Thursday, September 20, 2012

Osvaldo OLA-Cocina Del Mar

C says:

This latest offering from No Menu’s Osvaldo may have his support and branding, but the food is distinctly Spanish. While Osvaldo is occasionally there greeting patrons and making sure everything is running smoothly, the kitchen is led by chefs who were previously from Santi at Marina Bay Sands.

The menu is pretty lean, with only about 15 different tapas, and another 8 to 10 main courses. The tapas menu isn’t particularly exciting either, with the usual suspects of jamon croquetas, garlic prawns, and octopus with paprika. We went with an order each of gazpacho, croquetas and a tomato and anchovy toast.

Prices may seem reasonable, with tapas prices hovering at around $10 to $15, but portions are tiny and if you’re looking to fill up on tapas, the bill can add up pretty quickly. The croquetas and the tomato and anchovy toast were a bit lacklustre and predictable.

The gazpacho was slightly better, but again a tiny portion. Tapas are meant to be shared, but I don’t see how the toast or the gazpacho portions could reasonably be shared in any meaningful way.

In addition to their menu offerings, they have daily specials that are well worth a try; unfortunately, these are more often than not made with fresh ingredients that are on hand, and therefore don’t come cheap. The pan-seared scallops with jamon were delicious and a decent-sized appetizer portion, but pretty steep at $38.

One of their perpetual specials is the Spanish suckling pig. For $58 you essentially get ¼ of the pig – the trotter with a decent amount of meat attached. The pork is cooked sous vide for 18 hours, then upon order it’s roasted in a searingly hot oven for 45 minutes so that the skin crisps up. This was amazing, and made up for the somewhat lacklustre tapas. The pork was fork tender but not too soft, and the skin was paper thin and amazingly crisp. It was well seasoned and just bordering on salty, which was fine with me since I prefer a slightly heavier hand when seasoning meat.

Since I pretty much ate most of the pig, A had the vanilla rice pudding for dessert. I expected this to be stodgy and heavy, and was pleasantly surprised that it was quite light and aromatic.

While prices are a bit steep for a casual after-work venue (it’s located within Tower 3 of Marina Bay Financial Centre), it may be worth considering if you want to usher in the weekend in style, or to reward yourself for getting through a particularly bad day/week.

A says:

Like most of Osvaldo’s restaurants, the food’s pretty hit or miss. There were a few great dishes so it’s still worth trying out. And service is excellent too.

Osvaldo OLA-Cocina Del Mar
12 Marina Boulevard
#01-06 Marina Bay Financial Centre (Tower 3)
Tel: 6604-7050
Sun – Fri: 11am – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10pm
Sat: 6pm – 10pm

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