Right in the heart of Kampong Glam is Positano Risto, an eight month-old Muslim-owned joint that serves halal Italian cuisine. The restaurant is inspired by a couple’s travels when they were awestruck by the beauty of a little coastal Italian town. You can see wallpapers of the Positano town on both storeys of the restaurant, along with posters of Godfather and Al Pacino and Robert de Niro. I hope their obsession with Godfather won’t make them think that “
revenge is a dish is best served cold.” But rather, their food can “make us an offer we cannot resist.” Ok, enough of Godfather quotes.
Although new, the restaurant has already added new items to the menu. The Virgin Rossini ($8.95): the fresh strawberry pulp adds a soothing texture to the sparkling soda. My sweet tooth gravitates to the Godfather milkshake ($13.95), which comes with a whole Ferrero Rocher.
Arancini Balls ($11.95) are traditionally made from leftover rice dishes which give them more flavour. Unfortunately, the ones here are a tad bland, and are rescued to some extent by the homemade sweet mayo sauce.
The Soft Shell Crab Linguini ($22.95) has a beautiful sauce with chunks of crabmeat and a veritable taste of seafood bisque. The soft shell crab is delightfully crispy and fluffy. However, the linguini isn’t al dente.
The Positano Super Supreme Calzone ($28.95) is their bestseller, and I can see why. The turkey ham tastes so much like ham that we had to do a double take! The tomato sauce provides a good solid base that does not vie for attention, and elevates the flavours of the other ingredients. The mild flavour of melted burrata is a brilliant counterpoint to the saltiness of the meats, and the smooth and soft texture complements the thin crust that stays firm throughout the meal. True, it isn’t a calzone in the truest sense of the dish, but it has little pockets where mushrooms and pastrami hide like little treasure chests waiting to be discovered.
They ran out of their signature dessert, brownie ($9.95), and we opted for the Classic Tiramisu with Coffee Filling ($8.95). Since this is a halal restaurant, the ladyfingers are not soaked in rum, just espresso. The ladyfingers lack texture, while the layers of cheese are much too creamy for me (which is why I don’t like mousse at all). I also wonder whether there could have been something interesting to look forward to, in place of the rum (I’m not all that into alcohol, but I can’t deny the rum gives depth to the dessert).
While I would return for the calzone, and possibly to try out other items on the menu, there are many other Italian restaurants out there I would consider first.
6 Bussorah Street Singapore 199479
tel: +65 6292 1866
Sun-F 11.30am-10pm, Sat 11.30am-11pm
You may be interested in…
–HJH Maimunah Restaurant, Jalan Pisang: Terrific Nasi Padang Awarded Michelin Bib Gourmand
–Brothers in Fine Food, Tampines: Muslim-Owned Cafe by Penny University
–The Malayan Council, Dunlop St: Halal Cafe that Caters to Istana and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Costly But Good
–Hello Kitty Cafe, Changi Airport Terminal 3: World’s First 24-Hour Hello Kitty Cafe
Written by Tan Ken Jin. True to the name of this website, KJ is closely associated with rubbish, organising litter-picking activities that culminate in a makan session (because #Singaporean). That, and he once tried marinating salmon in blueberry juice and orange juice. He survived.