iO Italian Osteria – Singapore

So, I visited iO Italian Osteria in the new Hillview the other day. I saw Italians (plus it was started by the crew at Etna) in the kitchen and hey, I thought it was going to be good. Go figure. Plus I read a few websites praising its “affordable and authentic Italian cuisine”.


Bearing in mind, I was even more unhappy as it was meant to be my birthday dinner.

What happened, then. When I arrived at the table I had to ask them to change my water glasses as it was spotted by what looks like balsamic vinegar. Which is fine as shit happens sometimes.

In a nutshell, I felt that it was too expensive for the amount that was served. And, the wait staff was over eager and taking dishes away from me before I was done, and taking a chair away from my table and replacing the chair and taking it away… Yeah. Although to their credit, a lady chef did reprimand one of the waiters for trying to clear my dish before I was through.

Anyway, on to the food.


I started my meal with a creamy burrata and a small charcuterie platter piled with mortadella, prosciutto and salami. That was good. I liked it and I thought the meal was off to a good start. Until my mains arrived.

I get the Italian concept of a pasta dish being a “primo” or an entree, but 4 pieces of ravioli for about $16ish is a bit much…. I did like the creamy sauce that came with it. I do think they need to have an option for “entree” or “main” size for their pastas.

io 1

We were recommended a few house specials of the day, a gnocchi covered in veal liver sauce and a homemade whole wheat pasta with seafood. I must say, the portions were a little small for the whole wheat pasta but it was nicely al dente and I liked the rougher texture of the pasta due to the fibre. Thumbs up.

Now, the biggest disappointment of the night for me was the gnocchi. It is one of the worst gnocchi’s I’ve ever had. Imagine a good gnocchi. It’s chewy, but not overly rubbery which gives way to a pillowy texture. This was not it. This gnocchi was merely hard cubed potato flour. That’s it.


I had the ricotta cheese stuffed cannolis at iO and they lifted my mood after that horrible gnocchi experience. However, I do wish they could have made them fresh upon order as it felt a little hard.

I’m not sure if that was just a bad night for iO, but I do hope they’ve improved since my last visit as my experience was more negative than positive.