If you’re a fan of hearty, family-style Italian cuisine, you’ll want in on this! Award-winning Italian resto Osteria Mozza has just launched a sumptuous selection of large-format dishes perfect for sharing with family and friends. Expat Living’s resident foodie Anthia Chng visited the renowned restaurant to see what the hype is all about – here’s her first-hand account.
With a place on San Pellegrino’s list of the 50 Best Restaurants in Asia under its belt, this snazzy dining spot is tucked away among the boutiques at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands which attracts plenty of international tourists and locals alike. Adorned with dark wood and white tablecloths, and with cosy dim lighting, Osteria Mozza is romantic enough for a date night, yet equally comfy for a family meal or a catch-up sesh with the girlfriends. Sit at the bar for a relaxed meal or, for a more intimate celebration, book one of the two private rooms (seating up to 14 or 28 people).
Rich Italian fare
We opted for antipasti to start: affetti misti of Italian cured meats and gnocco fritto ($30). Crispy on the outside, then savoury and chewy inside, the gnocco fritto (deep-fried gnocchi puffs) were addictive – especially as they were complemented with a side of vine-ripened tomatoes with Maldon sea salt ($18), which added a refreshing element to the sinful morsels. I’m a die-hard cheese lover, so the burrata (from Puglia in Southern Italy) with leeks ($21) quickly emerged as a personal favourite. Pile a generous portion on top of a slice of fett’unta ($8) – toasted garlic bread drenched in extra virgin olive oil – and you’ll be wowed by the simple yet satisfying combination of the strong garlic, creamy burrata and crisp toast.
Another great one for sharing is the corzetti stampati with tomato, eggplant, Taggiasche olives and ricotta ($25/37). This is a superbly executed dish: round-shaped pastas cooked till al dente, with the bold flavours of the olives and ricotta taking centre stage. (Fun fact: the chefs here make 14 types of pasta by hand every day, including gluten-free options!)
Star of the show
The highlight of the meal? Hands-down the large sharing plates, which were show-stoppers in term of both presentation and taste. We devoured the beef cheek and bone marrow pie ($75) served with cipollini onion, mushroom and potatoes aligote. Featuring ultra-tender beef chunks encased in a rich, buttery pie crust, this dish was nothing short of pure indulgence. Another meaty pick is the double-cut Tomahawk pork chop (priced from $142 for 900g). Encrusted with Osteria Mozza’s signature house fennel rub, then rendered over a blazing grill, the flavourful pork pieces had the perfect ratio of fat and meat.
If you’re a seafood fan, you’ll be impressed with the fried whole New Zealand snapper (priced from $90 for 800g) doused in sweet and sour agro dolce sauce and served with fried Tuscan kale leaves. The fish, scored on both sides and fried to crispy goodness, boasted fork-tender meat, while the sauce was tangy and appetising – it’s easy on the palate, even for the pickiest diner.
Osteria Mozza is definitely the place to visit if you’re craving hearty, authentic Italian gastronomy. You’ll want to book in advance as it gets packed even on weeknights – we were there on a Monday night and the popular restaurant was almost full by 8pm!