KAMPONG GLAM - Cicheti are the signature small plates served in Venice’s bàcari, or wine bars. The term “cicheti” fosters the idea of traditional everyday impromptu meals into an inviting ‘high-street-food’ concept to reflect the mouthwatering diversity of Italy’s foodscape. To reflect all the richness of Italy, the menu and décor showcases the country’s regional specialties, as well as authentic Neapolitan pizza baked in a wood-fired oven.
Cicheti offers a distinctive perspective on Italian cuisine, presented in an urbane space where old-world charm is brought into modern design – and we did indeed find it charming.
Why you should come here
Cicheti has tables that can accommodate larger groups upstairs, so it’s a great place for a group dinner where you can share a variety of delish dishes. Downstairs has a bit more of a vibe though, which is good for smaller groups. Do make reservations as we are pretty sure they are consistently busy!
They have a nice range of plates on the menu, and nearly everything was so good that we would definitely order it again. The Polpette de Carne Grana ($15) are Cicheti’s signature meatballs, served fresh, hot and juicy in a vibrant tomato sauce with a dusting of shaved grana. The meatballs definitely stand out from the dry and tasteless meatballs we’ve had at so many other restaurants, especially when coated in the super tasty tomato sauce. The Gamberoni ($13) are also delicious and came as big fat prawns with chillies and a smoked herbed butter that just had to be sopped up with tons of crusty bread.
For pasta we went for the Carbonara ($23) in a beautiful cream sauce flavoured with flor de latte, parmesan, egg, bacon, onion, and black peppercorns. This was another dish that we just couldn’t resist mopping the sauce up with bread. And of course we had to try the Manzo alla Griglia ($37), a melt-in-your-mouth 120-day grain-fed beef with shaved grana, and the Branzino ($38), a whole sea bass salted, then grilled and served with seasonal vegetables.
This was all followed by the Salted Chocolate ($12.50), a molten dark chocolate cake with pink sea salt and creamy vanilla gelato, and the Tiramisu ($12.50) with its light and fluffy homemade flourless chocolate sponge soaked in frangelico, and layered with mascarpone and pure cocoa. Definitely divine.
What we love:
We really enjoy hanging in Kampong Glam, so we’re big fans of Cicheti’s location. We hope more quality spots keep opening up there. Plus, the food is really great and the ambiance young and fun. Cicheti’s has been pretty consistently good but we think the food has actually improved in the last year or so.
On our last trip the restaurant was super busy on a Wednesday night, so there was a great vibe going on. All around were smiling patrons getting their eat on at the cozy wooden tables in front of the open kitchen sporting a wood-fired pizza oven imported straight from Italy. There was also great music playing in the background, which added to the hip buzz.
The menu here features a range of Italian classics and Chef Yew Aun Lim’s modern interpretations of favourite Mediterranean dishes, so you can expect to find plenty of pizzas, handmade pastas, and fresh seafood. Although the place is named after the small plates served in Venetian wine bars, you’ll find a mix of starter-sized dishes and hearty offerings that are big enough to share.