THE BUZZ Strategically located in the heart of the city within Maxwell Chambers, Otto Ristorante serves amazing Italian fare with a new-age influence.
AMBIENCE Meticulously designed and outfitted to resemble a bespoke Italian suit, the restaurant, which features a good mix of warm lighting, wallpaper cladded walls, wine bottles display and dark woods, comprises two dining rooms, three private rooms, a cigar bar and an alfresco dining area.
Helmed by Chef Michele Pavanello, this classy, unpretentious establishment is a great place for corporates to business lunches, and for families to bond with their loved ones over a good meal.
Service is great, with waiters and the restaurant manager regularly checking in with diners on their experience. The waitstaff are also very informed about the menu, the ingredients used in the dishes as well as the cooking methods used for each dish.
FOOD & DRINK Our meal started on a high note with two appetisers – smoked monkfish carpaccio with bread crostini and light caesar’s dressing (S$32), and crispy langoustine tails and zucchini served with chilled pachino coulis (S$38). The latter turned out to be one of our favourite dishes – the chilled pachino coulis was flavourful and rich without being overly indulgent, and complimented the perfectly cooked crustacean. We also liked how the fried zucchini offered a nice crunch to the overall dish.
Before we moved on to our mains, we ordered a With its concise menu of antipasti, pastas, mains and desserts, Otto Ristorante is the place to be when the craving for simple, hearty and authentic Italian food hits. pasta dish to share. Chef Michele Pavanello sure has a way with pasta; we were absolutely impressed with his signature spaghetti with sea urchin and grey mullet bottarga (S$32) comprising perfectly al dente pasta strands tossed with sea urchin and grey mullet bottarga – bottarga is the dried roe sac of the mullet fish. All elements of the dish came together nicely: the creamy, briny goodness of the sea urchin, and the saltiness from the generous shavings of grey mullet bottarga. Another must-try from the pasta selection is the homemade tagliatelle with wagyu beef and foie gras ragout (S$46).
For mains, we tried two seafood dishes – parma ham wrapped cod fish fillet served with langoustine sauce (S$44), as well as the fennel scented halibut fillet served with saffron and cauliflower mash (S$42).
The former was a clear winner – the cod was delightfully tender and succulent, and was offset beautifully by the parma ham’s salty tang.
For diners who can spare the time, the suckling pig glazed with acacia honey and balsamic vinegar that’s delightfully crisp on the outside and all juicy tenderness inside, is a definite must-try.
Desserts are another highpoint here. We had the Neapolitan rum baba with berries salad and orange granite (S$16), as well as OTTO’S tiramisu (S$16). The latter was deliciously dense and moist, and each bite filled our mouths with a heavenly and balanced explosion of coffee, chocolate and cream flavours.
A two-course a la carte meal with dessert and a glass of wine averages $110. There’s also a lunch set menu at $38, a five-course degustation menu for $98 and a six-course gourmet menu at $138. ADDRESS #01-03, Maxwell Chambers, 32 Maxwell Road
Mon-fri: noon to 2.30pm (lunch) Mon-fri: 6.30 to 10.30pm (dinner) Sat: 6.30pm-10.30pm
PRICE Antipasti from S$15 Pasta from S$28 Main from S$42 Dessert from S$14