Hamilton recently hosted a lunch at the Restorante Otto at the Red Dot Museum. Hamilton is an old US brand, emerging some 100 years ago. Hamilton's initial concerns were in accurate, but beautifully made pocket watch crucial to the then new railroad industry. Their watches are prized by collectors, and feature large dials, with bold arabic markers, and beautifully demaskeened movements, often with elaborate regulation mechanisms. The company survived today, but it is now part of the Swatch Group, and the watches are no longer made in the US, but in Biel in Switzerland.
Their focus market segment is now the affordable, entry level watches, and they do make some rather intersting, and often quite beautiful timepieces. This year's BaselWorld will see the introduction of several interesting timepieces. Embargo on these watches are till Press Day at BaselWorld, so today I will focus on the food at Otto.
The Red Dot Traffic Museum used to house the Singapore Traffic Police. I remember years ago, renewing my driving license at the building. The Traffic Police have now moved, and the premises, beautifully constructed in a colonial style stands proud, housing the arts. Within are a few eateries, and Otto, is probably one of the more upmarket ones. A French restaurant called Papilon was there several years ago, but they are now gone. Alas, for they had nice food.
We had the private room, which was gorgeous...nice interior, inviting decoration and with a view of the courtyard.
We started with the Timballino de Granchio e Avocado con Pomodori Ramati...
Crabmeat avocado on a vine tomato timbale, is the menu's translation to English. The crabmeat was flavourful, if not a bit overpowering...with a hint of fishiness. But the combination tasted light despite the crab.
Next was an assorted mushroom soup with garlic crouton
This was rather tasty. The soup had chunks of chopped up mushrooms. I am not sure what they were, but I guessed at least 3 varieties of mushrooms were used. The broth was thick, creamy, and the croutons were particularly delicious - with a crisp, crusty texture, and a hint of garlic. Nice touch.
For my mains, I had the beef:
I ordered it medium rare, charred on the outside...it appeared nicely medium rare inside. But not really charred...as the sirloin had been pan fried with gorgonzola cheese and butter. The cheese and butter left a strong fragrance, quite wonderful on the beef. Heightening the taste and elevating it briefly. The greens on which the chef sat the sliced beef on were nicely cooked, but tasted bitter.
And for desserts, what else other than tiramisu...but alla Maniera de Otto
The tiramisu was super soft...almost melting on its own. The sponge cake offered no support and the entire dish threatened to collapse on itself. The piece of biscotti attached to the top of the tiramisu provided the crunch. The dusted chocolate top was a nice bitter, strong chocolatey counterpoint to the sweet, creamy cake, laced with powerful coffee strains, and a hint of alcohol. Overall ok for me as a tiramusu, I have tasted better, and of course worse.
The service was excellent. Smooth, quiet, efficient. The ambience was excellent. The location is very good. Food was above average, and quite fine, though breaks no barriers.
Red Dot Traffic Museum
28 Maxwell Road, #01-02 Red Dot Traffic Building