Ristorante Luka, Tanjong Pagar: Excellent Italian Food by Japanese Chef Takashi Okuno

Chef Takashi Okuno, who used to be the head chef at L’Operetta, helms the S&M dungeon-like Ristorante Luka at Tanjong Pagar, all black and gray with fences and bricks. He’s a second generation chef; his parents own an Italian restaurant in Tokyo. Like many Japanese chefs trained in Italian gastronomy, Okuno’s menu here reflects the itameshi cuisine of fusing Japanese ingredients and Italian cooking methods.

Ristorante Luka has a wood-fired oven for pizzas and grilled meats.

There are some very interesting items on the menu: a whipped bottarga cream and pretzel ($10, bottarga is Italian salted and cured fish roe); housemade wagyu bresaola ($12, bresaola is dry, aged beef); smoked egg, wagyu, uni ($10, 2 pc); housemade sausage ($14); and a selection of wagyu beef to be grilled in their wood-fired oven or traditional charcoal grill.

Mr Fitness and I couldn’t eat so much so we only ordered two of their signature dishes. The handmade, housemade plin agnolotti ($18) are rectangular pockets of pasta pillowed with shredded Piedmontese veal. It has a dense cheesey and buttery flavor but it is also delicate. Mr Fitness, who doesn’t like cheese, gave a whoop of delight and his face lit up. It tastes of home, warmth, and sunshine. Must order.

The other signature dish, prosciutto e rucola burrata pizza ($23), is a simple pizza topped with mozzarella cheese, parma ham, arugula, cherry tomato, parmesan, burrata and balsamic dressing. It is also very good; traditional Italian ingredients that work together as a team like Sonny and Cher.

Although I still prefer the crust at Alt Pizza which I think serves the best pizzas in Singapore, the chewy crust here is airy and palatable, conjuring an image of home. Luka may possibly be my favorite pizzeria after Alt Pizza.

We managed to catch the opening promotion and paid $42 for two persons. Next time, I should return with a bigger group of friends and try more dishes.

Ristorante Luka
18 Tanjong Pagar Road #01- 16 Singapore 088441
tel: +65 6221 3988
12pm-12am, closed Sun

Food: 7.5/10
Service: 6/10
Decor: 6/10
Price: 6.5/10

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Bruno’s Pizzeria and Grill, Katong: Great Homely Italian Food
La Pizzaiola, Jalan Riang: Slumming to Investigate How Rich People Eat Good Pizzas
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Written by A. Nathanael Ho.

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