Monday, November 14, 2005

Chef Diego's Oso Ristorante

Oso Ristorante
27 Tanjong Pagar Road
Singapore 088450
Tel: 6327-8378


A few weeks ago I had the privilege of meeting one half of the dynamic duo behind Oso Ristorante, Chef Diego Chiarini. After globetrotting and honing his skills in France and heading the renown kitchens of Carpaccio, Paris and Bice, Tokyo, this ex-Senso chef ventured out with his friend and current Maitre’D Stephane Colleoni and established this exquisite Italian Ristorante Oso, which translates as “try” and has been thriving since September 2004.

I requested for Chef Diego to put together a chef’s menu for our dinner which he was more than happy to oblige. Keeping with the main characteristic of Italian cooking – to use excellent basic ingredients, cooking simply and to bring out the original goodness – Chef Diego explained over the phone that his menu would be dependent on what was fresh and available that day and what we fancied. However, seeing how we were celebrating a birthday, he would prepare a tiramisu cake for our celebration.

The chef’s menu was such: the first course would consist of cold cuts, second would either be pasta or risotto, main course and then dessert.

We started off with an amuse bouche of poached salmon mousse with orange. Following which we had a platter of bread, where the foccacia was extremely fluffy and the bread sticks were good and savoury, which kept us occupied until the our cold cut course came. While we chatted, sipped our Chianti and watched Chef Diego work his meat slicer in his uber cool cold kitchen, where he works his magic with his homemade cured meats and houses his cheese. For cold cuts, we were served a plate of paper thin Bresaola (air-cured beef, or commonly known as beef prosciutto) with grapefruit, rocket and parsley oil. The bresaola as I have discovered is not as fatty as the prosciutto, due to its defatting process that it undergoes, but it produces the same depth in terms of richness and saltiness.

For our pasta course, we had squid ink pasta with a spicy tomato sauce and prawns. The delicate taste squid ink pasta was brought out by the slightly spicy but not overpowering tomato sauce, however, although it tasted good, it was nothing spectacular.

The main course was the show stopper. Chef Diego informed us that he has received a fresh Barramundi earlier in the day, and hence he proceeded to roast the whole fish for our main course. The fish was cooked to perfection. The sweet was suckling sweet and the black olives added the salty contrast that intermittently brought to live the freshness and sweetness the fish.

To finish off, we had the classic Tiramisu, but instead of having four portions, they had prepared a tiramisu cake instead for the birthday boy at our table. Fortunately (or unfortunately), the waiters did not break into song, however it would have been a rather memorable sight, if they did break into Happy Birthday in Italian. The Tiramisu was fantastic, rich from the mascarpone, but light enough for you to stomach at the end of your meal. Sweets has never been big with me, so I packed the rest of the tiramisu and ordered an additional cheese plate, which a few Italian numbers - a knob of Parmigiano-Reggiano, young gorgonzola, Taleggio, a truffle infused cheese and a goats and sheep’s cheese which names I cannot remember.
The service was outstanding. Attentive, sensitive, helpful and funny, the service staff helped to enhance the experience by putting their guest at ease, creating an exceptional dining experience.

On top of the service and the food, what draws me to this place is the personality of Chef Diego. Having experienced success in his culinary careers, Chef Diego actively “pays it forward” through pro-bono cooking for charities, and is featured in Hot Chefs, Hip Cuisine, where royalties from the book sale is donated to UNICEF. So I’ll probably be back here soon.

Pay: The Chef’s menu was $78 +++ a person.

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Blogger Colin said...

Ohh, I love Oso! It's probably the best Italian restaurant in town at the moment.

Chef Diego really takes his commitment to fresh food seriously; when I was last there we were having mozarella that had just arrived off the plane from Italy, and it was divine.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Oso too, but I would find it hard to call Oso the "best" Italian restaurant in town. I wld prefer to reserve that accolade for Garibaldi. Still, Oso's really great, and its one of my fav italian places!

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the informative. Will have to check this restaurant out one day.

9:37 AM  
Blogger joone! said...

colin: Yes! I liked the service staff too, they were really funny.

lol: i've only had lunch ar garibaldi, and i was impressed, so shall return there for dinner some time.

cin: yeah, you will be in good hands with chef diego.

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oso's dynamic duo have been excellent and have been following their culinary talents since Senso. Whilst I havent tried Garibaldi, I would definately put Oso as amongst the finest Italian cuisine this country has to offer.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oso is great. Definitely up at the top. Great service, atmosphere, food and service.

The 8-hour lamb is truly to die for...

7:21 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This seems to be great site for providing restaurant, Food, dine, services for people. I would surely like to try their service.

1:32 PM  

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