Basilico @ Regent Hotel: Viaggio Italiano
Labels: affordable, basilico, big groups, buffet dinner, buffets, cakes, cheese, desserts, italian, may return, regent hotel, special occasion · Posted by SiHaN at 7/15/2015 10:20:00 am
Viaggio Italiano at Basilico reaches its halfway mark after Executive Chef Angelo Ciccone took diners on a culinary tour of Sicily and Sardinia. Now from the 1st July to 30th Sep 2015, Basilico explores the flavors of South Italy which counts for a great part of the history of Italian cuisine and continues in the last leg of the Italian epicurean journey showcasing dishes from North Italy from 1st Oct to 31st Dec' 2015.
Exclusive to the dinner seating, the Basilico's Basilissimo dinner menu comprises of an antipasti and dessert buffet that is tagged along with ala-carte main course options. Needless to say, the antipasti spread was rad, and the same can be lamented of the interior design of the establishment. Beautifully cool marbled counter tops and opulent lamp shades casting muted lighting across the luxurious space. What lavish interiors. It just oozes money. And, it is in this space that, you know that your stomach is in capable hands.
So at this point, taking a stroll around the buffet line is a no-brainer; make a beeline for the delectable assortment of cheeses (smoked mozzarella, I repeat, smoked mozzarella) and attempt at making clever pairings with the condiments on the side to enhance your dining experience. hint: Pecorino Romano and truffled honey jam, you might want to grab a bigger plate there...
Sincer what you're really here for is the lowdown on the mains, which is evidently the more volatile portion of the dinner. Here's my verdict.
Jumping the gun, the star amongst the 4 dishes was the Garlic Orecchiette Pasta with Anchovies, chilli sauce and tiger prawns. The sea urchin perched so daintily at the edge of that black brush stroke contains a creamy mixture of sweet flesh and other spices and herbs. The grilled prawns imbued with a smoky char reminiscent of roof top barbecues by the seaside towns of South Italy. A major joy to dig into, in a linear fashion of course (pardon me, I love to compartmentalise my food).
Sidetracking a little, if you aren't here for the Basilissimo dinner and have access to the hot stations, you might want to get a hold of the roasted pork belly. All hail that pork crackling resting over fork tender flesh that makes one toss all resolutions out of the window in favour of this sinful treat.
Too good to pass up.
Moving on, the uber-fash 12hr Slow Braised Beef Sirloin Roll was a well-balanced work of art with beef sirloin stuffed with Pecorino Pugliese cheese and braised in a tangy tomato and red wine sauce. The amalgamation of flavors on the palate may be a tad hard to comprehend, but to be honest, the mind of a talented chef wills from being completely demystified. Throw all caution to the wind, including the nagging impression that the protein is overcooked (cause it's probably meant to be that way) and revel in the brilliant pairing with dried fava bean puree and heirloom carrots.
The next two dishes didn't quite speak my language and obviously barriers were a little hard to breach. The 'Milanese style' saffron risotto with Braised Beef Shank Ossobucco, Gremolada Oil and Bone Marrow Gratin; translated into something all a little too rich and overbearing for me to accept. The risotto, despite possessing plenty of shining qualities did not sit well with its equally snobbish neighbours.
Last but not least, the Dry Salted Cod Fillet 'Vicentina Style' served on a bed of soft herbed polenta, roasted beetroot and turnip falls into the fail zone with the fish possessing an overcooked integrity despite it's suggested style of being slow cooked in milk flavoured with soffritto.
If all else fails, there is always desserts. And nobody explores the world of the sweets better than the Italians do ~ Extend your epicurean journey with a quick trip to the dessert table where you will get to savour classic pastries, cakes and desserts featuring the famed Bronte pistachio, Amarena cherries and experience chocolate overload only with the best kind of chocolate there is - Amedei Chocolate. I kid you not, if there was food for the Gods, this would be it.
Note that the Basilissimo dinner is priced at $88++ and if you're down for just the option of stimulating possible diabetes than the dessert buffet is also available at $24++. Affordable if you ask me since my gut has a boundless capacity for cheese and desserts.
Regent Hotel Singapore
1 Cuscaden Road
t: 6725 3232
Mon - Sat: 6 30am - 10 30am; 12pm - 2 30pm; 6 30pm - 10 pm
Sun: 7am - 10 30pm; 12pm - 3pm; 6 30pm - 10pm