You may think it is unlikely to find cheap Italian–Japanese food in Singapore, but it is actually possible. Saizeriya サイゼリヤ is a type of Japanese chain of Italian family-style restaurants (also known as famiresu) which make up the middle range of eateries that fill the gap between gourmet restaurants and fast food joints. This works best for young students wanting a budget meal near Clarke Quay.
Here is an indication of how inexpensive the food is: Spicy chicken drumlets ($4.40 for 5 pieces), black pepper smoked duck ($4.40), seafood chowder ($2.80), forcaccia ($1.80), double cheese pizza ($5.20) and gratin ($6.80). We are talking about a restaurant here. Though nobody seems to go to Liang Court anymore (really a waste), let’s not forget it is occupied with some pretty decent Japanese restaurants.
You can start your meal with a minestrone soup ($2.80), well-marinated chicken wings ($2.80 for 3 pieces) and their signature oven-baked spicy sausages with grilled potato ($5.20). The good is they are actually quite eatable, and the bad is the food do look cold and miserable on their tawdry plastic plates.
The must-order and most-value-item should be the pork and hamburger steak ($7.80) served on a hot-plate. Complemented with demi-glance sauce, it also includes wedges, mixed vegetables and fried egg. Very worth it.
The best seller (“Ren Qi” No.1) item is the doria with meat sauce ($4.250) , which is creamy white baked rice topped with a special recipe of meat sauce. I would not say that the food is exceptionally good, but what you pay for is what you get. My bill was less than $20 for two, and you can order free-flow drinks for $2.50. Cheap, cheap, cheap!
As to why Saizeriya is so economical: the current president of the company Yasuhiko Shōgaki, wanted to sell Italian cuisine in Japan but did not get many customers. After he cut prices by 70%, the restaurant gained instant popularity and prices remained low ever since.
Saizeriya Ristorante E Caffe, 177 River Valley Road, #02-22 Liang Court Shopping Centre, Singapore, Tel: +65 6337 9001
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm Daily