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Food review: Otto’s Deli Fresh is a gem

SINGAPORE — The word “deli” is short for delicatessen, a place to buy speciality foods. That term, in turn, is derived from the French noun “delicatesse” meaning delicious things to eat.

Food review: Otto’s Deli Fresh is a gem

The hunky wagyu beef rump on the menu of Otto's Deli Fresh. (Photo: Daphotographer)

SINGAPORE — The word “deli” is short for delicatessen, a place to buy speciality foods. That term, in turn, is derived from the French noun “delicatesse” meaning delicious things to eat.

Well, there are plenty of delicious things to eat and buy at this new deli at Holland Village, opened by a familiar figure in our culinary scene. Otto Weibel has spent the last 40 years here mentoring young talent, promoting Singapore’s F&B industry as a judge and contestant in international cooking tournaments, and working at the highest levels of the industry (he was The Stamford and Fairmont Singapore’s director of kitchens for 26 years).

His deli with a dine-in section hits that sweet spot between being unpretentious yet stocking a sophisticated and wide variety of food.

THE VIBE

While his experience has been in upmarket food, Otto’s Deli Fresh is a reflection of Weibel’s down-home personality. Simply clad in wood panelling and black accents, the space is almost unremarkable. Yet it’s comfortable and alluring enough for you to want to return again and again.

At the deli section, which greets visitors as they enter, are hard-to-find items such as Brenton beef and Dorper lamb from Australia, and oysters from New Zealand and Ireland that come by way of Weibel’s personal relationships with their purveyors.

WHAT TO ORDER

The dine-in offerings, such as mushroom soup, a couple of panini sandwiches, a small list of pastas and grilled meats, seem almost basic. But the pedigree behind their creation is evident — each is as excellent a rendition as you are likely to find anywhere else. The mushroom soup ($8.50) is immensely enjoyable, thick and rich with full-bodied brown mushrooms and the earthy depth of dried porcini.

The pulled pork burger ($19) features a lush, sloppy mound of pulled pork spiked with a vibrantly flavoured house-made barbeque sauce. The meat mingles with a yuzu-mayo cabbage slaw, pickled Japanese cucumber and springy-fresh rocket leaves.

There are roast meats, grilled as one might do at home — simply seasoned with salt — except they are far better than most of our home-cooked renditions. We left nothing behind of the Limestone Ridge full-blood wagyu beef rump (S$32 for 150 grams) and the Heritage US Kurobuta pork rack (S$39 for 300g) that the kitchen cooked to a luscious pink centre.

WHAT TO AVOID

We weren’t so hot about the beef stroganoff fettucine ($17) and the overly briny grilled Fremantle octopus salad ($17). Both could use more complexity in their flavours.

VERDICT

The term “quality you can taste” may count as a cliche, but it aptly describes the dining experience here. Though the food may seem simple, the commitment to quality and care in their creation is evident. And that’s often more than enough to make regulars of those who know a good thing when they see (or 
taste) it.

Otto’s Deli Fresh

#02-01 Raffles @ Holland Village


Telephone: 
6694 3291


Website: www.ottosdelifresh.com


Opening hours:
11am to 10pm daily

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