Somehow the universe conspire to help you get what you want. Interestingly, if you choose to believe in this, things move. At least it did for me. More happiness and less blaming. Everything happens for a reason. And that is superb. I am loving it, and grateful for it.
饮水要思源. And yes, after staying for more than 10 years in the neighbourhood, it is time to share the hidden gems in this area. It is sad to see some of the stalls had moved on, and some of the chefs for certain stalls decided to go back to their hometown. Nevertheless, we still have a couple of evergreen stalls. And they had been serving the same fare for the last 10 years. More than that actually.
However, I shall start with the newest entry into the 'hood. It is kinda funny that the previous tenants of this particular stall usually don't last too long. Well, not easy to uproot the established stalls and there is only so many customers to this little enclave. I really hope this stall do last long. At least until the mall (NEX) to be up and ready. Traffic will sure flow in.
Enough nostalgia feelings. Ottimo Pasta & Grill. Mr Pancakes was at first wary of it being one of the heartland western food upstarts but had since been won over. Head of the stall, Chef Linus Teo left his job at an established Italian restaurant to set up this baby of his. He must be a tough cookie to choose a place like this.
Overall, the food reminded Mr Pancakes of his western food days at NUS. At $5 - $5.50 for his mains and pastas (lamb chops cost slightly more), what more can you ask for?
Mr Pancakes packed grilled chicken and grilled fish fillet. Both are $5.50 and comes with two side dishes which includes a choice of any two from colesaw, crinkle-cut fries, mashed potato, garlic bread and onion rings. The grilled chicken was a tad overcooked with the skin... too crispy. However, Mr Pancakes do like the charred taste of the meat. A delightful splash of fresh herbs (dill?) gave the chicken the extra edge. Nice. And value for money. And amazingly there is no chicken fat under the skin.
Grilled fish is nicely cooked. Soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. And of course the nice grill marks adds on to the visual effects. And once again the fresh herb concoction wins the day for me. I believe they use cream dory fillet. No other cuts of fish is available at the moment.
This had gotta be the star of the stall. Mr Pancakes LOVES it. The mushroom cream pasta ($5) is served with a cream of nice consistency and great mushrooms flavour. The balance of garlic, cracked black pepper and bouquet of fresh herbs and dried herbs is simply made in heaven.
Apparently the serving portions of the spaghs is carefully weighed out. And yes, it is served with a scoop of grated parmesan. The pasta dishes are great! Ottimo also serves seafood pasta, carbonara, vongole, just to name a few.
All in all, it is a good experience. Mr Pancakes do have this nagging feeling that Chef Teo potential powess had not been unleased yet, probably constrained by the costs of ingredients. At $5 per serving, it may seen value for money for western food, but if you look at the other stalls serving $2 coffeeshop fare (good tasting ones I must add) and the client el base, it may not be easy for him to break out unless he has his own following.
So for good varsity style food, at varsity prices, why not give our friend Linus a visit? It is a couple of minutes walk for Serangoon Mrt Station (exit D).
Blk 2 Lor Lew Lian Coffeshop
Serves lunch and dinner.
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