Keto-compliant tastiness at Sofi Cafe Pizza
Here is an ice-breaking topic: Keto.
The conversation will be lively. Either you love the low-carb, high-fat lifestyle, or you think it is hype that has overstayed its welcome.
Those leaning towards the former are usually quite passionate about it, like Ms Sofi Sui is.
She is the owner of Sofi Cafe Pizza and also Pasta Brava, and discovered the keto lifestyle during the circuit breaker. She claimed it helped with an old injury and from that point, decided to forge ahead with it.
Thank goodness she did.
As someone who is restarting my own keto journey, one pain I felt was the lack of choices when dining out.
And when you do find a place, the cost can shock you right back into eating sugar.
Sofi Cafe Pizza's keto menu manages to sort these issues out.
It offers a variety of dishes in the "Really keto meh?" category, and a lot of it is friendly on the wallet.
Those on a strict keto diet may feel lonely - because no one wants to eat with you. Here, your friends have a regular menu and can even order from its neighbour Pasta Brava.
One of my favourites is the keto pizza. Pizza is nearly impossible to be keto with all that dough, but this version comes close.
We had a half and half, although the restaurant does not usually do that. The burrata topping ($33) is a tad mild for me, but the chilli crab topping ($35) clicks with its sweet and spicy combination.
The dough is mostly oak fibre and almond meal, so it will appeal to those who prefer a thin crust.
Oat fibre also forms the basis of the keto fettuccine, and we ordered the squid ink version ($33.50).
The fettuccine is al dente and at times feels like chewing on dried beancurd skin. It is sold in limited amounts, so call ahead to reserve your portion.
The sauce is rich, deep and flavoursome. The dish does not look at all appealing but tastes heavenly.
I don't have a photo of it (because it went into my stomach too quickly), but the pork lasagne ($30) may be the best thing for those craving classic Italian. It is cheesy and rich, with a great tomato sauce.
Those on a keto diet might opt for the roasted pork belly ($32), and this version comes with a delicious portion of cauliflower rice.
The skin crackles when you cut it, the fat is still moist, and the meat is tender.
A keto curry puff ($9.50) seems too good to be true, and it is. The shell does not evoke that familiar comforting feeling, and perhaps a bit more spice would have helped.
There is no lack of keto desserts, albeit with varying success.
The pandan cheesecake ($10 a piece) here is one of the successes. I love the delicate perfume of pandan mixed with the rich custardy cheese, and it is a lighter bite than it looks.
Sofi Cafe Pizza sells keto-compliant kaya, breads and cookies too.
These, like many of the dishes, are delicious. I had to remind myself that keto-compliant does not mean calorie-free.
Still, Sofi Cafe Pizza has become my beacon of food sanity.
Sofi Cafe Pizza
10 Craig Road, Tel: 6222-0879
Opens Mondays to Thursdays 8.30am to 10pm, Fridays 8.30am to 10.30pm,
Saturdays and eve of public holidays 9.30am to 10.30pm, Sundays and
public holidays 9.30am to 8.30pm