Walking past Maxwell Chambers, one would notice the small yet classy Italian restaurant at the corner facing the road. Otto Locando cannot seat many diners at one time, but the warm and soothing environment you get upon entering the restaurant is priceless.
Service is excellent -the door was opened for us, we were ushered to a table for two and then asked if we would like any drinks to start our dinner before the waiter left us to decide our orders. Water is served in a glass jar/bottle that I found very quaint (I'm sure it's just me but I absolutely loved the bottle!!)
After much thought, we decided on having the Pork belly ($28)
, Ravioli ($24)
and for dessert, a traditional Tiramisu ($12)
and a Vanilla Panacotta with Berry Coulis ($10)
Here, they serve free bread in a basket, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar -A very nice touch to the whole Italian feel. The bread is crusty but soft and is heavenly when dipped into the olive oil. Great for hungry diners while waiting for the food to be prepared
The pork belly was well cooked, the fattiness was just right and it literally melted in your mouth. The skin as crispy and the meat was succulent ...worth the $28 and definitely worth the calories! The pork is served with a side of Potato gratin. The potato is crispy on the outside and fluffy when you bite into it. Seasoned just right, the dish is a near perfect if not for all the fattiness and guilt you feel afterward. Either way, we still polished off the plate. No regrets there.
The ravioli is homemade and they told us it would take about 20 minutes to prepare. It came much faster than that though, and the ravioli is served on a bed of chickpea puree. It is stuffed with spinach and ricotta and while I'd expected it to be cloying after a few mouthfuls ...I was proved wrong. It was sheer heaven in my mouth as I bit into the ravioli. The skin wasn't too thick, the filling was just right and the taste made me fall hopelessly in love with the ravioli I had eaten. It was savoury but also creamy and the smooth chickpea complemented it perfectly.
I have always been a fan of panacotta and I knew I had to try the vanilla panacotta here. It was served topped with berry coulis and it went perfectly with the panacotta. It was tart but also fruity and the berry bits in it were still intact and not squashed up. The panacotta was absolutely brilliant. The scent of vanilla was so deliciously sweet, and our only regret i that the glass was a bit tiny. Nevertheless, I would still pay to eat this.
This brings me to the last dish I tried -the traditional tiramisu. I wouldn't be lying if I said that this is THE best tiramisu I've eaten in my entire life. Its layered perfectly, every bit of bitscuit is soaked -and the highlight of this: the espresso coffee sauce. Its all together inside the tiramisu -this light, foamy cream that has a hint of espresso and vanilla. It complements the tiramisu perfectly as it accentuates the liquer of the tiramisu while having a distinctive taste on its own. This dessert is rich and creamy, but you'll never get sick of it. It's deliciously light and terribly exquisite in every spoonful. I would pay more than just $12 to eat it again.
The interior is dim, and the whole setting is very cosy but at the same time, elegant. The staff here are very professional and courteous. They will go up to us and ask if the dishes are okay and I smile and reply that it's marvelous, and that I'm having a wonderful time. They don't press you to order their signature dishes, or their most expensive wines, but instead, their service is from the heart. They thank us and tell us to have a great evening as they hold the door open for us to leave, and they are truly a wonderful bunch.
My new favourite restaurant -Otto Locanda. It's nice and quiet, with five-star food and excellent service. The ambience is also beautiful and I had such a lovely evening at this place! I guarantee that a visit there will completely hook you.
Date of Visit: 2013-04-25