Taking over space of Kilo Kallang, Lucali BYGB at Lavender is a partnership between New York Brooklyn’s Lucali (where A-list celebrities dine) and Gibran Baydoun of BYGB Hospitality. Baydoun has experience opening Adrift by David Myers at MBS. Expect casual food at fine-dining prices.
It is difficult scoring a reservation through their website at this time. I’m not sure if it’s the lousy system that they are using or that many people really like pizza.
I tried several times to book for dinner, even 2 to 3 weeks in advance but to no avail. The most frustrating thing is there is no phone number or email listed on their website. It’s problematic when you don’t want your customers to contact you.
I gave up. In the end, my dining companion managed to book it for lunch. At this time, although they may accept walk-in, it’s so crowded that a reservation is necessary to avoid a wasted trip.
Their menu is the same for lunch and dinner. It’s a really tiny menu: 3 salads, 3 pastas, 1 pizza, and 2 desserts.
I think basil was on sale that day because every dish was topped with a heap of them, regardless if the dish went well with basil, and some leaves were still together on a branch. Shouldn’t they at least take the effort to pluck each leaf off?
All 3 salads go for $25. The cauliflower salad is tossed in balsamic dressing and califlower jus. It tastes exactly as it sounds: no surprise, nothing great, and pretty marked up. The other two options are Caesar salad and a radicchio-salami-provolone salad.
The three pastas—cacio e pepe, lasagne, and spicy rigatoni—are all priced at $35 each. They are classic, easy pasta. We had the spicy rigatoni at an audacious price: just pasta tossed in a spicy vodka sauce.
They don’t have different flavours of pizzas. They have a calzone ($40 full / $30 half), which is just pizza curry puff; and an 18-inch pizza at $55. It is huge enough to be shared between 3 to 4 persons.
The $55 pizza comes plain so you have to add your toppings at $5 each: pepperoni, anchovies, onions, sweet peppers, mushrooms, olives, and jalapenos. Imagine an idiot adding $5 onion. Don’t be that idiot.
We added pepperoni and jalapenos, which you can hardly see.
There are certain things I like and dislike about the pizza. I like the flavours: it is soooo salty, almost too salty, but it pulls back, so there is a remnant of umami. But I don’t like the crust. It is thinnish but it is also too hard. I chewed till my jaw ached.
The four of us were contemplating to get more food. Maybe one of the 2 desserts, a pie of the day ($15) or soft serve ($10).
But I decided we should proceed somewhere else due to two reasons:
1. I wasn’t comfortable with the service there, which came across snotty. Their noses up in the air. For example, my friend asked for chilli flakes and the hostess said, “ARE YOU SURE? Our pasta is quite spicy.” We had to ask a second time when the food arrived.
When I asked what the sauce for the cauliflower was, the waiter said, “WHAT SAUCE? WHAT SAUCE ARE YOU REFERRING TO? YOU MEAN THE DRESSING?”
Too many words were coming out of their mouths. When a customer asks you for chilli flakes, the only acceptable reply is “Yes.” You don’t question the customer’s decision. When a customer asks you about the food, you reply with the ingredients. Don’t be condescending.
Secondly, why did they need to shout? I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt here since the music was way too loud so maybe they shouted to be heard. Hey, in case Lucali hasn’t heard, it’s Covid. Shouting spreads more germs.
Thirdly, my friend asked for more cheese shavings, the topping on pizza. The menu is unclear—really they should find a menu writer–and we didn’t know what cheese it was. So she asked for cheese shavings but the waiter was so impatient and inattentive that he didn’t hear her and just passed her the generic bottle of parmesan powder.
2. The second reason that we skipped desserts was that I surfed their instagram and saw the soft serve they are selling:
No freaking way I was going to pay $10 for what McDonald’s is selling for $0.80.
We cut our losses and left and continued eating at Symmetry cafe, a few streets away.
I wouldn’t recommend Lucali. The food is pricy and average with limited choices. Their communication, from the website reservation to instore service to menu writing, is frustrating. I feel like Lucali is selling a lifestyle. That’s not me. We paid $141 for four persons.
66 Kampong Bugis, Level M, Singapore 338987
t: +65 8284 1325
W & Th 5pm – 10pm, F – Sun 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm
Decor / ambience: 7.5/10
You may be interested in…
–Pizza Fabbrica, Kampong Glam: One of the Best Restaurants This Year
–Pizza Express, Scotts Square: Fantastic Feasts and Where to Find Them
–Blue Label Pizza, Ann Siang: Atas Pizzeria from Sister Restaurant of Luke’s Oyster Bar
–Alt Pizza, Suntec: One of the Best Pizzas in Singapore (Good Draught Craft Beers too!)
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.