So crackling “my hubby could play a drum solo on it” pork belly. ‘Nuff said.
Ok, not ‘nuff said. This wouldn’t be much of a post if I only wrote 15 words now, would it?
So there I was, up in the hilly areas of Upper Bukit Timah and it was dinner time. Located at the newish lifestyle mall at Hillview, HillV2, Italian Osteria is the brainchild of the Etna folks and sets itself apart from other typical Italian restaurants by offering some interesting Italian “street food”.
One of which is the arancini (risotto ball) lookalike – the rice suppli and mozzarella ($9). Crispy shell gives way to a rice and melting mozzarella heart inside.
There’s 3 kinds of yummy-sounding bruschetta and we had the mushroom bruschetta ($8), piled high with sautéed field mushrooms.
And Chef Anna Borrasi, how did you know that serving up hunks of chef..i mean, meat, would be a great way to draw the crowds in? Peek through the full glass windows from the outside, and you’ll see beefcakes kneading dough and creating mm-mmm delicious Italian breads like their best-seller, stuffed schiacciata. The breads and cakes are part of the retail experience, where you can take home Italian specialty products.
Walk on in, and you’ll see more eye candy, cooking up a storm in the open kitchen.
But really, back to the food. Better if you come in a group, so you can try more of the sharing stuff. But it’s ok if it’s a cosy date too. Asides from the appetizers of the rice ball and the bruschetta, we ordered the pork belly and pasta.
Now anyone who knows me knows that I have an aversion to fatty meat. But when it’s so caramelized and so crackling, how can I resist? Perfumed with fennel and crisped to perfection, I think this is an absolute must-try at Italian Osteria. It’s classified as an appetizer and only $14, but it’s enough to be a main if you’re having a bunch of other starters too.
We debated between the baked Salted Cod and a pasta, and although the fish sounded and looked awesome (we saw the chef breaking the salt crust at the table next to us and the flesh appeared flakingly lovely) but felt more like a pasta, so we had the handmade raviolacci with beef filling and marsala sauce ($20). The sauce was super, it was meaty yet sweetened up with the marsala vino, and despite the pasta shells being a little thick, overall, very enjoyable dish.
Even though we were bursting at the seams, we had to give dessert a try, and ordered the Sicilian classic, cannoli with ricotta filling. Yummy! Creamy ricotta and an almost candied like filling in a crisp shell – go on, have that espresso with it and you’ll be on Italian cloud 9!
As for drinks, how about vino by the vats? You’ll see wine barrels with wine on tap – that’s their house wine ($8/glass) but they’ve also got good and reasonably priced selection of wines by the bottle too.
If you’re around the area, definitely go. And even if you’re not, if you’re feeling like a drive on a lazy Sunday evening, just go. Warning – it was buzzing when we were there last Sunday, and the carpark at Hillv2 was equally nuts, but…with a little patience, we got a seat and a lot.
iO Italian Osteria:
Address: 4 Hillview Rise, #02-01, Hillv2 Singapore 667979
Contact: (65) 67107150 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday to Sunday: 10am – 10pm daily