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Basilico @ The Regent Hotel

basilico

The first time I went to Basilico, I was already blown away for a return. And return I did, a good 3 years later - so much for wanting to return. Italian buffets are not huge in Singapore, it could be a carb overload that scares people.

buffet table

This is considered a semi buffet with freeflow of appetizers and dessert and a choice of one main course. The amount of food put forth on the table is too much to handle, much less head for seconds. Think Italy and all I think of is pizza and pasta. Shame on me then that cheese, ham and gelato is part of their iconic repertoire. Authentic or not, I am not aware but Basilico has more up its sleeves that I thought. Sicilian cuisine it specialises in and bless the managers, waiters and even chefs for being so warm throughout the dinner.


raw fish

Raw fish heaven.

crackers

Even crackers have such variety.

cheese

Holymilk...cheeses!

gelato

Gelato must haves.

bread

They could do away with the bread sticks because of the amazing array of breads on display. These sticks were chewy and dense like a baguette rolled into stick form. Paired with the olive pate, heaven on earth kind of bliss.

breas

I wish I had enough space to accomodate every crumb at the bread section - the variety is enough for me to go "I want one of every single piece". At that moment, I felt a compelling need for a metabolism of a 12 year old.  The one that stole the show was the squid ink bread, one created by an Italian living in Singapore. He claims, only found here and nowhere else. Squid ink twisted with normal bread and stuffed with sundried tomatoes and anchovies. Can I say hallelujah already? That sounds like one complete meal in one loaf.

lobster

Seafood that for once I can never get enough. The usual shellfish soaked in brine, bland crab legs and prawns are so passe, Basilico shows what is real seafood - and they are freakinghell kind of addictive. Pardon the expletives but truly, it was a cut so above the rest.

raw fish

Swordfish, cod, marinated salmon and even down to the lobster legs - freshness was already a given and the flavours were bursts of surprises.

salad

A D-I-Y Salad corner that came with as many greens and condiments as I could have imagined in the vegetable garden of Rapunzel. 

cheeses

Cheeses stood out on its own, there was an entire section of milk cheeses (I could be so wrong on this but it belonged to the goat's milk in white chunks) and another dedicated to gourmet cheeses. Pairing the milk cheeses were varieties of tomatoes flown in from Italy. I am already spoilt to death here. With minor tweaks in amount of milk, they tasted different but not in the huge way. Nonetheless, I was pleased as punch. I can never fault gourmet cheeses, the main grouse then is having too little space for these.


chef

Chef Angelo Ciccone and the beautiful tomato!

cheeses

And there was more cheese. 

has

Hams were just decadent. No particular favourite but these made parma ham seem pedestrian.

dips

Delicious dips with vegetables. 

compliments

Compliments from the chef - four cheese pizza with a smattering of delicious ingredients in what tasted like pita bread or well, pizza. Amazing stuff, I say.

By the time the mains made their timely arrival, I was already full.

pasta

Toasted "Fregola" Pasta with Datterino Tomatoes, Asparagus, White Clams and Sea Urchin

I was sold on sea urchin though it was hardly visible. Woe to me for not clarifying what fregola pasta is because I was half expecting it to be in anything close in semblance to linguine or even penne. However, this was delicious, in a fantabulous way. Clams were well done, tomatoes and aspargus combined made a lipsmacking tangy kind of sauce for the pasta.

lamb

Stewed Lamb with Grated Caciovallo and Pecorino Cheese 

A stunning one too, stewed to fall off the bone texture but it was still firm with every bite. I loved how the flavours were locked in without being overcooked nor mushy.

cannoli

Saving space for dessert has become compulsory, more so for their dessert table. Fair enough that it does not last for half a kilometre of underwhelming desserts - but at least most of what I tried was spot on. They were proud creations from the chef infact. From traditional favourites like cannolis speckled with pistachios and having one end stuffed with a preserved cherry to in my opinion a stunning lemon tart to finally their gelatos.

creme caramel

A vanilla pudding with a thicker consistency than creme brulee.

icecream

I never had a pistachio gelato so raw, it was like frozen pistachio in liquid form.

Arguably the best Italian buffet around, and one of the best on the island for buffet. Satisfyingly full and pleased as punch. This has to be a buffet worth every cent, spells "I cannot wait to be back".

Basilico
The Regent

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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