Located at the charming white building at Maxwell Chamber, Otto Locanda is the casual sibling of the fine dining Otto Ristorante just down the road at Red Dot Building. Otto Locanda exudes a rustic charm with a mix of copper surfaces and distressed wood, giving it a warm, cosy and homely charm of the classic Italian trattoria ambience. Helming Otto Locanda is Chef Marco Violana who worked at Four Sesaons London and Milan before coming to Singapore to work at Basilico and Ristorante PepeNero.
Buffalo Milk Mozzarella Cheese 4/5
The Buffalo Milk Mozzarella Cheese with Marinated Datterini Cherry Tomatoes and Basil Dressing ($18) was a simple antipasti to kick start the night. The semi soft cheese with its high moisture and milky content paired with one of the sweetest tomatoes, Datterini Cherry Tomatoes was beautiful and tanalised the appetite.
Roasted Octopus 4/5
Sitting on top of the smooth leek puree, the Roasted Octopus ($22) was beautifully cooked until very tender. Paired with crispy zucchini, potatoes and tomato, the dish was nicely executed and well balanced.
Selection of Cold Cuts 4/5
The selection of cod cuts at Otto Locanda had me wanting for more.
Italian Roasted Ham and Smoked Scamorza Cheese Fritters with Spicy Tomato Sauce 3.5/5
The Smoked Scamorza Cheese Fritters ($16) paired with the spicy tomato sauce was rather addictive.
Sliced Chilled Roast Grain Fed Strip Loin with Tuna Sauce 4/5
The Sliced Chilled Roast Grain Fed Strip Loin ($22) was dressed in a netting of tuna sauce. The beef was tender and juicy with a nice lingering sweetness. Never thought that the combination of fish and beef can be so delish.
Baked layers of Eggplant Parmigiana Style 4.5/5
Mistaken as pork belly when it was served, the Baked layers of Eggplant Parmigiana Style with light tomato sauce and Mozzarella ($20) had everyone at the dining table raving about it. The medley of textures and flavours done like a lasagne had layers after layers of delightful enjoyment.
Gratin Black Mussels Mediterranean Style 3/5
Of all the antipasti, the Gratin Black Mussels Mediterranean Style with Pureed Borlotti Beans and Ciabatta Bread Crouton ($20) was my least favourite. I felt that the natural flavour of the mussel was lost in the thick pureed borlotti and ciabatta bread crouton.
Pizza Trio 4.2/5
Otto Locando offers a small selection of pizzas in their menu. In fact only 4 to be exact. They are,
Pizza Contadina ($22) - with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, Marinated Grilled Vegetables and Crispy Artichoke.
Pizza Golosa ($24) - with Italian Roasted Ham, Korobuta Pork Ragout Arugula and Comfit Tomatoes.
Pizza Sfiziosa ($26) - with Brandy Glazed Prawns, Mixed Greens and Aioli Dressing
Pizza Bovina ($28) - with Grilled Grain Fed Beef, Arugula and Aged Parmesan Shaving.
To allow us to sample them, Chef Marco did a trio for us. I could not decide which is my favourite. The thin crust pizzas were all very lovely.
Cauliflower Soup 4.8/5
The highlight for the dinner was surprisingly the Cauliflower Soup with luxurious chucks of prawn and lobster. Each spoonful of the cauliflower puree was bursting with robust flavours that was both comforting and hearty.
Aged Parmesan Cheese Risotto "Carnaroli" 4/5
Chef Marco was telling us he loves Hainanese Chicken Rice and frequents Boon Tong Kee at river valley road. I was interested to taste his interpretation of the local delicacy, Aged Parmesan Cheese Risotto "Carnaroli"with White Chicken Ragout and Chili Dressing ($22). I don't think the flavour was anything near to it but it was a deliciously cooked risotto that I cleaned up to the last grain.
Crispy Pork Belly Pancetta 4.8/5
The Crispy Pork Belly Pancetta with Gratin Potato ad Onion Compote ($28) was simply gorgeous with fork tender meat and crispy crackling skin.
Sliced Beef Sirloin Grilled 4.8/5
Otto Locada really knows how to cook their meat. The Sliced Beef Sirloin Grilled with wild rockets salad, fontina cheese and artichoke sauce ($32) was another gorgeous dish. Cooked to perfection, the cheese and sauce lifted the juicy beef to a new level.
Pan Roasted Sea Bass in Amalfi Coast Style Sauce with Prawn and Salmon 4/5
Moving on to the seafood, the platter of Pan Roasted Sea Bass in Amalfi Coast Style Sauce with Prawn and Salmon ($28) felt like Christmas is here again. Not overly fancy, the platter showcased the natural flavours of the seafood just with a dash of the lemon to zest up the taste.
Grilled Lobster with Fresh Marinated Vegetables and Citrus Salad 4.8/5
The Grilled Lobster with Fresh Marinated Vegetables and Citrus Salad ($30) having my palate swimming with delight with the fresh, tangy and succulent meat.
Zuppa Inglese 2.8/5
The dessert for the day was Zuppa Inglese. Accordingly to the chef, the sponge cake got its colouring from a type of insect. Texture wise it was soft and airy. Taste wise I have my reservation. Not to mean as an insult, I do not like the taste as it resembled that of cough syrup.
Profiteroles filled with Vanilla Custard with Toasted Almond Flakes 4.2/5
The Profiteroles filled with Vanilla Custard with Toasted Almond Flakes ($12) was a sweet toast to wrap up a wonderful night. Popping these profiteroles was like jingle bells singing Christmas carol in the mouth.
Meringue Cake with Chocolate Sauce 4/5
Is it a snowball or a scoop of ice cream? No, it is a Meringue Cake with Chocolate Sauce ($12). Melted as it touched the tongue, the crumbly sugary cake was like snow falling from the sky. Christmas sure comes early with this dessert.
Oven Baked White Chocolate with Hazelnut ice cream 4.2/5
Slicing into the cake, lava milky white chocolate oozed out from it. A good change from the usual chocolate lava cake, the Oven Baked White Chocolate with Hazelnut Ice Cream ($14) completed the dinner on a sweet note.
I am impressed by the food, service and ambience at the restaurant with its reasonable price. Chef Marco has brought with him a hearty Italian recipes with high quality ingredients and precise execution. Be also thrilled by the daily specials of Chef Marco, whipped out from the freshest ingredients that are in season. I hope Otto Locanda can beat the odds of the 2 former establishments at the same premise and be here for a long time.
32 Maxwell Road
Tel: +65 62240978
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pager (EW Line)
Mon-Fri: 1130am - 2pm
Mon-Sat: 6pm - 10pm
1) Alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT station. Take Exit B. Turn left and walk to Maxwell Chamber building. Journey time about 3 minutes.