Daily: 12:00 - 14:30
Daily: 18:00 - 22:30
At OChre, traditional Italian favourites are thoughtfully treated with contemporary techniques and combined with influences from the world over. The melange of flavours, fresh ingredients and colours are carefully calibrated to innovate on the traditional fare and offer new delectable creations to consumers.
The meal we enjoyed brought me back in time to the late 80s when I had a fabulous meal in Turin, - NE Italy, in a chateau with a valley in front of me. The meal started at 9am, and ended at 1am as the Italians dine late. Instead of a mountain, the Ion was behind me, and the valley was Orchard Rd, so sad.
Ambience: It's a lovely restaurant, set on the top floor of Orchard Central, pity the view outside isn't that fantastic but the small garden outside is enchanting. Comfortable interiors, well spaced out and cool. Lovely place settings and glassware.
Food: For starters, we had bread sticks an freshly made bread. The bread sticks, as I was told by my Italian hosts when I was in Turin, are for satiating the gastric juices before the meal begins. These bread sticks did it's job. A large packet of home made burrata - mozzarella cheese in a purse bag appeared on a base of Italian proscuito ham. Lovely combination. We used to only get Australian and local proscuito but things opened up lately and we can get Italian and Spanish cured ham. Very tasty.
Next came the pizzas - well browned crust with loads of cheese, meat and funghi - great tasting. Truffle oil drizzled on it gave it that unique smell and flavour. I was puzzled by what appeared next, it looked like something from the barn yard, but it was rissoto cooked in Barolo (a good Italian wine) and oxtail stock, it had a strange purplish tint and was unique in flavour. I thought it was squid ink rissoto at first, but it turned out to be a unique wine and oil flavoured rice. Special.
Lobster pasta was served up with the rissoto, and then we had a veal knee joint - osso-bucco, braised veal knee joint. The menu said Canadian lobster but having stayed there for 3 yrs, these lobsters were local crayfish, not the bi-pincered lobsters of Maine n Nova Scotia. I found the osso bucco a bit tough referencing it to my osso bucco in Zurich which was soft and flavourful. The chef then cut open a paper "parcel" of seafood. I expected a lovely smell from it but could smell the lack of freshness in the fish - confirmed that it was the white fish that was off. What a pity, perhaps it was that I had expected a cloud of fresh prawn / fish smell instead of the stale fish smell. Confirmed it on eating the serving. What a pity, such an opportunity wasted.
Desserts, Tiramisu, Chocolate cake, hazelnut log cake with ice cream. All desserts were among the best I've eaten here, and even in Turin.
Value: Treated to dinner but their weekend buffet is $48 + (GST only, no svc). which gives you a chance to sample all the desserts and antipasti except that you need to chose 1 main course. Try it, it's good value.
Service: Polite, unobstrusive and helpful.
Located in the very heart of Orchard / Somerset junction, Ochre Italian restaurant is a place to look out for. Classic Italian setting with white table cloths, elegant decor and good service, this place brings out the goodness in fine Italian dining.
My Duck Risotto arrived next. Being a risotto lover because I love arborio rice (the longish rice used to cook risottos), I absolutely enjoyed this dish. The gravy was creamy and flowed very smoothly with the rice. The duck meat was tender and absolutely tasty. The entire combination was just a treat for my tastebuds.
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The ambience and decor does nthe relate to the whole experience. Evening started with drinks and the waitress did not understand what a virgin mojito was. We proceeded to start dinner ordered pastas and a pizza and the food arrived in a disorderly fashion. startEd with a salad and it was just a couple without lettuce leaves and a hard boiled egg cut in half, some bits of croutons, 1 cherry tomato and some dried ham. They continues to during on the pastas and we ordered 3 different pastas to try and each one was a absolute bland experience. Poor pasta poor seafood poor overall. Only thing that was acceptable was the pizza, we had the mushroom pizza and tho it wasn't the best pizza out there , but it was the only thing on the table that was finished.