If you’re a fan of Italian small-plates and Neapoltian pizza spot Cicheti, then you’ll definitely want to check out their new sister venue on Jiak Chuan Road. Set in a cosy 40-seater shophouse done up like an modern Italian trattoria, Bar Cicheti offers handmade pastas made with artisanal Italian products and seasonal ingredients. Throw in an intriguing wine list with a good selection of boutique wines, and you have a great little spot to meet up for a date or catch up with friends for after-work drinks and bites.
We’re huge fans of Cicheti, so when we heard they were opening up a sister venue in the same hood that we work in, Bar Cicheti jumped to the top of our must-try list. Step inside and you'll find lots of warm wood and rows of tables with banquette and chair seating, which is great for groups. You can also grab a seat at the bar and eat and drink there if you’re flying solo or dining with just a friend or two.
The menu features a good selection of homemade pastas that come in two sizes and are made to order a la minute, so they’re as fresh as you can get. But before diving into those, start with some antipasti. The salvia fritta, fried sage leaves sprinkled with maldon salt, is a simple but delicious start to the meal with an aperitif. We also loved the polpette di manzo, plump meatballs in a vibrant tomato and paprika sauce with parmesan and gremolata. As for the pasta, the pappardelle with ragu bolognese and rigatoni arrabiata were also big winners for us.
We actually had the chance to talk with owner Liling Ong, who gave us some insight into the ethos behind this hip new spot. She says, “I’ve always loved the idea of a restaurant entirely dedicated to pasta and wine. On a personal level, it’s the ultimate go-to meal. Few things rival a slow-simmered decadent bolognese sauce and a bottle of red. On a professional level, Cicheti’s pastas were an absolute hit and I knew we had something special on our hands.”
The wine list at Bar Cicheti also deserves a mention because it offers up bottles you won’t find in too many other places around town including some really great natural wines. Liling says, “About a year ago, I started collecting wine and fell in love with the stories of vineyards and the individuals who tend to them." When it came to curating the wine list, Liling opted for stand-out wines that are fairly unheard of, produced in small quantities and tell an interesting story.
Would we come back?
We already have! The first time we visited Bar Cicheti, we went for dinner and fell in love with the hearty pastas and the vibe of the restaurant. Then a few days later, we came back for brunch and found the food to be just as moreish with comforting dishes like Italian fried chicken and panettone waffles with frangelico mascarpone. The prices are also reasonable, so you can have a great meal that won’t blow out your wallet. We recommend coming here for group dinner or putting this on the list as a good date spot. We are big into music and also appreciated the well curated playlist.
The best part about dining at Bar Cicheti is that there are variations in the size of pastas and wine. If you're a group, we recommend ordering a few small portions of pasta and try a few of the various wines - it's a great way to enjoy your meal.
If you're one of their die-hard pizza fans, stick to Cicheti on Kandahar Street, but if you want to try some homemade pasta along with a good glass of vino in a vibey shophouse, this will be your new hangout.
A big portion of pasta and a glass of vino will set you back about $40++.
Bar Cicheti, 10 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089264. p. +65 6789 9801. Open Tues - Fri 12pm - 2:30pm, 6pm - 10pm, Sat 11am - 3pm, 6pm - 10pm, Sun 11am - 3pm