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Basilico

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Basilico

Basilico

Basilico is one of the dining places in The Regent Hotel and offers fresh, authentic and seasonal Italian cuisine. Dinner at Basilico started off with an antipasti buffet, a main course and ending off with an Italian desserts and gelato buffet. Simply to say, besides the main course, we had a free flow of appetizers and desserts!

Assortment of Cheeses

Assortment of Cheeses

Bread

Bread

Cured Ham

Cured Ham

Appetizers wise, there was a wide variety of salads, cheeses, breads, marinated seafood, seasonal greens and cured ham. It was really an eye opener to see such a huge spread of Italian produce. There were some hits and misses with the appetizers though.

For ham/meat lovers, the selection of cured ham at Basilico has got to be the most comprehensive one in Singapore, ranging from Prosciutto to Pork salami to Pancetta etc. There was also a wide range of fresh, unsalted macadamia, walnuts and chickpeas and dried fruits like prunes and figs which made very healthy snacks for us to munch on while chatting. The prawn salad was made up of fresh and shelled boiled prawns tossed in an appetizing vinegarette oil base sauce.

The Queen Scallops Salad was a feast for the eyes with those huge, succulent-looking scallops. Sadly, the scallops were soft, lacked chewiness and were very bland.  Also available were many different kinds of honey like truffle honey, orange honey, lemon honey.  A pity we did not know what we were supposed to do with them in an Italian cuisine. These were left unexplored.

Main courses wise, we had a list of 9 to choose from:

Lumaconi Pasta Stuffed with Braised Guinea Fowl, Porcini Mushroom, Piedmont Three Milk Robiola Cheese
Carnaroli Risotto with Zaffron, Aged Balsamic Seared Foie Gras and Black Truffle
Linguine Pasta with Tiger Prawns, Scallop, White Clams, Broccoletti, Sicilian Tomatoes, Taggiasche Olives and Fresh Basil
Asparagus and Ricotta Tortelloni with Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce, Hazelnut and Freshly Shaved Black Truffle
Roasted Monk Fish with 36 months cured Parma Ham, Wild Rocket and Castelluccio Lentils
Pan-seared Seabass with Clams in Pinot Griogio White Wine Sauce
Roasted Iberico Pork Chop with Spicy Peperonata of Stew Bellpeppers, Wild Herbs Salad and Toasted Pistachio
Grilled Lamb Chops with Portobello Mushroom and Smoked Scarmoza “Millefoglie” Dry Tomatoes and Artichokes
Grilled Angus Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Mushroom Polenta, Asparagus and Taleggio Cheese Fondue

The mere descriptions of the main courses were enough to make us salivate and after much struggle and debate, we made our final decisions on the Risotto, Sea Bass and Guinea Fowl.

Pan-Seared Sea Bass with Clams in Pinot Grigio White Wine Sauce

Pan-Seared Sea Bass with Clams in Pinot Grigio White Wine Sauce

Branzino in Padella con Vongole in Brodetto (Pan-seared Sea Bass with Clams in Pinot Grigio White Wine Sauce) – The sea bass was extremely fresh, soft, smooth and juicy. There was not a tinge of fishiness. We could just slowly allow the fish meat to disintegrate in our mouths – pure bliss! The sea bass skin was slightly charred, crispy and salty, adding the extra bite to the soft fillet. There was quite a number of clam shells atop the fish, however most were devoid of the clam meat. But guess it matters little as the flavours and freshness of the clams had been thoroughly incorporated into the white wine sauce. The flavours of the white wine sauce was very strong, in fact it was a little too rich on the palate. Thankfully, the fish hadn’t absorbed the sauce, hence it still retained its intrinsic sweetness.

Carnaroli Risotto with Zaffron, Aged Balsamic Seared Foie Gras and Black Truffle

Carnaroli Risotto with Zaffron, Aged Balsamic Seared Foie Gras and Black Truffle

Risotto allo Zafferano con Fegato Grasso al Balsamico Invecchiato e Tartufo Nero (Carnaroli Risotto with Zaffron, Aged Balsamic Seared Foie Gras and Black Truffle) – The risotto was thick and gluey. The rice grains weren’t all that mushy, it was cooked al dente, still retaining a slight grainy hardness. The saffron taste was not overpowering, far from what the  intense yellow dyed risotto would have suggested. The foie gras atop was on the bland side, but was still as oily and fatty as it should have been. Every mouth oozed of soft molten fats. The foie gras left behind a pool of oil on the risotto. We felt they could have prepared the foie gras in a less oily manner. Sadly, though being highly priced produce, the black truffle and foie gras seemed to have done nothing to accentuate the taste or texture of the dish. The risotto shone on its own without these accompaniments.

Lumaconi Pasta Stuffed with Braised Guinea Fowl, Porcini Mushroom, Piedmont Three Milk Robiola Cheese

Lumaconi Pasta Stuffed with Braised Guinea Fowl, Porcini Mushroom, Piedmont Three Milk Robiola Cheese

Lumaconi Farciti di Faraona Brasata, Porcini e Robiola Tre Latti (Lumaconi Pasta Stuffed with Braised Guinea Fowl, Porcini Mushroom, Piedmont Three Milk Robiola Cheese) – We have never had guinea fowl before, but decided to give it a shot anyway. This was like a dumpling, where the skin was made of the lumaconi pasta, and the fillings were predominantly braised guinea fowl. The pasta was done al dente. There were signs that it had been pan-fried prior to being served, and we liked the slightly charred and chewy texture.  The guinea fowl fillings had a texture similar to that of canned tuna. It was rather soft and came in strips like fish, rather than in chunks like pork. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much characteristic taste of the guinea fowl, it can even be passed off as chicken. It was the accompanying sauce which heightened the flavours of the dish. With its strong milky and creamy taste and fragrance, it was definitely for the diary products lovers.

Desserts

Desserts

Cakes

Cakes

Gelato

Gelato

And the finale of our dinner – the dessert buffet! We weren’t all the impressed with the warm desserts which included red wine pears and baked peaches. The taste of red wines in the pears was barely detectable and the baked peaches were akin to canned peaches, nothing too fantastic. There were 4 different chilled desserts sitting prettily in the glass display drawers – Panna Cotta, Strawberry Gellatine, Chocolate Zuccotto and Chocolate Sabayon. The Chocolate Sabayon has got to be our favourite. Chocolatety and thick – it had a consistency intermediate between fudge and mousse. It was just pure decadent velvety chocolate!

The highlight of the desserts has got to be the gelato! 6 flavours of the night included vanilla, raspberry, pistachio, hazelnut, liquorice and cherry. Our 2 favourites were the pistachio and hazelnut. The hazelnut tasted more like chocolate, though its rich flavours and sticky texture appealed to us. The pistachio was a winner! Every bite exuded the distinctness of pistachios and likewise, the thick and luscious texture was just absolutely delightful.

Service wise, we have got to give credit to our server of the night – Ms Khoo Lih Chang. Her service was impeccable. She was prompt in clearing our plates and filling our glasses of water. In addition, when we mentioned to her that we were freezing cold at our seats, she offered us shawls to keep us warm and even brought us a pot of hot water with lemon. Her initiative and kind smiles made the entire meal an enjoyable one.

We’ve never had an Italian buffet before, and Basilico’s semi-buffet dinner was truly a remarkable one. The quality of food and service was worth every cent of the $65 we each paid.

Basilico
Level 2, The Regent Singapore
1 Cuscaden Road

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Written by foodphd

October 17, 2011 at 1:41 pm

One Response

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  1. […] to that of melted ganache. In fact, it tasted very similar to the Italian dessert Sabayon we had at Basilico, saved for the fact that it was not as chilled. The smooth and rich dessert, with a lingering […]


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