126 Tanjong Pagar Road
Tel: 6324 6225
I'm done with my first resolution of the year. So that's off my list. You can find out what the rest are here. YES. I got through to Buko Nero on the phone. The feeling of hearing someone say "hello" at the other end felt like I had won a million bucks (ok, I'm exaggerating but it feels like I won something, maybe $1000?). For days, or even weeks actually, I was dialling the same number over and over, and I kept hearing the same voice on the answering machine. So when the same person picked up the phone, he had to say hello twice before I even realised that I had gotten thru. Even when they only had lunch slots, I said yes without even thinking.
In case you're wondering what's up with this place. Well, for starters, Buko Nero is so popular that you probably have to book one month in advance for dinner especially on weekends. That is if you're even lucky to get through. The cosy restaurant only sits approx. 20 people at once and has a policy that there can be no more than 6 people on one booking. Everyone that came in that day somehow knew the owners on a personal basis but I guess if you go a couple of more times, they'd get friendly too cos the restaurant is so quaint and service, so personable. I guess that's the benefit when you're got a smaller place to run.
I eventually got to change my lunch to a dinner when they had a cancellation. The set menu which I had for the night was a reasonable $35. That price will apply only if you did not have an itchy backside like myself to change the main course. Some of the highlights below.
Egg White Frittata with Oregano topped with Crispy Shallots
Compliments of the chef. There was a sweet liquid in this dish that I still can't figure out what it was til now.
Buko Nero's Taukwa Tower
I really liked this. The taukwa was smooth and I loved the mushrooms and dark soya sauce that was drizzled all over. I know it sounds a bit dubious to be eating taukwa in a restaurant but it's good. Next time I'm back, I'll be ordering a whole portion for myself.
Cous cous Salad with Red Snapper
Frankly, I've never been a great fan of cous cous, polenta that sort of thing. But this cous cous salad which was part of the set menu was actually quite yum. I loved the flaky texture of the fish. Somehow, red snapper, cous cous and drizzle of balsamic vinegar went well together.
White Bean Soup with Rosemary
D didn't really like this much when he had a taste. It was kinda weird tasting it for the first time cos it tasted like chinese soup but yet it was creamy and had the rosemary herb in it. It tasted good but I guess it was the concept behind it that D found hard to accept. Nevertheless, I thought it was smooth and tasty. Loved it for me.
Beef Tenderloin wrapped with Bacon topped with Porcini Mushrooms
Definitely the highlight of my evening. It was a tad too salty though with the bacon and all but I loved it. Every single bit of it. It was cooked to a perfect medium rare, the way I like my beef done. The sauce was super tasty and generous with porcini mushrooms. Definitely the must-try at Buko Nero.
White Chocolate Amaretto Cake
D loved my dessert from the set menu so much that he swopped his green tea panna cotta with me. The cake had a strong flavour of amaretto but not too overwhelming. Wasn't too sweet too. I think the chef did extremely well on this one.
Green Tea Panna Cotta topped with Red Beans
Frankly, I didn't really like this. The texture was too thick, too creamy and the green tea taste wasn't coming through enough. I ate the green tea & red bean mousse cake from The Patissier just the day before and I'd rather have that cake anytime.
So I think it was a good dining experience for both D & I. It was really like nothing we've ever tried before. Frankly, I'm not sure when I'll be going back though cos the one month booking window is seriously too long a time for me to know when I feel like having fusion. Plus, it's way too tiring to get through the phone lines. It's still good food though.