iO Italian Osteria: True Italian Style

iO Osteria has a few problems. For one, service is a nightmare, the dining grounds akin to a battlefield soaked with the grievous stares of diners turned away at the door when trying to snag a seat without making a reservation. The enthusiastic Italian staff exchanging a flurry of heated conversation over a wrong order at the bar whilst chiding a local young girl who asked us twice about dishes that didn't belong to us. I hope these issues get resolved. I really do. Because food at iO Osteria is unbelievably good, and if you close your eyes amidst all the chaos, you will feel that a part of you is zipped away to Italy.

With a strong focus on rustic Italian fare, the antipasti and stuzzichini (small plates of Italian Street food) game is strong here. Skip the wildly popular truffle panini for a taste of sin in the form of a Porchetta ($12), a slab of baked pork belly stuffed with wild fennel sporting a crisp hide of crackling over its head. I don't know whether it was misjudgment on the kitchen's part, but my $12 appetizer came out a whopping 4 inches thick. Oozing with succulent juices, the insides of the roulade, flavored by wild fennel help to tone down the salacious affair. More importantly, the skin, as crispy as a wafer without an inkling of that gummy effect was simply divine.

The green funk on our Calamari Pesto ($14) was also another highly successful dish, the nutty and herbaceous sauce stands up to the perfectly cooked and curled calamari, whilst the tumble of fresh cherry tomatoes brightened its entire constitution. Yet again another dish that is wallet friendly given the basis of its hefty portion.

For something a little substantial, dig into their Homemade Tagliolini, Prawns, Lemon and Aromatic Breadcumbs ($22) , a real comforting dish. Strand of pasta have a nice full bodied texture thrum from the dusting of breadcrumbs that join the sauteed prawns, chopped zucchini and tomatoes, through the slightly creamy lemon-based sauce that coats them. After tasting this one dish, I have a good mind to make a return for the rest of their pastas!

The pinnacle of the dinner is delivered quickly and furiously to the table as a jar of Pistachio Tiramisu is plopped down on the table. Soft chunks of white chocolate amidst fluffy clouds of mascarpone mixture - What's not to like?

With each toothsome bite, you'll be conceiving ideas of your next trip to iO Osteria; conveniently plotting out your subsequent food map with the help of the place mats (aka menus) in front of you.

iO Osteria
4 Hillview Rise
t: 67107150

Operating Hours:
Daily: 10am - 10pm

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