Monday, July 23, 2012

Osteria La Luna Rossa

C says:

This semi fine-dining restaurant at Scotts Square has been slowly but steadily garnering good reviews for their Italian cuisine with a distinct Japanese twist. Menu prices are probably in the Otto/Oso category, but they have some pretty good value set lunches (ranging from $30 to $60) which FYI are also available on weekends.

The ambience is more formal than I expected, but at the same time it’s not fussy or intimidating; the service staff are very polite, yet still friendly.

They have 3 set lunches – a $30 pasta lunch, a $40 classic 3 course lunch with a few more options, and a $60 5-course executive lunch. We decided on one classic, one executive, and shared an additional pasta.

The classic lunch starter was a prosciutto panna cotta with shrimp, peperonta and pineapple. The panna cotta tasted oddly like ham-flavoured La Vache Qui Rit cream cheese, which though not unpleasant was still a bit disconcerting. Not sure that the pineapple bits were necessary too.

The executive lunch starter was an antipasti trio, with mixed vegetables in an anchovy sauce, a fresh oyster, and earl grey cured salmon. Again, ok but not spectacular.

The second course for the executive set was supposed to be roasted white asparagus with truffle scrambled egg, but white asparagus season has ended so they changed it to a seafood parcel with cous cous. This was pretty good – the cous cous was nicely flavoured with all the yummy seafood juices, and studded with mozzarella.

The pasta in the executive set was a squid ink-blackened tagliolini with crab, ginger and pepperoncino. This was remarkably like chilli crab, and while I liked it, A found that the squid ink pasta was overwhelmed by the sauce.

The additional pasta I ordered a la carte was a chitarra pasta with uni and asparagus in a carbonara sauce. This was very good, with the carbonara sauce not too thick and rich, but the taste of the uni was quite subtle and again, got sort of lost amongst everything else.

The executive main was a roast magret duck breast with balsamic sauce. Some slices of duck were a bit overdone, but the slices in the centre, which were done more medium, were much better.

For the classic lunch main, I decided against the mushroom and bacon risotto (carb overload!) in favour of the braised beef cheek in red wine and acacia honey. This was a very hearty portion and very well done. The beef wasn’t overly braised so that it fell apart, but it was very rich and unctuous so sharing it definitely helped.

Desserts seemed a bit of an afterthought. The classic came with a Valrhona chocolate cake, and the executive had a trio of desserts that included the chocolate cake, together with a matcha cheesecake and pineapple sorbet.

Generally, I expected to be a lot more impressed than I actually was. None of the dishes were bad in any way; they just weren't particularly memorable. It’s a pretty nice respite in the middle of town though – very much a ladies who lunch place. Ah well, I can dream…

A says:

Service is spectacular. Unfortunately, the food, while very good, didn’t blow me away. I’d recommend this for a business lunch or tai-tais.

Osteria La Luna Rossa
6 Scotts Road
#02-01 Scotts Square
Tel: 6636-2951
Lunch: 11:00 – 15:00
Dinner: 18:00 – 22:30
Hi Tea: 14:00 – 16:30 (Saturday and Sunday only)

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