6 Bukit Pasoh
Oca Grassa is distinguishing itself in the Italian arena with its clean lines and white minimalist interior. Perhaps it’s the lack of visual distractions on entering this two-storey shophouse that heightens the other senses – as we climb the stairs to the main restaurant, the smell of home-cooking greets us with open arms and then plants a big kiss on each cheek.
The burratini cheese ($17) and slow-braised short ribs with garganelli pasta ($22) came recommended, but sadly had already sold out. Instead, we went for the octopus salad ($20); a colourful affair of mango, lettuce and tomatoes to complement the incredibly soft and flavourful octopus, cooked sous vide and then whacked on the grill at the last minute. In contrast, the chewy calamari in the seafood soup – brodetto di pesce ($56 for 2 people) – let an otherwise good dish down.
Friends rave about the caveman-sized portion (1.2kg) of chargrilled Florentine steak ($158), served on a circle of Himalayan salt with roasted potatoes. It feeds four, but there were only two of us, so we humbly settled for the 250-gram grilled US rib eye ($40); it turned out to be the most flavour-intense steak we’ve had all year. Bravo!
Just before we left, we were offered a complimentary limoncello – made in-house and startlingly delicious. Oca Grassa may not do cheesy Italian décor or play Andrea Bocelli tunes; but when it comes to representing Italy, you can’t beat a warm welcome, good food and a proper arrivederci.