Osteria Mozza by Mario Batali @ Marina Bay Sands
Osteria Mozza offers diners an assortment of dishes inspired by their chefs’ adventures across the globe. For this month of March, the restaurant has taken the unconventional route of returning back to its roots, and showcasing a menu unique to Emilia-Romagna, the northeast region of Italy. This Emilia Romagna Regional Menu costs $128++ per person and $216++ with wine pairing.
The amuse-bouche of Ricotta Cheese with Olive Tapenade was the first to reach our table. This appetizer was indeed a treat for the eyes with the delicate placement of each component done with much finesse. We certainly enjoyed how the puréed olives (tapenade) complemented the homemade ricotta clouds perfectly.
Diners can choose either the Minestrone alla Emilia Romagna or Affettati Misti.
The Minestrone alla Emilia Romagna is essentially a bowl of minestrone soup made with seasonal vegetables. Although the variations of this classic soup are endless, the restaurant’s rendition boasts of clean, beautiful flavours as the Parmigiano broth lends an earthy finish to the vivid greens.
On the other hand, the Affettati Misti is a popular northern Italian snack that comprises of mixed cuts of cured meat. Featured meats include Prosciutto, Lardo, Salami, Coppa and Bresaola. It is alright if unlike us, you are unable to differentiate the meats at the start. The servers will be happy to do a brief introduction just for you.
Cured cuts are served alongside a trio of gnoccho fritto – fried dough parcels that somehow reminded us of You Tiao (油条, Chinese deep-fried dough).
Diners can choose either the Tortellini in Brodo or Capellaci alla Ragù.
Moving on to pastas, we had the Tortellini in Brodo. Each tortellini was thinly rolled, before being filled with a generous mixture of veal, prosciutto, and mortadella. Completing the dish was a pot of capon broth which was poured over the savoury morsels a la minute. Flavours were pleasant although some might find the dish slightly on the salty side.
The Capellaci alla Ragù was well-received by all of us, partly because the combination of pasta and cheese is a classic one and has long been a match made in heaven. Similar to the tortellini, these triangular pastas were thin-skinned, and piped with luscious fillings of creamy ricotta cheese. Despite its sloppy presentation, flavours were harmonious and we found the extra shavings of Parmesan cheese thoughtful.
Diners can choose either the Cotoletta alla Bolognese or Grouper al Forno con Patate, Pomodorini e Oliva.
For mains, we suggest skipping the veal loin, and diving straight for the grouper. We are not judging based on appearance, but the Cotoletta alla Bolognese was simply too salty for all of us. The combination of prosciutto and Parmesan was unfortunately too overpowering for the delicate tasting veal and threw the flavours of the dish off-balance.
On the contrary, the Grouper al Forno con Patate, Pomodorini e Oliva was insanely good! The grouper was moist and flaky, and the skin – crispier than sio bak (deep-fried pork lard); utter bliss in every bite! And, if the fish was not sublime enough, the mildly sweet and tangy tomato sauce will be sure to give your taste buds a run for their money.
Desserts have often been a challenge for many restaurants and sadly, Osteria Mozza was no exception.
Torta di Riso, sweet rice tart, is a dessert traditional to the city of Bologna. Orange zest is shaved onto the rice filling to give it a citrusy taste and aroma. The filling is then transferred inside an empty tart shell, and baked in the oven before it is garnished with toasted almond slices, and velvety whipped cream. Decent though nothing spectacular.
The Zuppa Inglese is almost akin to an English trifle, where one can expect to see beautiful layers of sponge, jam, and pastry cream. Osteria Mozza serves theirs in transparent glass cups, and the different layers – brandy-soaked sponge, chocolate cream, and vanilla cream – are carefully assembled before dusting the dessert with cocoa powder. Extra splashes of brandy would have brought out the flavours better!
On a whole, Osteria Mozza’s Emilia Romagna Regional Menu brought us for a gastronomical trip through Northeast Italy despite having a few hits and misses. Do note that these items are exclusive to the set menu and will only be available this month. There are however also specialty pizzas and grilled sandwiches (Panini) available at Pizzeria Mozza, the casual dining sister restaurant located beside Osteria Mozza!
Marina Bay Sands
2 Bayfront Avenue
B1-42-46, Galleria Level
Monday to Friday: 5pm to 11pm
Saturday and Sunday: 12pm to 3.30pm, 5pm to 11pm
Words and Photography by Kenneth Lim (@exasperatedmilk)
The writer is an avid tea drinker who enjoys slicing cakes with his golden fork.