Add: 226 Jinxian Lu, near Shaanxi Nan Lu / 进贤路226号, 近陕西南路
Tel: 6256 8998
Visited on: 2012-05
I’ve been to Osteria once before and deemed the dishes mediocre, so I wasn’t expecting much when a friend organized a dinner there a few nights ago. I was, however, very pleasantly surprised.
We started off with glasses of Spicy Canadian “Bloody Caesar” (68 RMB), made with Dewar Whisky or 42 Below Vodka and clamato juice. This Canadian invention is similar to a Bloody Mary but with a distinct spicy flavor from Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and clamato juice (clam + tomato = clamato). It was my first time trying a Bloody Caesar and really loved it. It’s like sipping iced soup! Perfect for the summer.
A lovely bread basket, promptly refilled too.
Crudi (78 RMB), a platter of cured imported meats, daily crostini, marinated olives, melon & mint aperitif.
Crispy Calamari (89 RMB) with fried potato, pancetta, lemon, and sweet-chilli tomato mayo.
Since oysters are the specialty at Osteria, we asked the waiter to put together an oyster platter for us, which ended up consisting of 4 kinds of oysters – one American, two Canadian, and one Australian (590 RMB, 16 oysters). Having recently came back from Australia, I thought the prices here are a bit expensive, but Osteria has a “Osterlicious Tuesday” promotional deal where you get 6 oysters with 3 glasses of white wine for 137 RMB or 12 oysters with 3 glasses of white wine for 197 RMB. Might be worth trying out.
The oysters came with shallot vinegar, sweet chili, and wasabi soya (3 RMB each), though we left these untouched.
A bottle of white wine to go along.
For the main event, we ordered Eddie’s Lamb Chop (158 RMB), served with creamy leek and white bean ragu. The lamb chop had a lovely caramelized surface, its flavor perfect with the accompanying shallot red wine sauce.
Still hungry, we tagged on another order of Red Beet Fettucine (78 RMB) with mussels, tomato, basil, and white wine cream, but this ended up becoming the disappointment of the evening. The pasta was limp and bland, the mussels overly salty, and the portion a lot smaller than expected.
We almost ordered another dish to compensate for the disappointing pasta, but decided to just finish with the daily sweet plate, a medley of four desserts – banana cream, citron part, semi-freddo, and a chocolate cake. Not bad, not bad.
Except for the red beet fettuccine, I was happy with everything else we sampled that evening. Food and drinks aside, the decor is cozy, ambience lively, and service very efficient. They’ve also got some seats out on the small patio, which looks like a very promising spot for dinner in this weather.