We’re almost sure you can’t think of many Sicilian or Belgium dining spots in Singapore, if at all. And now that you know we’re about to introduce one to you, you’d probably think that it’s going to set you back by quite a bit. Except it won’t.
Gigi Gourmet Deli is where you’d be able to find homely Belgium food and authentic Sicilian cuisine at affordable prices – from S$2.50 to S$25. The dishes served here are authentic, unpretentious, and will bring a sense of nostalgia for those who have grown up in Sicily and Belgium, while not alienating the Singaporean palate.
Dishes to try from Gigi Gourmet Deli
Start with the Burrata & Parma Salad (S$13.90). There’s no way you could experience Italian cuisine without a dish like this.
This dish comes with thin, savoury slices of parma ham topped with creamy burrata on a bed of rocket salad. While a dish like this typically set you back by at least S$20 at most restaurants, Gigi Gourmet Deli presents to you at a price that is just as palatable as its taste.
For something truly unique, try the Arancini (S$6.50). These rice balls are a quintessential Sicilian street food and is something you rarely find in Singapore, even in Italian restaurants.
Gigi Gourmet Deli offers arancini in three flavours: Ragu (beef), Nero (truffle), and Burro (chicken). Owner and chef Gigi recommends eating this using your hands and on the go, just like how a true Sicilian does it.
It was my first time trying an arancini (yes, I ate with my hands!) and it was enjoyable. I see some resemblance between it and a Japanese onigiri – both are rice balls with fillings that are intended for eating on the go. Of the three flavours, I like Nero most, but meat-lovers would probably love Ragu.
For another snack that’s special to Sicily, go for the Mini Gigi’s Cannoli (S$2.50). This pastry is filled with ricotta cheese and dipped in crunchy chopped pistachios. This will make a good snack start the meal with or to munch on when you’re feeling peckish.
For an easy meal, order the Nonna Panini (S$10.50). Nonna means “grandmother” in Italian and this dish is inspired by the sandwiches that Gigi’s grandmother used to make for him.
I’ve tried panini at other places before and won’t consider myself a fan. However, the one at Gigi Gourmet Deli was really delectable. The mildly spicy homemade sauce makes it easy to want to take one bite after another.
Finally, finish off your meal with Classic Leige Waffles (S$4).
“We don’t sell Belgium waffles. People in Belgium don’t call their waffles ‘Belgium waffles’,” Gigi joked when he spoke to us during the media tasting.
This left an impression on me because it tells me how much Gigi is dedicated offering an authentic gastronomic experience to his guests.
At Gigi Gourmet Deli, the waffles take the centre-stage – not maple sauce, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, or fruits – just like true Leige waffles served in Belgium. The Leige waffles here are chewy, moist, buttery, and taste good on its own, without any need for additional dressing. Pearl sugar can be sprinkled for a more sweetened flavour.
I must say this is the best “Belgium waffles” I’ve ever had and at just S$4, it’s absolutely a treat I can afford again and again.
I really love the homely and cosy ambience of Gigi Gourmet Deli, despite its location at Marina Bay Link Mall, one of the busiest malls visited by office workers on a working day.
Having spoken to owner Gigi, I could also see the passion he has poured into the deli to ensure that his food is meticulously made, delicious, and authentically Italian/Belgium.
He is also genuine in his care for his diners, which is why prices are kept modest. I also heard that he made sure there’s a power socket installed at every table, so that his guests can charge their devices while dining – something that few bistros will consider doing, in order to turn their tables faster to serve more guests and maximise profits.
Consider visiting Gigi Gourmet Deli to try out authentic Sicilian and Belgium cuisine you can’t always find at typical restaurants or to support an unpretentious business-owner who wears his heart on his sleeve. Both reasons will be worth your while.
Gigi Gourmet Deli is located at 8A Marina Boulevard, #B2-60/61 Marina Bay Link Mall, Singapore 018984 (next to Watsons). It is open from 11am to 7.30pm on weekdays and from 9am to 7pm on weekends and public holidays.