Reviews of a Gourmet Snob: Il Lido, Sentosa Golf Club

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jpatokal
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Reviews of a Gourmet Snob: Il Lido, Sentosa Golf Club

Post by jpatokal » Sat, 07 Oct 2006 7:17 pm

So a friend took me out to dinner yesterday at Singapore's latest "in" restaurant, Il Lido at Sentosa Golf Club. It's a modern, hip, Italian place, not unlike San Marco at the Lighthouse (Fullerton), just much larger because it is, after all, in a big clubhouse built for people with too much money and a need to show off. On this Friday night the restaurant was basically full, although the bar-lounge bolted on the side (complete with live DJ) was near-empty even after the meal.

We originally wanted to book a table at the outside terrace, which is supposed to have great views of the Straits, but it was full, and in the end being inside was a good thing because it was seriously hazy outside. Even the taxi ride there felt like the set of a horror movie, headlamps lighting up wisps of fog drifting among the dark trees.

Three set menus were offered ($90, $150, $250 per person), but we opted for à la carte, which had half a dozen options for each course. (Names below are from memory, not exact.)

Antipasto

Shared a plate of "classic antipasti". Parma ham and melon was excellent, pecorino tasted like the cheese it is, olives were straight out of a can, frittata (=omelette) was cold and dense, vegetables in oil were oily and (Italian?!) smoked salmon was just incomprehensible. All in all, an uninspiring start.

Primo piatti

Hers: Spaghetti with sea urchin and chili. This was excellent, the salty, fishy taste of the urchin playing off perfectly with the spiciness of the chili. Probably the best dish all night.

His: Gnocchetti with cream sauce of broccoli and cherry tomatoes. The gnocchi were limp and the broccoli totally overrode any other flavor in the sauce. Disappointing.

Secondi piatti

Hers: Lamb with red wine sauce. Extremely meaty portion, there was almost nothing except grilled chunks of sheep, some well-done, some almost too raw. Disappointing.

His: Sea bass with porcini and scampi. The fish was truly excellent, cooked to perfection, and the creamy porcini sauce slathered on the side was so tasty I'm drooling just thinking about it now. The only odd note was the solitary scampi, which was served whole and unshelled, perching atop the fish -- peeling it by hand was a bit of a pain and what was inside tasted like, well, salty crayfish.

Dolce

Shared a portion of vanilla creme brulee with fresh berries. It came with a crispy glazed crust like a good creme brulee should, but was cold and generically creamy inside. Fresh raspberries, tasteless American blueberries and tart redcurrants (mm!) complemented it nicely though.

Drinks

Hers: A glass of Sangiovese di Montepulciano (I think?). Heavy but strong enough to stand up to the lamb. She liked it, I didn't.

His: A glass of Masi Pinot Grigio. Quite crisp, light and tasty.

For dessert, two espressos, smooth and strong like they should be.

Overall

The bill for two came to $250, steep by any measure, and for the price the food was a little mediocre and uneven. If I had ordered the sea urchin spaghetti and sea bass I would have been very happy; if I had ordered the gnochetti and lamb I would have been very disappointed. The sea urchin I'll probably try to cook on my own someday, but for me Halia's crown as the champion of fine dining in Sing still remains unchallenged.
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