I wanted something special for my birthday dinner and chanced upon the newly branded The Ottomani (yes, I choose where to go for my birthday)! I have to say it was a great choice. The Ottomani is branded as a Middle Eastern restaurant but don’t brush it off as too exotic for you as Chef Nic is natively Australian, thus he has transferred grilling techniques from Aussie cuisine, yet cleverly injected subtle Middle Eastern flavours that was picked up from his granny. The cool part of The Ottomani is it is in fact a restaurant within restaurant! You’ll have to enter this sexy Middle Eastern supper club via Fat Prince – talk about speakeasy bar – you have a speakeasy fine-dining here. When I arrived, I found a beautiful hand-written note that I brought home with me. Ambience here was simply magical – be prepared to be taken on a magic carpet ride. 😉
Ottomani Bread ($6) – Highly recommended for that walnut date butter, I absolutely was in love with the creamy texture and the salty and sweet juxtaposition. As with each dish here, there is a story/inspiration behind every single one of them, which will be explained by the staff here. This butter was in fact created from Chef Nic’s granny’s recipe – how timeless! Thanks to the generous portion, I got to pack back some butter for breakfast the next day!
Hokkaido Scallops ($24) – Best way to eat scallops? With a pair of chopsticks no less. Scallops were really fresh and there were pomelo bits that would burst in your mouth and would very nicely complement the shellfish.
Mum’s Spinach & Cheese Triangles ($16) – Alright, not a goat’s cheese fan though this was not too strong for me. The wafer roll was very light and crisp though – only if they could do this in mozzarella maybe.
Spring & Winter ($21) – Another one of those chargrilled veges, you could find mussels on the plate.
Sticky Pork ($31/100g) – I’m coming back for this! Rubbed with Turkish coffee, palm sugar and Szechuan pepper, this must be one of the most innovative pork dish I’ve had yet. When I first cut into it, I was worried that I was paying $84 for a tough slab of pork. But thank God, upon biting into it, it was rather springy (?) – you know when there’s some tension and when you chew it becomes rather bouncy. A great cut and obviously, so flavourful.
Cabbage Sprouts ($28) – Another hot favourite, the highlight was the sweet potato dumplings which were akin to gnocchi. Super yums!
Coral Trout ($32) – Another innovative main, the sauce was such a winner. It had a hint of curry spice which made it extremely fragrant and the fish was cooked to perfection. I would daresay this is a dish that would have been served in one of the Michelin-star restaurants in Europe.
Salt & Inked Potatoes ($12) – Look at these black balls! There’s a story behind every dish. Chef Nic has many tattoos all over his body, thus this is representative of him.
Overnight Pumpkin ($20) – Another must-order for me, these pumpkins were dunked inside the special wood-fired earth pit for more than 24 hours and were slowly roasted. Hence that creamy, mushy texture. Together with black garlic and cashew, this was seriously tasty. I could have this everyday and hey they’re really healthy!
Dark Chocolate ($16) – There were only 3 desserts here and the last one was goat’s milk sobert which I don’t take. The cake was very chocolatey – not so much eating of cake but more of eating a bar of dark chocolate – and in a good way!
Rose Mahlabi Espuma ($16) – By ordering this dish, you’ll find the dessert chef at the table ‘cooking’ this right in front of you. I didn’t pay much attention to the details (too busy boomerang-ing) but the whole showcase was pretty rad. That rose sobert-like substance was icy and went well with the mango and sago base.
Assorted Mocktails ($16/glass) – If there was something I didn’t like from that night, it’d have been these mocktails. While we left it to the bartender to choose the flavours for us based on something fruity and wanting 4 different flavours, we were left rather disappointed as most of them tasted like cough syrup. I do hope that their cocktails fare better.
Service here was amazing. The staff by the name of Zoe took care of us really well and ensured that the tales of each dish were narrated well to us – really appreciated that extra touch by the service crew. A very memorable night indeed.
48 Peck Seah Street (enter by Fat Prince restaurant)
Tel: +65 9231 9316
Website for reservations: https://www.theottomani.com/