Monday, December 17, 2007

Olio Surprise

This Olio Restaurant and Cafe at Suntec City's basement fountain has long intrigued me when they first started quite a while ago. Long pointy spindles emitting a quirky blue light hang from above the bare ceiling while the 'magic' front glass panels appear clear till you fix your gaze at one spot and start walking a few steps, give it an aura of mystery.

A display case showing off their huge sandwiches, pretty cookies and yummy-looking tarts and cakes never fail to catch my eyes every single time I walk by. Sure, it makes a great advertisement platform. I had expected the food to be the normal cafe fare but when I stepped in for dinner yesterday, the menu was rather fusion. Hmm...not exactly what I was hoping for but the blue lights that some kind of powers that made me stay.

Deciding to share an appetiser, we ordered the Potato Wedges with Tomato Relish ($5). Experience dictates that cafes will open up a bag of frozen commercially-available potato wedges, throw two handfuls in a deep-fryer and viola.

What arrived at the table was not far off from this figment of past experience but I must say at least Olio bothered to sprinkle some dry herbs over the wedges. A huge plus point was the huge mountain of wedges! And they were all pipping hot! The aroma of hot, freshly fried spiced spuds was simply heavenly. The tomato relish was essentially mayonnaise with bits of I-don't-know-what. Tangy and creamy it complemented the wedges well. Mustard works too.

The Portofino Pizza ($14.90) had a ready-made commercial base, giving the edges a tasteless, floury, almost biscuit-like crunch. Eeks. Thankfully, the pieces of prawns and squid were miserly as the seafood were not exactly fresh. I would try another pizza or order another two heaps of potato wedges instead for subsequent visits.

As if to salvage the meal from that point, the Capellini Miso Salmon Fillet ($14.90) was the superhero of the evening. Sure, the salmon fillet was just a little tough from being in the pan for a tad too long but I can overlook that. After all, the firm capellini below the salmon fillet played an outstanding supporting role. A barely-there sweetish cream sauce coated the capellini in a thin layer, making this cream pasta lighter than those soaking in a pool of heavy cream. There was a very subtle miso taste that combined with a bit of cream, seaweed and flying fish roe to give a savoury touch. The fish roe added a nice poppy-crunchy dimension.

I was definitely pleasantly surprised by this pasta from Olio. The Potato Wedges and Capellini Miso Salmon Fillet more than made up for the average Portofino Pizza. Olio's a cozy place with affordable (none of the main courses are above $20) interesting food that looks to change the stereotypical 'cafe food'.

Olio Cafe
#B1-033 Fountain Terrace
Suntec City
Tel: 6238-1109
Opens: 11.30am to 9.30pm (Sun-Thurs)
11.30am to 10.30pm (Fri & Sat)

Chew On This: Citibank cardholders enjoy a 1-for-1 promotion for the pastas, pizzas and entrees. Now, that's a a good deal for two stomachs people!


Anonymous said...

The food like great! I have to try it when I return to Singapore.

Alex's World! -

zhengning said...

Wow wow, the wedges are very tempting!

The Hungry Cow said...

alexander: It surprised me too! Decent fusion cafe food.

zhengning: Yesh yesh yesh. Go for the wedges! Simple and basic but they do it well here. And the portion is good as a starter for 4 people!