God I love an Italian.
Before you get excited, I don’t mean the dark haired, olive skinned, Roman god kind! I’m actually referring to hand-made, wholesome, fresh, garlic laden Italian food.
There’s something about this cuisine which conjures up images of Italian families sat outside grand stone buildings, around long wooden tables piled high with rustic bread, pasta, rich tomato and garlic permeating the air. Okay take a breath and come back down to earth Nicci, I swear I could put weight on just by thinking about food, but it’s a welcoming and comforting vision none the less!
Many a time I’ve tried to recreate dishes from recipe books, I love cooking. But, tried and tested meals galore, there is always a secret pizazz that I’m missing so now I down tools and head off to my fave Italian which I discovered a couple of years ago.
I live on the East Coast of Singapore and within walking distance is a distinctive tricolore fronted restaurant which is always heaving (and that is no exaggeration!) It’s always jam packed with both locals and expats so that to me is definitely a winner.
Al Forno is its name and it has been open for 21 years – now that’s impressive! They also proudly state on their website that they are the first Italian restaurant in Singapore to import fresh ingredients like whole peeled tomatoes and cheeses directly from Italy! Tick!!
Along with 2 of my gorgeous friends who were on a stop over from Adelaide to the UK, we rocked up to a lively, energetic atmosphere and managed to secure a table. It was buzzing, filled with conversations, laughter and birthday celebrations.
Now I love pizza! And seeing as I have been walking around 20k steps a day since the start of my Global Corporate Challenge I decided treat day was way overdue. So decision made…pizza and a glass of Merlot to wash it down. So which pizza? There are 22 of them to choose from! I actually wanted 5 but I finally succumbed to…
Pizza Capricciosa ($26)
Ingredients: tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, ham, mushrooms and artichokes.
It was UFO size, authentic, fresh and best of all…it was all mine. Nothing was going to stop me, I was on a mission to finish it all. The base was soft, light doughy perfection with albeit simple but kickass toppings!
The fact that I knew my dinner was going to be baked in a traditional wood fire oven which I could see from our table, was making me jiggle in my seat! I could see and hear the chefs talking animatedly from our table, their passion and fun thrown in as an added ingredient to the pizzas!
What looked like a simplistic pizza topped with yummy ingredients actually turned out to be orgasmic and a euphoric 20 mins! It was shouting “Eat me!” from the minute it left the oven! Honestly, I heard it! I was ravenous to say the least but there is one word to describe this pizza – delizioso!
The average price of dishes in Al Forno is around $22-$27 which is great value for money and of course a little extra for seafood depending on what you order. They deliver in the evenings and request a 45 minute patience period as all meals are whipped up on demand.
Other dishes we enjoyed were:
- Pane & Aglio ($3.50) – Crunchy crusty bread with generous layers of garlic.
- Pizza Diavola ($24) – Tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, salami and chilli.
- Zuppa di Cozze ($19) – Mussels with garlic, black pepper in tomato sauce.
Between the 3 of us we really did fill our boots and I wonder whether the Singapore Airlines passengers survived my friends’ garlic cologne on their journey through to the UK! I had better check the news.
If you haven’t yet been to Al Forno, I strongly recommend it and I have to tell you, the food baby was worth it!