OTTO Locanda @ 32 Maxwell Road

Situated barely a stone throw away from Tanjong Pagar MRT station, casual trattoria-­style Italian restaurant- OTTO Locanda fronts the white and regal statuesque building, Maxwell Chambers. Opened by the same people behind fine-dining sister branch- OTTO Ristorante one block down the road, the former instead offers authentic homely Italian fare in a charmingly rustic space which is both comforting and relaxing.

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The space is decidedly cosy, seating up to 55 people in the main dining area and 28 in the rotunda. Diners are encouraged to have a drink or two by the bar before/after their meal to unwind and socialize with other like-minded patrons. Food wise, OTTO Locanda’s menu sees a monthly update with the introduction of regional speciality dishes from the different regions of Italy.

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At the beginning of this year however, the Italian restaurant welcomed a new executive chef formerly from Basilico- Marco Violano who gave the traditional menu an overhaul with many new dishes inspired by his hometown of the Puglia region and a heavy emphasis on only the highest quality ingredients executed with perfection.

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Inheriting his mother’s passion for creating authentic Italian cuisine, it comes as no surprise that the Melanzane alla Parmigiana $20 (his mother’s specialty dish) is Chef Marco’s favourite dish from the menu. Recreating it from fond memories of eating this traditional oven baked layers of eggplant as a young boy, Chef has undoubtedly won the carnivore in us with this Vegetarian dish. Creamy, simple and cheesy with the interlacing Buffalo Milk Mozzarella, it was hearty without being too heavy.

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One of the highlights of Chef Marco’s new menu is the Polipo Arrostito $24, featuring the gargantuan tentacle of a roasted octopus drizzled with rosemary-­scented extra virgin olive oil. Luxurious with a meaty texture, the crunchy and chewy consistency was combined excellently with the cannellini beans puree served on the side.

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Not to be missed also is the gorgeous plethora of colours from this Astice alla Griglia $30. Fresh lobsters blanched in water before being grilled to perfection, the meat was firm, sweet and succulent. Complimented by a mix of pinzimonio vegetables and fresh seasonal fruits, the platter of shellfish was a lovely marriage of flavours. And might I highlight the undeniably affordable price tag attached to this main which makes it even more appealing!

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From the list of handmade pastas, go straight for the Pappardelle all’ Anatra $26, a durum wheat semolina pappardelle with duck ragout poured all over and a dash of oven-baked black olives. To prepare that pull-apart tender shreds of duck meat, Chef Marco had diligently marinated the fowl in herbs and wine for more than 24 hours before it is slow cooked in the oven for over 10 hours. Even for someone who usually only eats any type of pasta ‘skinnier’ than linguine, I found this to be delightfully refreshing and actually very enjoyable!

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For a healthy alternative, choose the Merluzzo al Cartoccio $34– a slab of cod fish cooked with white clams and broccoli in spicy white wine sauce, all packed in a parchment paper bag, sealing the natural seafood flavours so beautifully.

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OTTO Locanda also serves 3 Course Set Lunches for $32++ with up to 3 options for the mains. This Pan Roasted Sea Bass in Pizzaiola Sauce and Crispy Diced Potatoes is one of the daily specials offered.

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The desserts range is considerably varied with the usual Classic Italian sweets. Tiramisu fans should not miss the Tiramisu al Caffe’ $10 dressed in espresso coffee sauce. For something lighter, end with a Pannacotta Piemontese $10 topped with berries coulis which was silken smooth, almost riveting.

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And if you are bored of the usual Crème Brûlée, Chef introduces his own version infused with Limoncello. The Crema Catalana al Limoncello $10 is garnished with dark chocolate drops for a nice contrast of bitter and sweet. Unique and special. Chocolate lovers on the hand, will embrace the Classica Zuppa Inglese $12 with its pudding-like texture, covered with thick white chocolate sauce.

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Find out more about Chef Marco Violano as we chat with him about his passion for food HERE!

Read more about my 5 Best Italian Restaurants in Singapore here!

Thank you Rachel of Mercury PR for the great hospitality and introducing to me my new found favourite Italian restaurant!

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32 Maxwell Road
#01-­03
Singapore 069115
Tel: 6224 0978

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday
11.30am to 2.00pm
Lunch is not served on weekends
Monday to Saturday
6.00pm to 10.00pm (last kitchen orders at 10pm)
Restaurant is closed on Sundays

Singapore

3 Responses to OTTO Locanda @ 32 Maxwell Road

  1. […] Check out our review on Chef Marco’s new dishes from the revamped OTTO Locanda menu HERE! […]

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