The latest Italian restaurant to hit the CBD, Beppe looks to thrill the well-heeled with a taste for lavish offerings.
Taking over the location of a humble eatery, Beppe has indulged in an upmarket offering competing in the business entertainment landscape of the CBD. Despite the CBD being a ghost town over a typical weekend, Osteria Art was packed to brim on a Saturday (picture below was way later). We were first ushered to the bar area and a long list of house-concocted cocktails lined the first page with some interesting selections.
With a fondness for Italian wines, I picked the house selection of Chianti out of the many choices available which turned out well-balanced with a clean finish. There were bar bites available too, if you needed to line that stomach before imbibing any form of alcohol, ranging from traditional olives to calamari and an alluring bone marrow crostini. We knew we were up for a large meal so we skipped the bar bites, and decided on going for the primi (pastas/anti pasti) and secondi piattis (mains of meats/seafoods) of the healthy Italian appetite.
We had every intent to try as much on the menu as possible, so brace yourselves for a barrage of food photos. For starters, we had the Grilled Romaine with Bottarga and Garlic ($20), Tuna Tartare with Truffle ($23), Calamari with Squid Ink Sauce ($18) and the Crab & Tarragon Frittata ($23).
The crab frittata was a clear favourite among us having yummy crab chunks embedded in the velvety tarragon-infused frittata. I had high expectations for the calamari but it came with the batter falling off the squid (the batter was tasty though), and rather soaked in oil. The squid ink sauce didn’t confer any added flavour to it as well, even after excessive dipping. The grilled romaine was delicious, together with the crunch and flavour from the bottarga and fried garlic. The tuna tartare strangely didn’t seem seasoned (at all), ironically the generous shavings of black truffle made the tartare drier than it’s supposed to be.
For pastas, we had 3 to share – Tagliatelle with White Asparagus and Truffle ($32), Tagliolini with Crab and Pachino Tomatoes ($28), and Pappardelle with Pork Cheek and Red Wine ($26). The winner here’s the crab tagliolini, mainly because it carried a clean seafood taste without a rich bisque-like sauce and a good hint of spiciness. A close second was the pork cheek pappardelle which had deliciously stewed soft pork cheeks and a nice rounded characteristic red wine scent. We thought that the flavours of the white asparagus and truffle were masked by the dense, creamy sauce but overall, the tastes came together even though we would have preferred to have the individual premium condiments stand out.
I was not kidding when I said we were going to have an Italian appetite that day. We continued on with the mains, each ordering one – Black Cod Caciucco with Scampi ($32) x 2, Veal Chop Milanese with Pachino Tomato Salad ($48) and Beef Sirloin Tagliata with Asparagus and Parmigiano ($38).
The black cod was very well-received, cooked just right with the cod chunks falling off with every prod and a tasty seafood sauce accompanying the scampi. I had the sirloin, which first came a little overcooked, but was quickly rectified with excellent service. It was an extremely satisfying dish, done medium rare thus preserving the flavours of the tender beef, but yet teased with the umami-ness of the parmigiana shavings. The large veal milanese (which reminded me of 豪大鸡扒) was expectedly heavier on the palate being deep fried, and with red meat like veal but paired with a generous stack of rocket and tomato salad – it went amazingly well together.
Finalli – No room for dessert
Just the spread above, and us exchanging plates to share the different dishes tipped us a little over the edge – even for a well-paced menu. Italian restaurants in Singapore try their best to carve a niche for themselves in the competitive dining scene here. But I must say where Osteria Art is unique in its offerings, it needs to push a tiny bit more to get the conversation going.
Review Rating: 7/10
55 Market Street (Ground floor, Bank of Singapore)
Hours: Mon to Fri, 12 to 2.30pm & 6 to 11pm | Sat, 6pm to 12mn
Tel: +65 6877 6933
Nearest MRT: Raffles Place