Aglio Olio is one of our favourite places to dine in Singapore.
Hmm, let me rephrase that to emphasize my point: We love eating at Aglio Olio.
Located at China Square Central, Aglio Olio is a quaint restaurant that serves delectable Italian food with a local twist. The “local twist” stems from the various Singaporean-style pastas, as well as the restaurant’s unique feature of serving pastas with chilli padis. We’ve visited the restaurant numerous times for the past two years, so this review is long overdue.
Ambience and Service
We love the ambience of Aglio Olio. The restaurant exudes a rustic charm with its pastel-coloured furnishings and ornamental lamps, complete with impressionistic paintings on the walls. It is the perfect place for a relaxed weekend date, a girls night out, alfresco dining with good friends, or chilling out with the bros over beer.
Service is good and consistent. The sincere Aglio Olio staffs are always extremely courteous, and we’ve never had any problems getting their attention to take our orders or refill our drinks.
Aglio Olio serves a variety of salads, pastas, pizzas, lasagnas, and sides. The pastas are served with a Singapore twist. Firstly, there are interesting Singaporean-style variations (eg Terikyai Base Pasta, Black Pepper Base Pasta). Of course, there are normal aglio olio and cream pastas as well. Secondly, the pastas are served with chilli padis! You get to choose your pasta’s level of spiciness: mild, normal, spicy, and extra spicy. The higher the spiciness level, the more the chilli padis in your pastas. The drinks menu has a decent selection of beers, wines, liquors, and other flavoured drinks. The prices are super affordable: none of the pastas cost over $15, and you can get a half-pint Hoegaarden for just $4.90!
A Singapore Twist: Pastas Served with Chilli Padis
If you are a typical Singaporean who is adept at eating spicy food, you will love the pastas here. Mind you, this is not the usual kind of food joint which labels the food as “spicy” when in fact it fails to even slightly excite your tongue’s spicy taste buds (of course, there is nothing wrong with exercising caution because lots of people can’t take spicy food). But for Aglio Olio, all gloves are off when it comes to serving spicy pasta. When they say “extra spicy”, they do mean EXTRA SPICY. They are definitely not stingy with their chilli padis. Even their logo has a chilli padi in it. I tried this zenith level of spiciness once and I can testify that it’s one of the hottest foods I’ve ever tasted. It was a painful lesson and from then on, I normally go for mild or normal. Raevian will usually opt for normal or spicy. However, if you are in the mood to challenge yourself and have iron linings in your gut, please feel free to go for the extra spicy level.
Fish Olio ($13.90)
Chicken Olio ($13.90)
Our Favourite: Aglio Olio Pasta!
We especially love eating their aglio olio pastas. Being typical Singaporeans, we savour these spicy pastas that are sprinkled with bright little red pieces of chilli padis. Shiok la! There is a variety for you to choose from: Original Olio, Seafood Olio, Fish Olio, Pepperoni Olio, and many others. The aglio olio tastes decent and homely in a pleasant way, and it is precisely this unassuming nature that endears us to this pasta! We simply adore its honest-to-goodness taste. Every time we visit this place, we can be sure that we will not be let down by the yummy and unpretentious aglio olio pasta. It’s like having a reliable childhood friend that will never betray you, or like returning to your alma mater to see that it still looks the same, years later. Just try it once and you will see what I mean.
Black Pepper Base Pasta ($13.90)
Other Types of Pastas and Pizzas
Even though the aglio olio pastas are our favourites, we enjoy their pizzas and cream base /black pepper base pastas as well. We haven’t had a chance to try the other pasta variations (eg Squid Ink, Vongole) or the other Singaporean-style pastas because we tend to stick to the same menu items for a long time once we develop an affinity for them. But we’ll definitely check them out soon.
Aglio Olio has great daily promotions! For example, you get a free ten-dollars voucher with any two main courses on Wednesdays, and you get fifty percent off the second pasta on Saturdays. Check out the picture above for the full list of daily promotions.
If you wish to purchase their set meal, just top up $2.50 and you will get one Soup of the Day (usually mushroom soup or cream of chicken potato soup) and one Lemonade.
There is also a special Dinner Set for two persons which consists of one Pasta + one Pasta or Pizza + one Basket of Chicken Wings + Garlic Bread + two Soup of the day + two Lemonade, at the low price $33.90! If you like drinking wine, you can replace the lemonades with two glasses of wine by just topping up $6.00 to $39.90.
Now you know why we love this place.
Conclusion: Charming Ambience, Wonderful Service, Endearing Aglio Olio Pastas, Super Affordable Price
Suffice to say, we love eating at Aglio Olio at China Square Central. This place is special to Raevian and me because it is one of our most frequented weekend-date venues. The charming ambience, wonderful service, and endearing aglio olio pastas make this the perfect place for a quiet weekend getaway. The price is extremely affordable too. If you are an epicure who only enjoys authentic Italian cuisine, this joint may be beneath your stature as the Italian food here is served with a local twist. However, if you are craving for some delicious and unpretentious Singaporean-style pastas, Aglio Olio is the perfect place for you! We are truly glad we found this hidden gem 🙂
How to get to Aglio Olio at China Square Central
China Square Central is situated beside Far East Square. The nearest MRT stations are Raffles MRT, Clark Quay MRT, and Telok Ayer MRT. Nearby landmarks include the Great Eastern office building, Park Royal Hotel and the Chan Brothers Travel agency.
Aglio Olio Locations:
3 Pickering Street, China Square Central, #01-40/41, Singapore 048660
Tel: +65 6327 3622
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat: 11am to 10pm | Sun and PH: Closed
Aglio Olio Bistro
8 Shenton Way, #B1-14, Singapore 068811
Tel: +65 6226 1622
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri: 11am to 10pm | Weekends and PH: Closed
Aglio Olio Bali
JL.Legian 476, Legian Kaja, Bali Indonesia
Tel: +0361 755927
We haven’t had the chance to visit Aglio Olio Bistro at Shenton Way, but we are looking forward to check out that branch as well.
Mushroom Nuggets ($7.90)
Chicken Wings ($6.90)
Aglio Olio @ China Square Central