Food and Travel (Singapore) - - Reviews -

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

TEL 65/6688-8868

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

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