Monday, January 23, 2017
No Menu by Osvaldo Forlino, Boon Tat Street
We had eaten at both Osvaldo and Forlino. The latter preceding the former. I guess No Menu (21 / 23 Boon Tat Street, tel : +65 6224 0091) is the natural progression after Osvaldo shuttered for whatever reasons. It's clear that family wants to do something down to earth for their food. From my personal observation, rustic and pricey. Rustic like Porta Porta, pricey like Valentino's.
The theme behind the name of the restaurant is a dégustation styled experience in which a multi course meal of smaller portions is served. We went a la carte for this first visit.
Their bread was an in house foccacia. Damn this was nice. The wait staff was eager to bring seconds and thirds when we finished.
One of the reasons why the foccacia was going down fast and easy was what they call their spicy sausage from Calabria. In other words, nduja - a spreadable salumi made with pork parts and red pepper among other things. The other reason was their fruity EVO.
We had vitello tonnato. Another item that made a good vehicle out of their foccacia.
The other starter was fiori di zucca - flower of zucchini stuffed with ricotta cheese. These ones were huge and wasn't what we were expecting. It was also the most expensive zucchini flower we've had. Two of them costing almost as much as what Valentino's charges for their grilled octopus tentacle.
The skin was fried to a nice crisp and on the inside, instead of a creamy texture, the ricotta was like hot milk.
Pasta was cacio e pepe and squid ink. I think it was assumptious of them to split the plates for us and assumed that there was sharing going on. Not that there wasn't. But it would be appropriate for them to ask before doing so. While it would be considered thoughtfulness and a show of initiative if asked for, we didn't.
Not to digress further from the food, the cacio e pepe was disappointing. Not enough Pecorino nor pepper to live to its name and shame on that coming from Osvaldo Forlino. The squid in risotto on the other hand was really good. The menu mentioned there was lardo in it. While I couldn't specifically pick that out from the flavours, this could possibly be the tastiest dish of it's kind I've had.
Dessert was tiramisu. Competent and brought back memories of the first time I had them years ago. But otherwise, not exactly outstanding or worth what they were charging.
No Menu is not cheap. Even though it is what they call themselves and what they try to sell, these guys actually do have a menu. It looked safe, traditional and not very exciting. And also expensive. That should have been impetus for what it is they do to be extraordinary which doesn't quite seem to be the case.
Reminder to self: I don't like the nasally voiced ang moh who picked up the call for reservations. Sounded condescending. The wait staff on the other hand were excellent.