I simply cannot contain my excitement when I first saw the huge counter with a wide array of Italian cheeses laying in front of my eyes at the newly renovated Basilico.
Apart from a new outlook, the new revamped menu will also see Basilico taking a more holistic approach to Italian cuisine, bringing Italy’s various regional cooking methods, and rotating seasonal produces for the year 2016, starting from the Apennine Mountain, to the Adriatic Sea to the Meditteranean Sea and finally ending at the Alps, a symbolic pinnacle.
Cheese lovers are in for a treat, and I counted at least 10 different ones on my night there, ranging from the Grana Padano from Emiglia to the Pecorino Romano from Toscana and Piedmonte’s Raschera. And not to mention you have at least a dozen variety of olive oil and cut meat to match.
Apart from the ubiquitous Parmas and Prosciuttos found in other Italian restaurants, the more uncommon Soppressata and Bresaola are also found here. These “new” meats are bound to simulate your senses, particularly for first timers.
In short, it is easy to get distracted. If you are a fan of Italian cuisine/ produces, this is like Charlie’s first trip into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory or when Hansel & Gretel discovered the Gingerbread Candy Cottage.
For a mere $88, diners get a three course Semi Buffet Set Menu, but I would prefer a top up option of $35 for two glasses of Italian wine.
I had the Squid Ink Burrata with Smoked Salmon and Caviar as an Antipasti from the Semi Buffet Set Menu. Three of my favorite things, all on one plate, with more than five flavour profiles to intrigue the palette. Throw in the Greco di Tufo, Feudi di San Gregorio 2012 white Vino (a mass market but reliable Italian wine), and I was already on Cloud 9. Mind you, this is just the starters.
The Beetroot Gnocchi with Boston Lobster and Asparagus Cream was fancy, done good but standard fare, as was the Grilled Seabass and Octopus with Crispy Squid Ink Risotto Cake.
Desserts proved to be more convincing, especially when you know they do not scrimp on their ingredients, judging from the spread and only the Tuscany Pontederan brand Amedei was used for their chocolate pastries. Undisputedly the creme de la creme of chocolates, Amedei’s Porcelana is considered the most prized chocolate, and supply is limited to only a lucky few. While you would not find traces of Porcelana here, ceteris paribus the same domain from lower grade Amedeis can often cost a few times more than its generic counterparts because of its superior quality.
The other classic Italian dolces like the Bignes, Sorbets, Gelatos and Pistachio Cake were flawless. I also had the most pleasant Cinnamon Pumpkin Pie here, which remains unrivaled till this day.
Basilico 2016 “I Mari e le Montagne” Calendar
January to March: Apennine Mountain
April to June: Adriatic Sea
July to September: Mediterranean Sea
The above article is written by Guest Writer @ramenking2016. You can find him on instagram where he shares his love for food and travel.