An Italian Bottega
Bottega means shop in Italian. In Italy (and Spain for that matter) it’s a term often used for a casual place to go for drinks and food. As is Bottega at 31 Hong Kong Street in Singapore. Bottega opened a little while ago and happens to be across the road from where I’m working at the moment. Making it a very convenient bottega to visit if I’m meeting someone for drinks after work. I’ve so far resisted the urge to visit during the day, but they’re actually open from 8am, so a coffee or a lunch time visit is never out of the question. I’ve now visited a few times, but mainly for drinks and dinner. Here’s a list of my favourite things about Bottega.
Bottega does Casual
What I love most about Bottega is the super casual atmosphere, and the small size works in its favour to create a buzz that’s ever so slightly reminiscent of Italy 🙂 This might not appeal to everyone, tables are high, so high stools and standing are the only options. Inside there’s air-conditioned seating for around 10 to 12 people. Outside there’s street-side seating for around 12 to 15 people. I’ve seen big groups here though, milling around and making the most of the pavement space.
If you follow @singfoodie on Instagram you might have noticed that on our Italian holiday last summer we had an Aperol spritz every day for two weeks! It isn’t a holiday unless there’s an Aperol spritz. And even if it isn’t a holiday at Bottega you can get an Aperol spritz for $5.90++! I reckon that must be the cheapest Aperol spritz in Singapore. Both the house wine and house red are $9++ per glass, and they’re absolutely decent. Note that these are not happy hour prices, this is standard pricing. Happy days every day.
The mixed platters are by far my favourite choice when it comes to food at Bottega. The meats are sliced freshly, cheeses are authentic Italian varieties, and the olives, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes added lovely flavour. Other food at Bottega has been a little hit and miss in my experience. There are a lot of bread/pizza based choices, and they make their own bread. The bread is definitely good but I guess I’m generally trying to avoid bread. And the toppings I’ve chosen haven’t quite worked out the way I might have liked. I’m determined that there is something of the pizzas or foccacias that I’ll enjoy one day though.
On one visit my friend ordered the aglio e olio that was a delicious spaghetti serving, but the portions were pretty small for a $14.80++ bowl of pasta.
Bottega also offer a decent selection of fresh and dried Italian groceries. Some of the cold cuts and cheeses used on the platters can be purchased to take home, and there’s pasta, fresh burrata, coffee and a small selection of other grocery items.
The lengthy opening hours mean that Bottega is somewhere you can rely on for a good coffee at nearly any time of day. Whilst I still love Ronin across the road, the coffee at Bottega is also very good. I’ll confess I was ready to be disappointed, sometimes Italian coffee can be a little bitter and the old style cappuccino and latte styles don’t really work for me. I asked for a strong latte with less milk though and was happily surprised with the robust brew.
The two Italian guys that run the show, and a couple of other good staff, all add an element of fun to the place. Be careful when you’re ordering, English is not the first language of the Italians, and sometimes things get a little lost in translation. They mean well though so I’ll keep coming back and enjoying my spritz’s whilst taking in the evening antics of Hong Kong Street.
Do note that there’s another Bottega outlet at Tanjong Katong if you live on the east side of town.
31 Hong Kong Street, Singapore
phone +65 9850 3630
open Monday to Friday 8am to 12am, Saturday 11am to 12am
263 Tanjong Katong Road
#01-02 Suites@Katong, Singapore
phone +65 6816 1834
open Tuesday to Friday 11.30am to 11.30pm and on weekends from 11.30am to 11pm