THE BUZZ With a new weekend lunch that’s perfect for the entire family, Osteria Mozza offers a simple, yet satisfyingly authentic Italian cuisine set in a casual ambience. This August, the celebrity chefs’ restaurant also welcomed David Marazzi as General Manager and Executive Chef Peter Birks to the Mozza family.
AMBIENCE Spacious, stylish interiors with dark wooden furnishings, quickly transform into an invitingly relaxing setting as the white tablecloths come off for lunch. Three private dining rooms offer an escape from the bustling city, while décor is elegant for dinner and a touch rustic for lunch.
FOOD & DRINK Although just launched in August, the Osteria Mozza weekend lunch seems to have taken off, with diners taking their seats just as the kitchen starts to bustle with orders. While the lunch menu may look like a petite version of dinner, with a few new additions specially crafted just for lunch, deciding what to order does prove challenging.
But once the orders are placed, the lunch quickly takes off with a fresh dish of Butter Lettuce with toasted hazelnuts, crisp bacon, sliced hard boiled eggs and Gorgonzola Dolce, which is a lighter, younger version of the aged Gorgonzola. Sprinkled with a light vinaigrette, the dish was a refreshing start to lunch.
A meal at Osteria Mozza without a taste of some of the 16 types of cheeses that the restaurant’s fresh mozzarella bar has to offer would be a wasted trip. Prepared daily, the selection of mozzarella and cheeses comes served with a variety of sides – from cured tomatoes and caviar, to leek, beets and grilled asparagus. For lunch, a selection of perhaps the simplest, but no less delectable cheeses makes the menu. The vibrant plate of Caprese of Bufala Mozzarella was one that stood out, as the fresh creamy mozzarella was met with luscious sweet vine ripened tomatoes.
The next dish took us for a minute right from the Marina Bay Sands to a quaint kitchen in the Tuscan countryside. The Bufala Mozzarella with Prosciutto di Parma, with simple slivers of cured ham and creamy mozzarella, was reminiscent of a meal shared with friends while taking in sweeping views of the Tuscany landscape. It’s not often that a meal takes you from the confines of your dinner party and sends you to the heart of its origin with each bite. But for authentic Italian cucina delivered in the simplest dishes that are bursting with flavours, Osteria Mozza hits all the right notes. And with so many dishes to choose from, the lunch is best enjoyed with some hungry company.
Slipping back into the restaurant, hearty servings of pastas greeted us with their vibrant and familiar displays. First up was the Rotolo with ricotta, spinach and tomato, that looked slyly simple. But from the impeccable balance that came through with each morsel, it was clear that much work went into its preparation. The pasta is first wrapped with ricotta, spinach, parmesan and percorino, then rolled and gently poached for five minutes, before being portioned and pan seared on each side to give it a light brown crisp. Then, just before it is set on a tangy tomato sauce and served, it is once more heated in the oven, giving it a toasty finish.
Another familiar favourite was the signature Garganelli with ragù Bolognese, made with pork, veal, nutmeg and pancetta. This Italian staple once again held true to the authentic flavours that Osteria Mozza successfully delivers.
As we moved from pasta to the meats, the first dish to catch our eye was the Roast Pork with arugula and salsa verde. The deboned pork belly is seasoned with herbs such as rosemary, sage and fennel pollen, then roasted to succulent, crisp perfection, before being served with an refreshing salsa verde and a bed of fresh arugula. While the crisp skin of the pork is a sight to behold, the hint of fresh herbs on the warm meat made for a tantalising treat.
Those who fancy a lighter fare must try the Kingfish Spiedini – a new addition to the menu just for lunch. Marinated with herbs and pan roasted, the fish is served with slices of green and yellow zucchini and preserved lemon, for that citrusy flavour that again makes the dish light and refreshing.
A selection of paninos and eggs that give the lunch a twist of brunch, let diners enjoy a different side of Osteria Mozza. One such dish is the Eggs and Polpette with fresh ricotta and meatballs. Here again, Chef Birks proves that the best flavours can come through the simplest of dishes. The meatballs are made with minced pork shoulder, giving it a tender yet firm bite, with fennel and pecorino, pan seared before being baked. Served with a duo of poached eggs and set on a bed of ricotta, this quickly becomes another flavourful favourite.
Desserts are a must, as the rich chocolate ganache with olive oil gelato, garnished with olive oil croutons and the Vanilla Panna Cotta with mixed berries compote and hazelnut biscotti, are perfect way to wrap the lunch. ADDRESS #B1-42-46, Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue
OPENING HOURS Daily: 5pm to 11pm (dinner) Saturday & Sunday: 12pm to 3:30pm (lunch)
PRICE Insalate from S$23 Pasta and Secondi from S$22 Dolci from S$15