Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
All rights reserved copyright
The inspiring and inimitable Travelling Gourmet TM travels to a remote part of the island near the Ministry of Defence to say ciao to…
MAESTRA della cucina Anna of Italian Osteria aka IO. The place: HV2. HV is Hillview. This new mall is about one year old and is more of a gourmet center than a retail mall. There is a pet shop but more little independent restaurants and coffee joints than retail outlets. As Italian ristoranti go, there are lots in Singapore. All claim to be authentic but few make the grade…I am pleased to say that IO does make the grade. Well, when you have an Italian ,,Powerfrau” as Chef and Owner who takes pains to take orders and cook and even serve…you can expect no less.
Osteria in the true meaning of the word is a place where the place serves simple and inexpensive food and wines from the owner’s winery. Osteria as a name or noun dates from the 17th Century A.D. It can also mean a place where the locals come to eat and fill up their bottles with wine from barrels inside the osteria. Wines may be from the owner or owners’ wineries around the locale.
I have had many happy meals in many osterias on my many sojourns to sunny Italy and working there as a Wine Judge and Journalist/Editor. I have visited Italy more times than I remember. Seriously, not trying to be ‘yahya papaya’ but that is the truth. I even have friends who are prominent members and Capos aka Padrinos of La Cosa Nostra. However, as La Cosa Nostra exists only in the imagination of Hollywood scripwriters…that is another story…Anyway, in the evolution of time, the humble Osteria has come to mean another version of a trattoria with perhaps more ‘atas’ or premium choices on the menu. Simple has become moer sophisticated in the 21st Century… but that is a good thing
The door on the left leads into the bakery with lovely breads and pizzas all made fresh .daily. To the right, you will see a big dining area that seats some 150 covers. Plain dark grey concrete floors and rustic white on brown wooden tables give a warm feel tot he place. Only one thing missing…no Italian background music by Mario Lanza or Laura Pausini…”Non importa..” as they say in Italy, which means “never mind”.
To be continued…
More to follow…