Otto’s Deli Fresh, Holland Village: Received Many Good Reviews But…

ottos-deli-fresh-singaporeHaving read good reviews of Otto’s Deli Fresh at Raffles@Holland Village, I looked at their website and was befuddled: what does it mean to be “inspired by the career and vision of Chef Otto Weibel“? Shouldn’t it just be “food by Otto”?

I eventually found out that Weibel is retired so he won’t be around the deli. The menu consists of comfort food he loves to eat; some dishes use his recipes, and the handsome Head Chef Rick Chow, who deals with the daily running of the kitchen, creates the rest.

ottos-deli-fresh-sgHere’s a resume of Weibel: he has more than 40 years of culinary experience, having worked at kitchens at Shangri-La, Stamford, and Fairmont. He was the “Swiss Chef of the Year 2001 Abroad” and is the Honorary President of Bocuse d’Or Asia-Pacific.

Rick Chow: 8 years of culinary experience at Saint Pierre, Portico Prime, and LaFite at Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur.

ottos-deli-fresh-holland-villagePerhaps because of the good reviews, I had great expectations but unfortunately, they weren’t met. The menu is rather classic, with sections of salads, sandwich/burger, pasta, and grill items.

I expected the grilled Fremantle octopus salad ($17) to come as a whole leg of octopus because of the high pricing, but there are a few miserly pieces. They are nicely tender but the dressing is too sour.

ottos-deli-freshMany on instagram ordered the beef stroganoff fettucine ($16) but we opted for the Norwegian salmon capellini ($16) with mentaiko. The pasta is over-cooked, and too soft, although the taste is good, creamy.

Ms Atas said of the fried pork cheek baguette ($20): “Wow, I know I complain that I can’t find the pork, but now I think it’s a good thing the pork is so scanty… it’s overly gamy.”

ottos-deli-fresh-menuThe only thing that we truly liked is the hand cut fries ($6). It’s flavored almost like the Taiwanese 咸酥鸡 (fried salted chicken), which is very addictive. But the funny thing about the fries, we didn’t order it. Here’s the story:

The service is well-meaning but raw. They open at 11 and when we were there at about 11.05am, it was not opened yet. And when it opened, there was only one young server; the rest were late, and came in from between 11.15am to 11.45pm.

When we were in the midst of ordering and the server was taking down orders, the deli’s phone rang. “We want a flat white, an iced chocolate…” and poof!, she was gone to answer the phone.

When she returned after the phone call, we asked, “The sandwich comes with fries, right?”

“Yes,” the server replied.

“Ok, do you think we can get a dip to go with the fries?”

And the server thought that we wanted an extra side order of fries. So we ended up with two set of fries. Carbs are not fashionable leh, don’t give us so much.

We also had to ask for water twice before we got it.

ottos-deli-fresh-reviewSpeaking about liquids, the chocolate (iced or hot) comes highly recommended and we had it as a dessert, seeing that the dessert menu comprises waffles, which we thought are boring. The iced chocolate is rather costly at $12.50; it is too thick, hard to suck, and too rich to finish on one’s own. The hot chocolate ($9.50), however, is watery.

Perhaps it was a bad day for the new deli, but there is certainly room for improvement: training for the service staff, and some consistency from the kitchen. We paid $118 for four persons.

Otto’s Deli Fresh
118 Holland Avenue #02-01 Raffles@Holland Village Singapore 278990
T: +65 6694 3291

Food: 6/10
Price/value: 5.5/10
Decor/ambience: 7/10
Service: 5/10
Overall rating: 2.938/5

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