Monday, July 27, 2009

Italian with Basilico.

The Regent Singapore
1 Cuscaden Road

Tel: 6725 3232


I love having long lunches. There's just something about the sunlight and the whole casual feel that puts me in the mood to have a nice leisurely meal. Thus, when it came down to choosing a place for my birthday meal, I decided to put a 'check' next to the place I've wanted to try since reading about it weeks back.

Basilico runs an Italian lunch buffet on Sundays with a free flow Mumm champagne ($99) or Billecart Salmon Rose option ($175). If you're not an alcohol lover like me, go for the alcohol-free option ($49). This is one of the buffets in town with the best value in my opinion as I find a lot of a buffets ridiculously priced for the quality of food served these days. Most buffets try to throw a whole lot of food out but let's face it, how many of us actually get round to tasting everything? So while I'd say that it's not a whole lot of variety one gets at Basilico, I find that it's more than adequate and I guess that partially explains why prices can be kept at a reasonable level.

At the antipasti table centred in the restaurant, you'd find a good variety of Italian meats, carpaccios, olives, salads such as Caprese and fresh seafood. I especially loved the freshly sliced prosciutto with rock melon, mortadella and salami. There is also a good selection of breads and crisps. Having said that, there was a tomato dip which tasted great when spread over some ciabatta. I have to learn to make that!

The mains section had fresh pizzas made on the spot. There was also a pasta station where you could customise your own pasta dish. The meat and seafood section had a good selection of roasts and grills. I thought the grilled lamb and beef medallions were cooked really well and were simply delicious. The roast wagyu beef was nice but paled in comparison to the grilled meats in terms of flavour. Hearty Italian fare such as Eggplant Parmigiana, Spinach Cannelloni were also available but I didn't spend too much time with them since I thought they were too filling.

There's also a cheese room located at another part of the restaurant where you can find foie gras terraine, pan fried foie gras, freshly shaved black truffles and of course, a good selection of cheeses such as Gorgonzola and Taleggio. The foie gras was rich and fantastic with a bit of herb salt sprinkled over the top. This was probably my favourite section at the buffet!

The desserts table had a variety of familiar Italian favourites such as Tiramisu and gelatos. There was even Hot Chocolate which was a treat to have out of a little chocolate mug. I personally loved the Ameretti cake and the Bread & Butter Pudding.

In addition to the items available at the buffet table, there were some items that were served to our table. There was a Foccacia stuffed with mascarpone, Parma ham and rocket leaves which I thought was delicious, a squid ink pasta with prawns and Cannoli rolls filled with ricotta, dried fruit and chocolate chips. There was also a dish which resembled risotto topped with truffle oil but I didn't find it memorable.

I personally thought that service was impeccable. The service staff were really prompt in topping up the champagne and clearing the plates. They even went to the extent to remind us about the cheese room and even suggested we have black truffles shaved over our pasta. In fact, I saw one of the chefs shave a generous amount of black truffles over a plate of mushroom ravioli at the table next to ours.

Although the food isn't all of the finest quality, I'd highly recommend Basilico for it's good value and decent food if one's out looking for an Italian buffet. This is definitely one place that should be added to your Sunday lunch list.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

that time of the year.

Yet another year has come and gone.
It's scary how time flies.

Today, I turn a year older and hopefully a year wiser.

Thanks for all your well wishes.
I'm thankful that you guys are a part of my life.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

three's a crowd.

People always say it takes two hands to clap.

Tuna Tartare

Pancetta & Pea Risotto

Banana Tart Tatin

In my home, it takes three.

Monday, July 06, 2009

my gardening project part 2.

2 weeks on and this is how my project is turning out so far.

The only thing growing well now is basil and that's dill growing out at the back so I'm rather happy. I am wondering where the parsley and fennel went though.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

brunch @ riders.

Riders Cafe
51 Fairways Drive (Within Bukit Timah Saddle Club)

Tel: 6466 9819


It's rare that I get out for a nice brunch with D. As the family was out of town this weekend, I spent some time last night online looking for nice breakfast/brunch recommendations. I wanted to find a place which I'd never visited; somewhere quaint. I found Riders Cafe.

Nestled within the Bukit Timah Saddle Club, the black and white building which houses Riders Cafe reeks of nostalgia and old school charm. The decor is simple and suits its surroundings perfectly. It was lovely to see the horses grazing and a lonely little black cat perched under a large tree. I loved the atmosphere and it felt good to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I'm just glad that there are places like these left in Singapore.

The menu is pretty simple and fuss free which I like because I always have the toughest time deciding what to have. After a little deliberation, I decided on the Norwegian Benedict; Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon & Asparagus. The eggs were well poached, the muffins were nicely toasted and I'd say, this was probably one of the best Eggs Benedict I've had in a while. I do feel that the potato side could have had more salt but it wasn't something I was preoccupied with.

D was rather hungry and decided on the Riders Breakfast almost right away. You get a choice with the type of eggs and a choice between bacon, ham or sausages to have on your breakfast plate. D chose his favourite scrambled eggs and sausages. Whilst the eggs were nice and creamy, he did comment that they still weren't as good as the ones he had at the Australia Dairy Company in Hong Kong. He did love the baked beans though as he always found the canned ones too sweet for his liking. The ones he had on his plate which the chefs might have re-cooked, were not.

Service was a little on the slow side as it was full house but it didn't really bother me since I was enjoying the laid back atmosphere of the whole place. Prices are reasonable and I know that a return visit is definitely in the cards. Plus, this place has cute coasters.