November 19, 2015

I was oblivious to the proximity of this little gem of an Italian restaurant to my house. A 5 minute drive led us to Gigino, situated on the corner of a tiny strip among a main road of residential buildings. There was no designated parking that we could find so you would have to resort to parking on the street.

Gigino provided a warm, casual and relaxed atmosphere to wind down and enjoy authentic Italian food. It was a rather small establishment though and I'm not sure how busy it can get, perhaps dinner would be more problematic and require waiting for a table. However, there appeared to be an adjoining bar behind the restaurant with more seats available. The bar boasted quite an extensive alcoholic beverage menu with 20 fancy cocktails to choose from. I will make it a mission to try one the next time I dine there for dinner.

So I should mention that I'm not the biggest fan of pizza. The combination of a rolled out piece of dough and a mountain of toppings was always too excessive for me to stomach without feeling incredibly guilty for stuffing myself and also getting a food baby in the process. However I have recently discovered that authentic Italian pizza is not meant to be overloaded with a variety of toppings and mounds of mozzarella cheese but kept much simpler and tame unlike the wild creations of Pizza Hut and Dominos with their thick pizza bases and oily cheese-filled crusts. 

Since DT and I visited Gigino on a Sunday we were able to order from the brunch menu selection which has different pizzas from their usual menu, foccacias and also some breakfast staples on offer such as toasted ciabatta, croissants and paninis. There were also two dessert pizzas (Nutella pizza and a roasted pear pizza) available for Sunday brunch which I was super duper tempted to try one of but figured it would be too much food for just two people so ultimately decided against it. Next time.

Colazione - Eggs, pomodorini, bacon, salami, sausage, mozzarella $19
I hope that the pizzas don't regularly take 40 minutes to come to the table, because that's how long we waited for ours. By the time it finally arrived I was pretty famished but I was delighted to see that the pizza was quite large in size and smelled so heavenly coming straight out from the oven. So I'll forgive them this time around.

The Colazione was my kind of pizza, from a cracked whole egg in the centre, to bacon, salami and sausage and the almighty mozzarella layered on a perfectly crisp and thin base, each slice was pure wonderment. I could have easily had it all to myself as despite it sounding heavy it was the exact opposite. Each slice went down easily and you won't be left overstuffed and feeling like you had just potentially clogged your arteries. I have come across pizzas that tasted bland but the Colazione was well-balanced in flavour, the three savoury meat components were offset with the slightly sweet and juicy pomodorini tomatoes and the oven-baked egg in the middle.

Foccacia Primavera - Mushrooms, grilled tomato, fried eggs & cheese $11
Pairing carbs with more carbs was the mood I was in and I had no regrets. Embarrassingly, it was the first time to delve into a foccacia. I didn't realise what I had been missing out on until then. It was toasted to deliver the crispest surface and was so spongey and soft inside. I savoured every bite of that flat bread and happily ate the top piece on its own. The bottom half adorned a fairly thick layer of melted mozzarella and slice upon slice of flavoursome grilled tomato and mushroom. The sunny side up fried egg was the pinnacle of it all and came with the mandatory golden runny yolk. It was almost perfect except that I would have preferred it to have just a hint of saltiness to it. However, I most certainly will be eating more foccacia in the future. 

How fortunate that Gigino is located dangerously close to my house. With a huge selection of specialty pizzas to choose from I'll need to drop by a good number of times to try them all. They also do takeaway so I know where I'll be getting my next takeout pizza. The only downer to my experience at Gigino was the wait for the food and I really hope it was a standalone event.

Gigino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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