Dinner @ Oso Ristorante Singapore

July 11, 2017 in Italian by thywhaleliciousfay

It has been a while since my Italian cuisine-loving girlfriends and I met up for Italian food. And thus, reservation was excitedly made on Chope for OSO Ristorante which has been in Singapore’s food scene for at least 20 years.

Located in a four-storey heritage conservation mansion built in the 1920s, my girlfriends and I easily identified the building by its yellow-painted exterior. But it was a little confusing after entering through the main entrance as we only saw the entrance (on right) leading to the Japanese restaurant located at level one. Thankfully, there was a receptionist stationed at the entrance who directed us to the staircase (on the left) so that we could head up to Oso Ristorante on second storey.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10), we ordered:-

1) Bread platter, Complimentary (above)

2) Misti, $24 (above) – Chef selection cold cut served with pickles.


  

3) Foie gras, $29 (above) – Pan-fried duck liver, bruschetta, beetroot-campari. My bad in not reading the menu properly. I didn’t enjoy this dish as much because I was expecting big slab of foe gras (and, yes) without the bread.

4) Burrata, $38 (for 2) (above) – Cheese with tomato sabayon. Portion for 1 was $22 and portion for 2 was $38. Unsure of the size, we enquired with the staff who told us the portion for 2 was fist size. And since there were 4 of us, we though fist size would be sufficient. However, we failed to realise he meant guy’s fist size cause it was bigger than expected. I didn’t really like this though. There was a slight bitter aftertaste.

5) Agnello, $48 (above) – 8 hours baked 1/2 lamb rack, black onions, green bean. Give this a miss. Meat was tough and bland. We didn’t quite understand the plating too. Please enlighten us on what to do with the rib bones.

6) Stracci, $26 (above) – Whole wheat pasta, braised Tuscan wild boar in red wine.

7) Fettuccine, $35 (above) – De-shelled baby lobster, basil, san marzano tomato.

8) Capelli d’ angelo, $24 (above) – Angel hair with lemon, garlic, chili and crab meat.

9) Panna cotta, $14 (above) – Double cream flan, caramelized black pepper.

10) Miele, $14 (above) – Honey-beetroot cake, espresso sauce.

11) Tiramisu, $14 (above) – 1956 recipe of mascarpone, coffee, biscuits, cacao.

12) Fragola, $14 (above) – Sliced marinated strawberry in balsamico, its own sherbet.

Unfortunately, dinner didn’t turn out as well as we anticipated. The pasta dishes failed to impress us. So no, I wouldn’t recommend Oso Ristorante.

OSO RISTORANTE
46 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore
6327 8378, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon – Fri : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 7
 
* Closed on Sun

UPDATE: Restaurant has moved to 100 Peck Seah Street, Oasia Hotel Downtown, Level 27.

Dinner @ Ristorante Pietrasanta

April 22, 2017 in Italian by thywhaleliciousfay

And it’s Italian time when I met up with my Italian-cuisine-loving girlfriends for dinner. Keke. And because I felt my girlfriends and I didn’t conquer sufficient dishes on Pietrasanta’s extensive menu, I headed back with another friend. So yes, I am definitely consuming way too much pasta for someone who is trying to cut down on my carbohydrates. Pout.

Making one’s way to Pietrasanta certainly wasn’t easy. The restaurant was nestled deep within Wessex Estate. I took a cab on my first visit, while my friend drove us in during my second. Alternatively, one may take the train to One-north MRT station and walk 18 to 20 minutes to the restaurant or take bus 191 from the bus stop located opposite Buona Vista MRT station. Bus 191 is the only bus that goes into Wessex Estate.

For a restaurant that’s so inaccessible, Pietrasanta was surprisingly popular. Reservation is a must if one wishes to sit within the air-conditioned space. And I do mean making reservation well in advance. I made mine at least 1 week in advance but was informed we would only be assigned to the alfresco seating area.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), we ordered:-

1) Tomato sauce, Complimentary (above) – With 1 (small) cup served to each dining patron, we were told we could either drink this or use it as a dipping sauce for our bread. We went with the latter.

2) Focaccia, $7.99 (above) – During my first visit, the staff asked if we wanted to try their signature focaccia. And because she put it in that manner (ie, signature), my girlfriends and I couldn’t say no. And it was pretty good. We ate it well with our pork appetiser (item 4).

3) Bread, Complimentary (above) – On my second visit, my friend and I decided to give the focaccia a miss. And what we didn’t know was that we would be given (complimentary) pizza bianca. This was really good too. My friend and I finished everything. Including using it to wipe clean the plates of our main dishes. Keke.

4) Tonno del chianti, $18.90 (above) – “Tuna of chianti”. Typical Tuscan pork appetizer.

5) Sauté calamari, $19.50 (above) – And this was not on the regular menu; It was one of the specials. However, if one wants to order a squid dish, I would recommend sticking to the grilled squid from their menu instead.


6) Burrata salad, $40.99 (above) – If one looked at the pictures posted of Pietrasanta on instagram, the salad with burrata seemed to be a dish which everyone was ordering and was raving about. However, my girlfriends and I were puzzled when we couldn’t find it on the menu. So naturally, we asked the staff when we had our orders taken. To which, the staff replied that it’s one of their specials. Er, okie. It certainly didn’t seem like it was a seasonal special. Personally, a menu defeats its purpose if it’s not updated to allow customers to make an informed decision. That aside, I do recommend this dish. But only if one is a cheese lover. A burrata cheese lover to be exact. We were told that the burrata was made in-house. And they sure made it big because the ball of burrata had to be served in a separate bowl from the greens and parma ham. Loved it!

7) Melanzane alla parmigiana, $17.90 (above) – Baked eggplant layered with tomato sauce, parmigiano reggiano and mozzarella cheese. This was pretty good. But eat it warm.

8) Zuppa di pesce, $20.90 (above) – Seafood soup with prawns, squids, clams & mussels. Served with toasted bread.


9) Ravioli rossi con burrata al pomodoro, $20.90 (above) – Handmade red ravioli with burrata served in tomato sauce. This would have been better if they were more generous with the fillings; Just a bit more for a more substantial bite.


10) Ravioli spinaci, $22.90 (above) – Another off-the-menu special. This was good. Although I want to add that after reading older reviews shared by others, I realised the price of this dish had gone up by $5 since 2013. Hmm.

11) Fettuccine con salsiccia e tartufo nero, $27.90 (above) – Handmade fettuccine with handmade pork sausage & black truffle.

12) Tagliatelle al nero di seppia con ragu’ di gamberi, $25.90 (above) – Handmade squid ink tagliatelle with prawns ragu in tomato sauce.

13) Merluzzo al forno con vino bianco, olive nere e pomodorini, $39.90 (above) – Baked cod fish in white wine, black olives, rosemary & Italian tomatoes. This was pretty good. Very nicely executed.


14) Half-half pizza, $24.90 (above) – And we went with quattro formaggi (mozzarella cheese, blue cheese, smoked cheese and parmesan cheese) and tartufo nero (mozzarella cheese, black truffle & truffle oil). My girlfriends and I had couldn’t decide on a flavour, and that was when the staff said we could get a half-half pizza. Best of two worlds? My girlfriends and I were up to it! Although we were slightly unoriginal on our final choice of flavours; The only difference was the black truffle. 1 with, 1 without. Ha. Topping aside, I would recommend getting a pizza!

15) Tiramisu, $13.90 (above) – Give this a miss. I didn’t like the ratio of the ingredients. Failed to impress.

16) Crostata di marmellata di arancia, $14.90 (above) – Homemade orange jam tart.

Pietrasanta has been in the food scene for almost a decade. Since March 2008! So it’s no surprise they have a strong base of regulars. And for customers to become regulars, it would mean Pietrasanta is something right. However, what that reason may be, it is’t strong enough for me to return. Yes, no third trip back.

Not everyone may be comfortable sitting at the alfresco area because of the insects. And the restaurant was also aware of the insects as electronic insect killers were installed. You know, those with ultraviolet ray. And every time I heard a loud zap, I would worry a little because the insect which was zapped to its death may just land on our plates. As for insects on our table, we managed the situation by trapping them under our plates. Insect repellent was also provided as I overheard a family requesting for it for their kids who were getting insect bites.

Service was mediocre. Orders were strictly taken by the longer-serving staff who come across… Slightly insincere? Don’t get me wrong. They know their work. But because they handled most of the work, they had to move fast. And in that sense, I thought it lacked that human touch.

Would I recommend Pietrasanta? Well… To drive out and have dinner at a restaurant nestled amidst greenery, it’s a nice reprieve from hustle and bustle of concrete jungle. But I didn’t like having to worry about insects landing in our food. So if one decided to come for the food which was above average, make sure to get the indoors seats.

RISTORANTE PIETRASANTA
5B Portsdown Road, #01-03, Singapore
6479 9521, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon, Wed – Fri : 11:45 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 6
Sat – Sun : 11:45 – 14:45 (Lunch)
Value: 7
Mon, Wed – Sun : 17:45 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Service: 6
 
* Closed on Tues

Dinner @ Etna Italian Restaurant

April 8, 2017 in Italian by thywhaleliciousfay

I was impressed much by the food served at Etna when I last dined in… 2010. Gasp. I remember packing the unfinished pizza which my younger brother (who’s not easily impressed by food) gave his nod of approval.

My team mates would regularly head out for after-work dinner and drinks. And since our office was in the East and me wanting proper food instead of bar food, I suggested heading to Etna. Actually, I wanted to thank my colleagues for covering me when I was away for my holiday in Japan, and I felt it was only right that I treated them at a proper restaurant. Ie, one that I know won’t disappoint us with the food.

Reservation is a must. We went on a Friday evening and the restaurant was running at full capacity. At least 2 groups of walks-in were turned away.

And from the dinner menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), we ordered:-

1) Bread platter, Complimentary (above)

2) Antipasto Etna, $38 (above) – Italian cold cuts, marinated vegetables and baked ricotta cheese. And they actually meant pickled when the menu stated ‘marinated vegetables’.

3) Calamari e ceci, $18 (above) – Grilled fresh squids with chickpeas puree, caper powder and seasoned breadcrumb.

4) Parmigiana di melanzane, $18 (above) – Baked eggplant parmigiana layered with fresh basil and mozzarella cheese. This must be eaten once served to the table. We enjoyed it better when it was warm. So good.

5) Ciriole alla norcina, $28 (above) – Homemade semolina pasta with mushrooms, homemade sausage and truffle paste. A colleague and I wanted to order this, but I decided to get something else cause I was told the homemade sausage contained bits of beef. I don’t eat beef lah. But it was interesting that the homemade pasta reminded us of udon. Hmm…


6) Ravioli all’ aragosta, $36 (above) – Homemade lobster ravioli with butter pistachio cream and prawns. My dish! I thought the ravioli could be thinner at the rim. You know, where the 2 pieces of pasta sheet were pressed together. But my Irish colleague gave this dish the thumbs up.

7) Filetto di maiale al marsala, $34 (above) – Glazed pork tenderloin with marsala sauce, roasted potatoes and gremolata.

8) Tonno scottato alle erbe, $36 (above) – Seared fresh yellowfin tuna loin breaded with herbs, erved with broccoli flan and red onion.

9) Burrata pizza rosse, $32 (above) – Tomato, fresh burrata cheese, parma ham and rocket salad. And Etna didn’t disappoint with their pizza. =) Decided to go with another flavour (from what I tried in 2010) because my taste has since evolved and I almost always had to have burrata cheese when I am having Italian. Thankfully my colleagues love burrata cheese too. Keke.

  

10) Biancomangiare, $16 (above) – Almond panna cotta with white chocolate. A colleague loves her panna cotta. She never fails to order it when it’s available on the menu. And I was glad she ordered the panna cotta cause we didn’t expect an elaborate presentation to come with it. “I need to pour this quickly when the chocolate is hot”, the waiter said. And he followed to pour dark chocolate over the dome that’s made with white chocolate. But the dark chocolate wasn’t as hot as it should be because the dome only melted in small areas. And when the waiter realised it wasn’t going to melt any further, he flipped the dome to reveal the panna cotta beneath.

11) Tiramisu al pistacchio di bronte, $14 (above) – Classic tiramisu with authentic pistachio paste (from Bronte, Sicily). Unfortunately, I remembered Etna’s tiramisu use to be better. Unless my standard went up over the years? This was too creamy for my liking.

Dinner at Etna must be good because my colleagues and I left the restaurant happy and inspired to have Italian for our next after-work dinner. Keke. Will I recommend Etna? It’s a big “yes” from me if one is in the East and craving for Italian cuisine.

That said, one event still bothers me to date. The group of ladies seated beside us apparently ordered more than what they could eat. One of their leftover was the pizza where they left 4 slices untouched. Our assigned table was just beside the area where food was served from the kitchen and where waiting staff would return finished plates (for washing). I witnessed the staff transferring the ladies’ remaining pizza to a container. Clearly for their consumption. Some may argue it’s acceptable since it’s the same logic as me packing my unfinished pizza home. But I just felt it was wrong for hygiene reason. So I guess… If they wanted to do it, they should have at least ensured it was done out of any customers’ sight.

ETNA ITALIAN RESTAURANT
110 Upper East Coast Road, Singapore
6444 9530, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sun : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 7