It takes gall to veer off the well-worn path of the international buffet, yet Basilico turns this status quo on its head and sets the bar for single-cuisine buffets up high. The spacious 230-seater is almost obsessive about showcasing the variety of styles of Italian cooking and produce, and that’s why it wins big.
For starters, there were 12 insalata or salad options, ranging from chicken to octopus to just greens, all of them fresh and so moreish, we tried the full dozen. That’s ignoring the well-stocked DIY salad bar – and its dressing counter sporting 15 bottles of condiments and olive oil.
On that same table, eight types of olives and several tomato options beckon. We won’t even start on the cheese and bread, which is baked in-house, or the “live” pasta station serving up perfect al dente plates. It’s all proudly Italian, and of a consistently high quality.
The busiest counter is the oven and grill section where fish, meat, pizza and the like are prepared in small batches from the open kitchen. Go with the grilled pork ribs, sea bass and beef lasagne. The ribs in particular are a mouthwatering mix of fattiness, herbs and sweet marinade, cooked to gamey, juicy perfection.
For the grand Italian slam, end the meal with Basilico’s well-done tiramisu, panna cotta or gelato, then take a cappuccino on the house. Match with tip-top service, which is not yet a staple of the buffet scene, and a great meal is in order.
Level 2 Regent Hotel