OTTO Ristorante, in my opinion, is the best Italian restaurant in Singapore. Much like how Saint Pierre is for French. Chef Michele Pavanello and his team consistently deliver excellent pastas and main courses and promotional menus and quarterly refreshes of the menu helps to keep one going back for more. Most memorable of this visit was trying Chef’s Sea Urchin pasta creation, which I must admit, not only sounded interesting at first, it was pretty much a novelty to me.
Another key attribute that sees me returning back to a particular establishment lies in the quality of the service staff. The service here is nothing short of being impeccable. Everyone, from the lovely receptionist at the door to Paolo, the affable Italian general manager, are friendly and always seem to go the extra mile when dining at OTTO.
Amuse Bouche 1: Baked Herbs Salmon
Lightly marinated salmon in a light tomato sauce, makes for a good amuse bouche.
Amuse Bouche 2: Mushroom on Toast Gratinated with cheese
We were offered a second amuse bouche, compliments of Chef Michele.
Sauteed mushrooms on toast, simple yet appetizing, Much like how serving the exact same combination for breakfast sets you on good footing for the day and leads you wanting for more.
Appetizer 1: Blue swimmer crab meat, avocado and vine tomato timbale with yoghurt dressing (S$22)
I do not mean to sound mean but this appetizer was definitely not one of my favourites. Somehow the combination of blue swimmer crab meat, avocado, tomatoes and the dressing juts did not click with my taste buds.
Much like what they say in a bad break up, “It’s not you, it’s me”.
But I definitely have to add, the crab meat was fresh – none of that mushy meat you tend to get at bad establishments.
Complimentary Appetizer 2: Potato and foie gras agnolotti with hazelnut butter and cocoa nibs
In between the two appetizers, Chef Michele Pavanello, brought out a complimentary appetizer. By the way, Chef was definitely very generous with the foie gras filling.
I liked this to bits! My dining partner for that evening does not appreciate the beauty of foie gras, which meant only one thing – I had two pieces for myself! Her loss, my gain!
The only complaint, or rather, comment that I have – it was rather filing to the stomach, probably due to thickness of the pasta or the potato that was stuffed along with the foie gras.
Based on the Wikipedia entry, Agnolotti is basically similar to that of ravioli, except for the fact that one has to have stuffed meat, for it to be called an Agnolotti. Anything else (e.g. Ricotta Cheese and Spinach) are classified as Ravioli.
– Last Accessed 29 June 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnolotti
Appetizer 3: “Squid ink” tagliolini with langoustine and own reduction (S$32)
Al dente squid ink tagliolini pasta, fresh langoustine meat and flavourful stock, what more can a person ask for, from his/her pasta dish?
I love simple pastas – that means, no heavy cream based sauces or pastas soaked in thick tomato sauces, and OTTO definitely hit the right chord with this dish.
In case you were wondering why the portion size looks considerably down-sized, what you see pictured above is only half of the original serving portion. We had requested for the pasta to be split into 2 for sharing purposes.
“Spaghetti” with sea urchin and grey mullet bottarga pasta (S$30)
In one of Chef Michele Pavanello’s supposed specialty, Spaghetti is tossed with Bottarga (Grey mullet roe marinated with salt that is pressed and air dried) and sea urchin paste.
This came highly recommended from Chef himself and I can completely understand why it is one of OTTO’s top selling pasta.
Light on the palate yet it was exquisite on the tastebuds. Uni sushi, I’ve had a few, but to see Uni used in a pasta sauce, now that alone is worth mentioning.
Monkfish “ossobuco” with two leek consistency (S$38)
This was my dining partner’s choice of a main and frankly although I tried a bit of it, my memories of it are somewhat blurry. Therefore, I shall not comment on this dish, for doing so, would be doing injustice to the chef.
Again, this is one of those, “it’s not you, it’s me” concepts.
Giamaica coffee Tiramisu’ OTTO (S$14)
Lovely is an understatement when describing the Tiramisu. The soft and creamy Italian dessert, served in a relatively large portion I must add, was befitting as a finale to the wonderful meal. A word of caution, if you are looking for one that is doused heavily in liquer, OTTO’s version is not for you.
I have been to OTTO for both lunches and dinners and I must say, that on each and every occasion, I have never once left disappointed. Every visit just affirms my decision that OTTO is the best Italian restaurant in Singapore.
28 Maxwell Road
#01-02 Red Dot Traffic Building
Tel: +65 6227 6819
12pm – 2.3pm
6.30pm – 10.30pm
(Closed on Sun)}