Nestled in the residential enclave of Binjai Park, LINO is a contemporary Italian-inspired restaurant which should be your next dinner spot.
Previously occupied by Peperoni Pizzeria, this 103-seater specialises in homely trattoria-style Italian dishes for the whole family.
The name LINO is derived from the word ‘linen’, which is used to cover pizza dough as it leavens. This traditional method actually aids in the natural fermentation of the dough.
Enjoy their al fresco dining area — catch the breeze and unwind on a lazy evening with a glass of wine in hand.
Speaking of alcohol, pop by the swanky bar area and be dazzled by the extensive lineup of wines, beers, digestifs, and artisanal cocktails.
Do you spot that vintage pop-art mural at the back? “Get me a LINO pizza!” she exclaims. My sentiments exactly.
But that’s enough talk. Let’s move on to the food.
New resident chef Joe Ong’s menu boasts a repertoire of hearty and soulful Italian classics.
Our first antipasto, the Smoked Salmon Trout, was smoked and cured in-house for two days.
Plated with capers, onions, and salad greens, every slice was tender and firm without being too salty. A spritz of lemon was all it needed.
Unfortunately, this isn’t on the menu at the moment. Instead, why not try the truffled beef Carpaccio (S$24) or Gamberoni (S$30), featuring Australian king prawns and lardo?
The key to Polpo (S$36) lies in the Mediterranean octopus tentacles, which are confit for six hours and chargrilled until it’s intensely smoky.
I savoured forkful after forkful of meaty and savoury octopus. Paired with creamy chickpea olive mash, every bite was simply divine.
Strewn about were chunks of spicy and salty ‘nduja, not unlike hae bee hiam. This imparted an even greater depth of flavour to this already outstanding dish.
One thing about me is that I absolutely LOVE watching the process of pizza making.
Once the pizza emerged from the oven, all it needed was a sprinkling of herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
I waited in anticipation for my beloved burrata to make an appearance, and there it was!
At last, we could finally tuck into LINO’s signature Burrata Pizza (S$26).
The dough, having been proofed for 48 hours, was remarkably light and airy. Adorned with zingy slow-roasted cherry tomato and passata, it was the epitome of classic Italian flavours done right.
Its crowning glory, the mound of burrata, is topped off with basil pesto for a fresh, herbaceous touch.
You know flaky pastry, the kind with a million crunchy layers? That’s what the crust reminded me of.
All in all, this gorgeous pizza was acidic, creamy and earthy. It was perfectly balanced, as all pizzas should be.
My personal favourite main course was the Tagliatelle Al’ Arogosta (S$42/S$68), a lobster lover’s dream come true.
It’s not every day you get to dine on Maine lobster.
Perfectly al dente tagliatelle was tossed in a rich and buttery tomato-based lobster bisque. The sheer decadence of this alone was unparalleled.
Being able to savour those chunks of clean and sweet lobster meat was a gratifying experience, to say the least.
The oceanic sweetness of fresh crustaceans intertwined with the well-coated tagliatelle – you bet I luxuriated in it. It’s comfort food taken to a whole new level and you ought to experience it for yourself.
The Ossobuco Di Agnello (S$31) is bound to leave you feeling hale and hearty.
Served in a cast-iron dish, this braised lamb shank in white wine tomato with pancetta, gremolata, and cannellini beans wouldn’t look out of place on an Italian grandmother’s dining table.
With every prod of my fork, I was presented with succulent, fall-off-the-bone meat. Though slightly gamey, the lamb’s full-bodied flavour was substantial and comforting, lifted up by the addition of aromatic herbs.
Imagine mopping this up with a hunk of crusty bread. Oh yes.
Then again, I admit I’m not the biggest fan of lamb, so this isn’t something I’d order on my own.
At this point, I would’ve been content with a good espresso. But where’s the fun in that?
The first dessert, a modest-looking Tiramisu (S$12), had all the classic components: mascarpone cheese, ladyfingers, coffee-flavoured cocoa, kahlua, and Baileys liqueur.
When it comes to tiramisu, the boozier the better, am I right?
Caffeine addicts like me would find the heavenly aroma of coffee-soaked sponge very appealing. Light and bittersweet, with little chocolate chunks, this was certainly one good (though not memorable) tiramisu.
Last but not least, the kid in me was really excited at the sight of Profiteroles (S$12).
Sandwiched in between choux pastry halves, there were scoops of vanilla ice cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce, toasted almonds, and a dusting of icing sugar.
There’s not much I can say about this, save for the fact that it was “chocolatey”, deceptively light, and utterly delightful. It’s a dessert well-loved by all ages; you won’t regret it afterwards.
Looking for refined Italian classics in a casual yet polished setting? Escape the crowds and indulge in a medley of pizzas, pasta and hearty mains at LINO. Don’t forget to take a glance at the wine list — you deserve to treat yourself to a tipple or two.
Expected Damage: S$50 – S$70 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
7 Binjai Park, Singapore 589821
7 Binjai Park, Singapore 589821