4SG Food on Foot •
02 Mar 2013
Full review at www.sgfoodonfoot.com
Located at the charming white building at Maxwell Chamber, Otto Locanda is the casual sibling of the fine dining Otto Ristorante just down the road at Red Dot Building. Otto Locanda exudes a rustic charm with a mix of copper surfaces and distressed wood, giving it a warm, cosy and homely charm of the classic Italian trattoria ambience. Helming Otto Locanda is Chef Marco Violana who worked at Four Sesaons London and Milan before coming to Singapore to work at Basilico and Ristorante PepeNero.
The Buffalo Milk Mozzarella Cheese with Marinated Datterini Cherry Tomatoes and Basil Dressing ($18) was a simple antipasti to kick start the night. The semi soft cheese with its high moisture and milky content paired with one of the sweetest tomatoes, Datterini Cherry Tomatoes was beautiful and tanalised the appetite.
Sitting on top of the smooth leek puree, the Roasted Octopus ($22) was beautifully cooked until very tender. Paired with crispy zucchini, potatoes and tomato, the dish was nicely executed and well balanced.
The Smoked Scamorza Cheese Fritters ($16) paired with the spicy tomato sauce was rather addictive.
The Sliced Chilled Roast Grain Fed Strip Loin ($22) was dressed in a netting of tuna sauce. The beef was tender and juicy with a nice lingering sweetness. Never thought that the combination of fish and beef can be so delish.
Mistaken as pork belly when it was served, the Baked layers of Eggplant Parmigiana Style with light tomato sauce and Mozzarella ($20) had everyone at the dining table raving about it. The medley of textures and flavours done like a lasagne had layers after layers of delightful enjoyment.
Of all the antipasti, the Gratin Black Mussels Mediterranean Style with Pureed Borlotti Beans and Ciabatta Bread Crouton ($20) was my least favourite. I felt that the natural flavour of the mussel was lost in the thick pureed borlotti and ciabatta bread crouton.
To allow us to sample them, Chef Marco did a trio for us. I could not decide which is my favourite. The thin crust pizzas were all very lovely.
The highlight for the dinner was surprisingly the Cauliflower Soup with luxurious chucks of prawn and lobster. Each spoonful of the cauliflower puree was bursting with robust flavours that was both comforting and hearty.
Chef Marco was telling us he loves Hainanese Chicken Rice and frequents Boon Tong Kee at river valley road. I was interested to taste his interpretation of the local delicacy, Aged Parmesan Cheese Risotto "Carnaroli"with White Chicken Ragout and Chili Dressing ($22). I don't think the flavour was anything near to it but it was a deliciously cooked risotto that I cleaned up to the last grain.