurant attract this group of clientele?

The food itself–unless it’s super heavenly food–cannot ensure the success of the business. See the rating I gave, I like this place and I say all these because of good intentions–please don’t take it the wrong way–but I’m afraid PizItalia will find it hard to compete with other Chinese seafood restaurants if it doesn’t figure out its selling point soon. But it’s still a very young restaurant and it may grow. It’s bad location and poor concept but acceptable food at a reasonable price with good service.

PizItalia
East Coast Seafood Centre,
1204 East Coast Parkway #01-06
Singapore 449882
T: 6445 8554
Website
M-F: 5pm – Midnight
S-S 12pm – Midnight

Rating: 3.025/5 RAWRs

PS: Thanks, Melicacy and PizItalia for inviting us. Remember to visit Six and Seven for their review.

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17 replies »

  1. i never knew this place existed even though I go to the seafood places! By the way, I actually love McCormick’s Italian Herbs because it makes anything delicious! Can’t be bothered to use fresh herbs when everything’s already in a bottle. hahaha

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  2. Hi, this is Chris. the owner of PizItalia. Thanks for trying our food. I take your critics as constructive. I’d like to make also some precision. the concept of PizItalia is Family Friendly Restaurant.
    I’m French, my mother is Italian origin. I’ve been in passion with Italian food since childhood.

    We offer decent, many say delicious, food while we take care of the kids in a safe and enjoyable way. Singapore is surely a family friendly country. I see here and there a lot of initiatives from Singapore Government and Institutions for create a conducive climate for big families.

    But when it comes to restaurant, what’s the offer for families. Having a great while kids are running and shouting around is not simple for parents. The presence of the T-REX is to create attraction to our playground. The largest in South East Asia in a table served restaurant.

    Because we are first a family restaurant, we cater for the entire family.

    Offering another Chinese Seafood restaurant was not the option we took because the offer around with Jumbo, Red House, Long Beach and No Signboard is already various with high quality.

    The concept we offered is a simple Live & Fresh Seafood Italian Menu with Local Chinese inspiration. Our 2 Head Chefs, are Chinese Singaporeans with broad experience in local seafood (Chef Ah Soon) and in Italian cuisine (Chef Michael).

    for the music, I’m on the same page. We reviewed our playlist and spin now songs contributing to Italian experience.

    By the way, our Wine Shop, beside the restaurant, offers good little wines starting at $13.90 for Chilean Wine – Red (Merlot) and White (Sauvignon Blanc). $13.90 is the price of the bottle…
    We also offer decent French – Bordeaux at less than $20 a bottle.

    thanks again for featuring us, we took your comments to progress further and surely to be clearer on the message we want to spread to our customers.

    Best Regards,
    Chris 91851815

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    • Hi hi Chris,

      Thanks for taking the constructive criticism in stride. I really appreciate it.

      Before we wrote this review, we went to the website and saw that it is a family restaurant. The thing is all the surrounding Chinese restaurants are family restaurants. We suggest that you have something truly unique to draw the crowd. If not, people know the area for the Chinese restaurants and will go just for those restaurants.

      I wish you a blooming business! :)

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  3. Hi Guys,
    our unique offer in the area and the entire Singapore :
    Having good food while we take care of your kids in the largest indoor playground gym in a table served served restaurant in South East Asia.
    Cheers,
    Chris

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  4. I have heard of this place and google it and found ur blog on it.. i will give it a try because need a place where my kid can have fun and the noise is expected :D but i try calling the restaurant to reserve and it says number not in use… is it close???

    Like

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