Child Friendly: YES
Mon to Fri:
11.30am to 10pm
Sat & Sun:
10am to 10pm
Corkage Price:$30, wine; $40, champagne
This neighbourhood osteria brims with Italian spirit. Diners are greeted by shelves of Italian products like olive oils, pasta and sauces, along with freshly made loaves of breads that can be bought for takeaway. Ask for a seat by the open kitchen if you understand a bit of Italian and eavesdrop on the chefs’ banter or engage them if theyre not too busy, which they can get during the weekends when the restaurant really packs diners in.
The food is delicious and comforting, with the likes ofhearty pizzas, deep-fried semolina-crumbed seafood, crisp tender porchetta, and garganelli (spiral pasta) with braised lamb ragout. There is also a range of moreish Italian street food like risotto balls with melting mozzarella centres and deep-fried stuffed olives. A small list of cocktails, wines and beers pairs well with robust main courses like spicy roasted farm chicken, beer-braised beef with mashed potatoes, and grilled octopus with a Mediterranean sauce.
Meanwhile, dessert comes with some delicious twists like pistachio tiramisu and Sicilian cannoli filled with ricotta. The service is brisk and friendly, and the staff well-versed in the nuances of the menu. No wonder iO is one of several restaurants accorded the Ospitalita Italiana Gold Seal Award that recognises quality Italian food and hospitality outside of the motherland.