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Osteria BBR

Restaurants, Italian City Hall
Osteria BBR
1/4
Photograph: Raffles Hotel SingaporeRed prawn tartare
Osteria BBR
2/4
Photograph: Raffles Hotel SingaporeEliche di Gragnano
Osteria BBR
3/4
Photograph: Raffles Hotel SingaporeSeabass
Osteria BBR
4/4
Photograph: Raffles Hotel SingaporeBaba

Time Out says

What used to be a Mediterranean restaurant by Alain Ducasse has since transformed into a modern osteria. But it remains backed by the master chef, who has appointed Chef de Cuisine Francesco Soletti (the Italian native has worked in various top restaurants, including the three Michelin-starred Le Louis XV) to helm the fresh concept. The space remains luxuriously spacious and bright, but what lands on the dining table has transformed – into pasta, wood-fired pizza, and many more plates that will transport you to the Italian Riviera.

From the antipasti, get the red prawn tartare ($68), a celebration of fresh catch; the piquant starter features the succulent seafood, served on a bed of buffalo mozzarella, fish jelly, and Kristal caviar. Or enjoy what the land has to offer with the beef carpaccio ($32), made using 28-day dry-aged John Stone, and dollops of pistachio cream buffalo ricotta o match the tender cut. Perfume each mouthful with shavings of black truffle ($5/gram) for an elegant touch.

For mains, Eliche di Gragnano ($45), oversized pasta spirals, are the perfect vehicle to cling onto the rich lobster sauce. Roasted eggplant fortifies each mouthful creaminess, and succulent chunks of Maine lobster are a welcome addition. Seabass in crazy water ($78) is a sleeper hit with its combination of fresh, comforting flavours and briny clams. For a finishing flourish to the meal, order the signature baba ($18) that comes soaked in a generous pour of limoncello.

And in true Italian spirit, kickstart the evening with its Aperitivo menu – a selection of Campari- or Aperol-based tipples to help whet appetites. Swing by from 3pm to 8pm daily to enjoy $16 cocktails, or wines at $12 a glass. Lunch sets are also available, with options of two ($36) and three courses ($42).

Original review on Nov 5 2019: 

★★★ 

The doors of Raffles Hotel’s Bar & Billiards Room have welcomed quite a few notable guests over the years. Among the most memorable is a tiger that sought refuge after escaping from a nearby circus. And more than 100 years later, another newsworthy individual is at the restaurant's door: celebrated chef Alain Ducasse. 

He is so important that the name of the 122-year-old restaurant is condensed into acronyms to make space for his. It’s undoubtedly a big name – one that’s responsible for 21 Michelin stars across the world, and one that’s fitting enough to take over the expansive 235-seater space. He brings with him a Mediterranean touch – the menu draws from Portugal, Spain, Italy, and France. 

Between the spacious interior and tall white columns, getting the attention of the staff from your terrazzo table can be tricky. Thankfully the food doesn’t take long to travel from the open kitchen to us. Of the starters, we like the Bunuelos de Bacalao ($15), or salt cod fritters the most. Light, crispy batter gives way to a soft, creamy filling that comes studded with generous chunks of fish. 

On the other hand, the signature Pulpo a la Gallega ($28) fails to excite with mushy octopus and no bite. Also, skip the Margherita pizza ($15). Despite its thin crust and vibrant basil flavour, you can get better (and cheaper) renditions elsewhere. Fill up on the complimentary olive bread instead. 

Resist finishing all of it and save some for your mains. The Cataplana de Marisco ($60) is a robust shellfish stew with pieces of fish, mussels, clams and two large carabinero prawns imparting their sweetness and rich crustacean flavour to the soup. But the seafood, while fresh, is shrivelled and overcooked. We much prefer the chicken ($68). The whole bird is served two ways: first, roasted with a layer of marinade beneath the bird’s skin. Second, thin and crisped in a refreshing salad. 

With great expectations comes great responsibility. BBR by Alain Ducasse glimmers with potential instead of dazzling from the get-go. The restaurant has some way to go before it lives up to Alain Ducasse’s esteemed reputation. 

Time Out Singapore reviews anonymously and pays for all meals. Read our restaurant review policy hereWhat the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional 

Details

Address: Raffles Hotel
1 Beach Rd
Singapore
189673
Contact:
Opening hours: Mon, Thu-Sun noon-2.30pm, 6pm-9.45pm
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