Otto Locanda is this, fanciful and posh Italian Restaurant at Maxwell Chambers (right outside of the Tanjong Pagar MRT Exit, that I had walked past years ago, thinking to myself, when will I ever come to dine at this restaurant. Because it looks so good on the outside, and on the inside as well, upon further peeping. Years later, I finally got the chance to patronize the establishment (during Restaurant Week March 2013), what with it located just diagonally opposite my workplace.
As aforementioned, the interior was sleek, cozy and welcoming. I just love the contrasting color theme of the restaurant. We were warmly greeted by the hostess and brought to our table of eight. The bread basket was one of the better ones. I’m pretty particular when it comes to bread baskets. Being warm is the first step. Then, the bread has to be relatively soft with a different textured and slightly crispier crust. I thought Otto Locanda did it pretty good.
Before I go into the courses proper, I must commend that the management is very flexible. As I had friends of mine who couldn’t take cheese, they were actually open to switching it up (the dessert) for that two friends of mine when I wrote in. They did a great job coordinating with the Chef and my friends in person whilst we were there. I am glad they were being taken care of.
Antipasti (Sliced Chilled Roast Grain Fed Strip Loin with Tuna Sauce) :: Appetizers, have always been a ‘small portion’ in my perception. More so for one, this is a Restaurant Week Menu – many restaurants would be cutting back on parts of it to save cost. I was impressed with the gigantic portion the restaurant offered. All my dining companions were, too. Save for the slightly exotic combination of tuna sauce with the strip loin, I thought the dish was refreshing. Every part of it had their flavors spot on.
Main Course (Trio Pasta) :: Though it might seem like a degustation menu, it can actually be quite filling if you finish everything. Well, there’s the carbohydrates there. I admire the beauty of the presentation. Ravioli stuffed with Buffalo Ricotta Cheese, Beef Lasagna, and Squid Ink Spaghetti Chitarra Pasta with Crab Meat are the three musketeers in this course. Again, I think it was cooked to perfection. And just the right amount – not getting too cloying.
Main Course (Pan-Roasted Sea Bass) :: Fish wasn’t a problem, it was soft and smooth. I, for one though, am not a fan of the Amalfi Coast Style Sauce. Somehow, it tasted too Chinese and tomato-based for me. Pity though, because I am a huge fan of fishes.
Main Course (Roasted Baby Chicken) :: Of the three main courses, this rank in the middle for me. As the name suggests, pepper caponata, the dish is skewed toward the spicy side. It’s definitely tolerable, but this serves as a heads up for non-spicy takers. The baby chicken wasn’t the most tender, softest or most fragrant, but it’s passable.
Dessert (Tiramisu) :: Hell, this photo doesn’t do justification to the size of the dessert. Like its counterpart, the antipasti, our jaws dropped when it was brought onto the table. It was such a huge piece of tiramisu that our stomachs were starting to call for help. Even the usual ‘there is always space for dessert’ couldn’t hang in there for long. Okay, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. Only because the Tiramisu is good. I thought it differs a little from the usual – Otto Locanda’s version was milder, I thought. But with every bite of it, you can still distinctly taste its cocoa, mascarpone cheese, and coffee. Bravo.
Dessert (Profiteroles) :: Now this is the switched up dessert I was talking about. I say, my friend got a steal for herself. The profiteroles, soaked in chocolate, matched with the chilled cream within, was indulgent even though I only had a pop of it. Oh yes, strawberries accompanied as co-star.
Overall, I’m definitely impressed with the service. Food-wise, some hits, some misses, although most were the former. We were there for Restaurant Week, Lunch. So it was only $25++. For that, it’s value for money, hands down. I would certainly love to try its ala-carte menu some other time.
Address: 32 Maxwell Road, #01-03
Telephone: 6224 0978
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 2pm (Lunch, only Mon – Fri); 6pm – 10pm (Dinner, only from Mon – Sat); Closed on Sundays.