BASILICO CELEBRATES 10 YEARS
The antipasti buffet at Regent Singapore’s Italian restaurant Basilico has been one of my favourites since the restaurant opened in 2008.
It has a good selection of cold cuts, from soppressata to mortadella, as well as various types of cheese, gorgeous breads, tapenades, grilled vegetables and salads – plenty here to whet the appetite.
In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the restaurant has brought back 10 of its favourite dishes (you get to choose one) from past menus. For $92, eat as much as you want from the antipasti buffet and choose a main course from the list.
Go for the Porchetta Alla Romana from 2013, a slow-cooked Roman-style pork belly with a subtle hint of fennel. The meat is tender and the crackling, a crispy golden brown. It comes with braised sour cabbage and caramelised apples to balance out the richness of the hunk of pork.
If you like risotto with a bite, opt for the Risotto Alla Pugliese, which was introduced in 2009. Here, carnaroli rice – a starchy Italian rice variety, which makes for a creamier and firmer risotto – is cooked in flavourful seafood stock and prosecco, and served with lobster, king scallops, tiger prawns and asparagus.
Offerings at the dessert table include elegant cakes, gelato, rice pudding and chocolate mousse.
WHERE: Basilico, Level 2 Regent Singapore – A Four Seasons Hotel, 1 Cuscaden Road
WHEN: Till Tuesday, 6.30 to 10pm daily
PRICE: $92 a person. Price includes antipasti and dessert buffet, as well as a choice of one main course. Wine available at additional cost.
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(Related: Singapore’s best bars with a view)
CASUAL JAPANESE FARE
The best way to catch up with friends is over a meal. Some casual Japanese fare – everyone loves sushi and chicken karaage – in a nice, relaxed setting always works. For this, make your way to Don & Tori in Tras Street.
There is nothing traditional about the food at this eatery and that is fine by me. It serves popular favourites, from salads and maki rolls to sashimi and rice bowls – just the stuff for a night out with friends.
Chat over spicy edamame ($8), edamame beans coated in piquant sambal and share a spicy tuna maki ($18) as well as other appetisers such as an uni foie gras maki ($25) and grilled chicken wings ($12).
Be sure to order crowd-pleasers such as the truffle gyu don ($28, add $10 for foie gras), a juicy piece of steak served on rice with an onsen egg, and sakura ebi angel hair pasta ($32), cold pasta tossed with truffle oil, konbu and crisp sakura ebi.
WHERE: Don & Tori, 74 Tras Street
MRT: Tanjong Pagar
OPEN: Noon to 3pm, 6pm to midnight (Mondays to Saturdays), closed on Sundays
FOLKLORE’S NEW DISHES
Chef Damian D’Silva of Folklore in Beach Road will be introducing new items to his menu from Monday.
He serves what he dubs “Singapore heritage cuisine”, a range of Peranakan, Malay, Eurasian, Indian and Chinese dishes that represent the heartbeat of Singapore.
About 40 per cent of the existing menu has been overhauled. Of the new dishes I tried at a tasting earlier this week, must-eats include the Sotong Masak Sambal Belado (market price) – fresh, supple squid tossed in an aromatic, sweet-spicy sambal with a roundness from the caramelised chilli and fresh tomatoes it is made with; Ambiler Kacang ($16), a tangy and mildly spicy Eurasian dish of pork belly and long beans that must be eaten with steamed white rice; and a delicious Indonesian-style Opor Ayam ($24), a thick and coconutty chicken curry with soulful flavours of cumin and coriander.
If you like sambal petai ($26), chef D’Silva’s version, a pungent sea of red sambal served with prawns and speckled with fried stink beans, is a real winner.
WHERE: Folklore, Level 2 Destination Singapore Beach Road, 700 Beach Road
WHEN: New dishes will be available from Monday, noon to 2.30pm, 6 to 9.30pm daily
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NATIONAL DAY EATS AT THE CLIFFORD PIER
The Clifford Pier at The Fullerton Bay Hotel is collaborating with zi char restaurant New Ubin Seafood to roll out a dozen locally inspired dishes to celebrate National Day next month.
Of the dishes on their collaborative menu, I like the smoked pork curry ($26, served with rice) – tender chunks of smoky pink pork in a flavourful, comforting, non-spicy curry with vegetables such as lady’s fingers and eggplant; as well as the pan-seared sea bass with chincalok sambal and petai ($46, served with rice). The chincalok (fermented krill) sambal is zingy and bright and goes well with the fish.
Other dishes include The Pier Hokkien Mee ($28), served with lala clams and chicken liver. The noodles are braised in a stock with chicken liver to give it added depth.
The dishes are available a la carte or as part of a lunch or dinner set.
WHERE: The Clifford Pier, lobby level, The Fullerton Bay Hotel, 80 Collyer Quay
MRT: Raffles Place
WHEN: Wednesday to Aug 31, noon to 2.30pm, 6.30 to 10pm, weekdays only
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This article was originally published in The Straits Times.