Literally located in a corner of level 2, Scotts Square is Arossa Grill & Wine Bar, a classic grill restaurant decked in a redbrick tavern setting which is both inviting, cosy and homely at the same time. It overlooks the busy Orchard Road strip, but surprisingly peaceful and can be romantic especially when dusk falls.
It is also beautiful that the restaurant does not charge additional, or impose a minimum spending to dine in a private dining room. All you have to ensure is to reserve early, and so long as it is available, and you have the number of persons, you get it. There’s a room for 8 and a room for 12; a space to hold an intimate, at-home meal without having to do the cooking yourself.
The open kitchen concept allows diners to see Chef Chiaki Watanabe and her team at work. Chef Chiaki was educated in Japan, worked and practised in Italy, back to Japan for a stint in Japan again before coming to Singapore to join Arossa Grill & Wine Bar. Naturally, her influences are largely of Japaneses and Italian cuisines. Chef Chiaki is accompanied with an in-house manager cum sommelier to assist in pairing wine to your dinner courses.
The complimentary bread basket was a spectacular opening. The walnut and focaccia bread, made in-house every day, when paired with the dip comprising olives, garlic, anchovies and olive oil, was the bomb, and I could eat the dip just by itself. It is so good that I would buy a jar of it home if they had it for sale.
Assorted Appetisers 5 Kinds ($30++) :: If you are craving for this and that, and can’t decide on one, you can have an appetiser platter of such, where you get a piece of each (pictured is three portions). Bracketed behind each item is the price to have it individually, as a full appetiser portion. My favourite of the five was Carpaccio di Manzo ($25++). The rockets are enveloped in a strip of Australian F1 Wagyu Beef, dressed lightly in balsamic sauce. The flavour is light but sufficiently substantial. The Canadian Oysters ($8++/1piece, $42++/6pieces, $75++/12pieces) and Caprese ($25++) comprising buffalo mozzarella with sicilian tomato and basil pesto were average and ordinary-tasting; nothing to complain / shout about.
I didn’t quite like its Baby Octopus ($22++) though. It was drenched in tomato sauce so much that I could hardly taste anything octopus. Further, the baby octopus was rather mushy. The Duck Foie Gras Terrine ($29++) with homemade fig jam was slightly lackluster too, with it sitting on a piece of biscuit. As it was duck’s, it was naturally not as rich.
Chitarra ($29++) :: A simple dish with just homemade square-cut long pasta, topped with sea urchin and flavoured with peperoncino. Personally, I thought it was too simple to be pegged at this price. I know, sea urchin is premium, but it didn’t quite taste the same here. I was told that the sea urchin here is from Hokkaido, and also tastes much lighter since it origins from Japan. To me though, I am more concerned about its taste than anything. I would rather it be packed with more punch and oomph. The sea urchin here was nearly non-existent in taste, sadly. The pasta was otherwise done al-dente, and well and lightly seasoned.
Braised Fish in Aqua Pazza ($43++) :: While I love the powerful clam-stock broth, the fish was quite a disappointment. The fish was slightly dry, and a little flaky and rough in texture. It didn’t harmonise well with the broth and appeared to be in separate entities. Pity; if only the fish was of a better quality and not overly done. With that said, the price thus unjustifiable.
Beef Cheek Braised in Red Wine ($37++) :: Again, the beef cheek seemed to be overdone. It was tough and more on the dry side. The glaze wasn’t to my preference – it was very sharp and potently sweet.
Tiramisu ($14++) :: Tiramisu was, well, depends on how you like it. For me, this version was particularly light as compared to many that I’ve had. For a Tiramisu lover, I’d advise against this. I personally like it heavy and packed full of the alcohol and coffee and all.
I love its location, its tranquility and privacy, and its appetisers weren’t too bad. However, I wish the main courses could be better so that the entire dining experience can be better.
What’s worth paying for:
Carpaccio di Manzo.
Photos by Kathleen.
Address: 6 Scotts Road, #02-01 Scotts Square
Telephone: 6636 2951 (takes reservations)
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10.30pm (daily)
This was a media session.