Archive for October, 2011

OTTO Ristorante

October 24, 2011 2 comments

OTTO Ristorante occupies a cosy spot at the Red Dot Traffic Building, and is not to be confused with Oso Ristorante at Bukit Pasoh. OTTO Ristorante is helmed by Italian chef Michele Pavanello, and he has countless accolades under his belt. After one visit there with Ter, to celebrate the light at the end of the tunnel of a tough week, we can see why they have garnered rave reviews. OTTO apparently represents the number ‘8’ in Italian, and it’s a lucky number in many cultures, especially in the Asian culture. I am not sure how the name of the restaurant came about (not really one of those google-able names), but I can definitely see or rather, taste how they have infused Italian cuisine with a dash of Asian flavour to stoke our taste buds. So lucky or not, they definitely did a good job with weaving in local flavour to their dishes to reach out to a wide clientele base.

OTTO Ristorante

Baked herbs salmon. This was the amuse bouche that was served, and with its slightly tangy tomato sauce, it certainly served its purpose of whetting our appetite.

OTTO Ristorante

Carpaccio di manzo Giapponese con Instalatina di Funghi e Parmigiano (Wagyu beef carpaccio with mushroom and parmesan cheese salad). Looks very red and raw but it was yummy! There is nothing to not like when you have parmesan cheese and thinly sliced wagyu beef together.

OTTO Ristorante

Tagliata di Merluzzo Atlantico in Crosta di Olive Taggiasche e Salsa all’Aglio dolce (Atlantic cod “Tagliata” with “Taggia” black olive crust served with sweet garlic sauce). The cod was fresh and I really enjoyed this dish. Something about the crusty exterior, and smooth cod slices beneath that melt in your mouth.

OTTO Ristorante

Maialino da Latte Croccante Laccanto al Miele d’Acacia e Balsamico Stravecchino (Crispy “suckling pig” lacquered with acacia honey and balsamic vinegar). This is one of their signature dishes, and I would recommend this for those who love sio ba (roasted pork). Same kind of sinful feeling eating it, but the crisp-to-perfection skin and succulent pork makes for a worthy indulgence really.

Did I mention they serve quite a wide variety of bread, which comes warm  and nice as well? I am a sucker for bread (it’s weird, I know), and I was very happy to have bread to fill hungry me up while waiting for the dishes to be served. Service there was also impressive; everyone was affable and attentive. I heard they’ve got awesome lunch sets as well, but I don’t work in the CBD area, so would be hard pressed to swing by for lunch, unless I am on leave. Would love to give it a try though, heh. After the long hard week that I had at work, the dinner at OTTO was like a silver lining to the cloud for me. Made me feel so.. lucky? 🙂

OTTO Ristorante
28 Maxwell Road
#01-02 Red Dot Traffic Building
Tel: +65 6227 6819
Opening hours
Mon–Fri 12pm – 2.30pm
Mon–Sat 6.30pm – 10.30pm
(Closed on Sun)



October 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Infidelity finally pays off!

In 2009, World Barista Championship winner Gwilym Davies wanted to promote the then emerging coffee scene in East London, so he came up with the disloyalty card, where he promised to make you a cuppa after you have completed a coffee journey with 8 coffee joints that he had selected. Coffee junkies lapped up the concept and the idea of coffee disloyalty has spread to Toronto and Seattle, and most importantly, it has come to our sunny island here! So 8 indie coffee joints have joined forces to be part of the Bedisloyal project here. What happens is you can get a stamp at each of the participating cafes, with the disloyalty card that you can obtain at any of the 8 cafes, and when you are done with your coffee trail, you are entitled a free coffee at the place you got the card from!

So there is no need to feel guilty on your quest for good coffee, hopping about the cafes, because for once, disloyalty pays off!

The 8 cafes are The Broers Cafe, Forty Hands, Jewel Cafe, Jimmy Monkey Cafe & Bar, Loysel’s Toy, Oriole Espresso & Brew Bar, Smitten Coffee and Tea Bar and SOHO Coffee.

Make haste in getting the card, as there are only 800 cards in the pilot phase, and the card is valid until the end of 2011. Enjoy the coffee journey!

Graze @ Martin No.38

October 6, 2011 Leave a comment

I was immediately drawn to Graze at Martin No.38 after visiting its website!

Something about the immaculate white, country-style furniture, and the light and airy ambience portrayed by the pictures on the website. I have been to Graze @ Rochester before, but that was some years back, so I was wondering if I should re-visit the place; the last time when I went, I was not equipped with a good photographer. So in an unexpected manner, I chanced upon the new branch at Martin No.38, a condominium at Robertson Quay.

When we got there, I was glad that what I saw on the website was what I got (other than the handsome guy on the webbie, LOL)! The panaromic glass panels allowed lots of light into the restaurant, and together with the timber finishes, a relaxed and chic setting for an intimate meal is what you get. I went there for brunch, and they serve an array of brunch staples, ranging from muesli to eggs benedict, with their signature cast iron pan fronting the hot (pun unintended) favourites. Needless to say, we ordered that, because it had a bit of everything in it.

Graze @ Martin No. 38

signature cast iron pan
two free-range organic eggs – poached with roast potatoes, bacon, sausage, baked beans, roast tomatoes, mushrooms

Graze @ Martin No. 38

grilled wagyu burger
marinated peppers, rocket, taleggio DOP, harissa fries

Graze @ Martin No. 38

No brunch is complete without a cappuccino!

The signature cast iron pan was indeed a melting pan of everything, and it is basically an all rounded, hearty brunch item to order. The wagyu burger was served on a chopping board of some sort, and was a large serving, for me at least, because I don’t eat that much. So when we called for the bill and the service staff saw almost half of the burger left over, he was very concerned about the quality of the meal. He checked back with us twice, though we assured him that the food was great, and I could not finish the burger because I can’t eat too much in one sitting. Through this, I can safely say that the service at Graze is outstanding. They were attentive to our needs, and were genuinely interested in getting feedback to improve on their operations. So kudos to that! If you are looking for a more urban-country kinda place for a good brunch, do give Graze at Martin No.38 a try. Maybe you will be lucky enough to spot the hunk who appeared on their website. :p

Graze @ Martin No. 38
38 Martin Road, Singapore 239059
+65 6509 1680
Opening Hours
Lunch Tues-Fri: 12noon-3pm
Dinner Tues-Sat: 6pm-11pm
Brunch Sat-Sun: 10am-4pm
Wine Bar Tues-Sun: 12noon-closing
Last food orders 30 mins before closing times shown 
Closed on Monday and Sunday dinner

Kith Cafe

October 1, 2011 Leave a comment

The word “kith” is one of those words that will get people going “pardon me?”, when they hear it. Well, it’s not a commonly used word (not in my context anyways), and it’s not a word you could intuitively understand. So when I read about Kith Cafe, the name kinda stuck and I was curious to see if it really does live up to its meaning; familiar friends, neighbours and relatives.

Kith Cafe is located in a prime expat hub, at Robertson Quay, on the first level of the Watermark condominium. Naturally, the clientele comprises largely Caucasian and Japanese expats who live around the area. When we finally hiked to the place (we parked near Martin No. 38 because we had no idea where else we could park), I was surprised to realise that I had overestimated the spatial dimension of the seating area; the pictures I’d seen made the place look bigger! The power of wide angle lens!

One glance at the seating area and you will realise that it is no mere coincidence that Kith Cafe has a certain “raw” feel to it, with no elaborate decor to embellish it. The chalkboard is their menu, and the contents vary from day to day, so regular customers won’t get bored. Most interesting is their furniture; an array of bar stools, benches and tables that are made from layers of plywood of various dimensions. You might think that the layers are randomly put together, but I read that they were pieced together in absolute precision, giving Kith Cafe a very earthy and grounded feel, in my opinion. There are tables and chairs sprawled outside, extending the cafe onto the corridor and the grass patch that faces the Singapore River. Me thinks, if not for the intolerable humidity of Singapore, sitting outside could actually be quite nice. The food is based on home-cooked recipes, so there is nothing pretentious about the food; wholesome and familiar.

Kith cafe

Toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, grilled tomatoes & smoked bratwurst

Kith cafe

Smoked salmon sandwich

Kith cafe


Though I am impressed by the profound concept behind the design, I must admit I thought that the bar stools were a bit uncomfortable; hard on the butt (and i am not a skinny person!), no foot rest for people with short legs like myself, and they were quite heavy to push around and re-position. However, these are just ergonomics-centered gripes from a fastidious me. All that aside, Kith Cafe is one homely cafe that certainly personifies kith and kin, especially so for those living around the area. For the rest of us, drop by with your friends and enjoy the sincerity this place has to offer.

Kith café
7 Rodyk Street, Singapore 238215
+65 6341 9407
Opening Hours:
7am to 7pm Daily