Angeleno – Chef David Almany From Osteria Mozza Helms His Own
“This taste just as good as Osteria Mozza’s.” It was before we realised that the chef in the kitchen of Italian-American restaurant Angelego is David Almany, previous head chef of Osteria Mozza at MBS. As he walked out of the kitchen just before the dessert, I thought, “He looks familiar.”
It was a random choice as we made our way to 20 Gemmill Lane, adjacent to the hot dining spot of Club Street. Didn’t do any research. Nothing.
Angeleno occupies the space where Luke’s Oyster Bar & Chop House used to be. Luke moved next door, and the owner is also a business partner in Angeleno.
Chef David Almany and Pastry Chef Ariana Flores who are both from Los Angeles, decided to name the restaurant “Angeleno” because this is what people from LA are called.
“We want to tell the story of our upbringing in the culinary world cooking Italian American food almost our entire careers. We also figured it would sound Italian.”
Throughout the meal, my friend and I drew several comparisons with Osteria Mozza unexpectedly, one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants last year, and is a hopeful candidate of achieving that coveted Michelin star in Singapore this year. (In her mind, the 3 best Italian restaurants in Singapore are inITALY, Osteria, and perhaps this – would need a few more meals to ascertain.)
Chef left Osteria because he felt it was time to challenge himself again in life, not without acknowledging his gratitude to “Mario and Nancy” for the learning opportunities.
Angeleno has several signatures and specialties. Among which includes handmade mozzarella with squash blossoms and tomato focaccia. The kitchen literally makes the mozzarella cheese after diners order it, finishing it with sea salt and fresh olive oil from Tuscany.
The Burrata Caprese ($31) was one of the most agreeable-tasting one I had in Singapore (used those words because I wasn’t the biggest fan) – delightfully soft, creamily smooth.
The starter comes accompanied with roasted and raw cherry tomatoes which were pleasantly sweet and fresh tasting.
Italian-American cooking is mainly derived from Neapolitan, and thus you would find a heavier use of tomato sauce in their cuisine.
The Signature Veal Chop Parmigiana ($75) while considered pricey (won’t say it was worth every cent) was wonderfully executed – robust red sauce beneath melting mozzarella, covering a breaded deep fried piece of veal which was surprisingly both moist yet ‘sturdy’.
It was a sizable slab, enough to share between two with average appetite.
The veal is soaked in brine for a few hours before cooking, cooked over California Almond wood, flavours permeated and even. Almond wood creates a hot, long lasting fire, produces only a small amount of ashes, also giving food a nutty flavour.
Perhaps we were too full from the other items, we were rather indifferent towards the recommended dessert, a Pineapple Cake ($15) with blueberries and coconut sorbet.
Chef told us that EVERYTHING is made from scratch… bread, pasta, cheese, pastries, pickles, cured anchovies, vinegar, sorbet, gelato… everything. Very promising, and I know we will hear more of this restaurant in time to come. Here’s to some very Italian, and very American food.
20 Gemmil Lane Singapore 069256
Tel: +65 6221 6986
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2:30pm, 5pm – 11pm (Mon – Wed), 12pm – 11pm (Thurs – Sat), Closed Sun
* Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise indicated.