08 Jul 2014 • 1 review • 0 follower
As an Italian I find this outrageously overpriced, ridiculously pretentious "Osteria" an insult to my country's tradition and my own wallet. Those who gave thumbs up have obviously never experienced authentic Italian food.
Needless to say, nobody in this place is Italian. Not even Mario Batali of course. even the menu is pretentiously written with Italian phrases but full of basic mistakes. ("Acque fresche" for the list of water is totally unidiomatic, borderline ridiculous. "Alla bottigliE" - not even first graders do this mistake). You're not obliged to write in Italian, but if you do - presumably to cheat patrons into thinking you are giving them Italian food - a simple spell check is useful.
Bread: the focaccia was a piece of marble, an insult to word focaccia itself.
Antipasti: the selection of mozzarella was good, except that (1) burrata wasn't burrata because it had no skin, (2) there is no such thing as "smoked burrata" in Italy, (that was probably some kind of ricotta), (3) we don't combine dates with speck and (4) speck wasn't probably real speck as I didn't see any layer of lard.
Primi: to start with, there is no such thing as "primo size" or "secondo size" for pasta in Italy as primo and secondo are not sizes. As any five-year-old, and well-travelled world foodie would know "primo" is either soup, pasta or rice and just means 'first course', "secondo" means "second course" and is what you'd call the main. There is no reason why one should be bigger than the other. Paying $57++ for their "secondo size" (which would be an individual portion both in Italy and in any other Italian restaurant in Singapore) of bucatini all'amatriciana is simply outrageous. On the food itself: agnolotti didn't look or taste like agnolotti, the shape was wrong, the filling was wrong, and agnolotti are never served with butter and sage, but with roast juice; gnocchi were shaped like balls, not like gnocchi; on the other hand, bucatini all'amatriciana were decent and made with real "guanciale".
Secondi: the grilled seabream came with bones taken off (which is not normal), and was inundated with olive oil and lemon juice. Maybe Mario Batali thinks Italians eat bread dipped with oil and put olive oil on anything, maybe he thinks to be Italian you need to make a scene with gigantic pepper mills or lemon, but try asking for lemon with fish in an Italian restaurant and you'll be stared at as if you're coming from some faraway mountain. At $60++ for a 300g sea bream!
Desserts were so unappetising we didn't even bother, none of the desserts on the list would have qualified in a one-star "osteria" on the motorway. "Biscotti", by the way, are cookies you buy in a grocery store, not a dessert you serve in a restaurant.
Espresso was terribly sour.
Service: unattentive when you look for them, upselling when you're trying to enjoy the meal. Putting pressure to order wine quickly and telling you that you haven't ordered enough food when you have.
Don't waste your money and palate.