Singapore Expats Forum

Reviews of a Gourmet Snob: Buko Nero, Tanjong Pagar Rd

Share your favourite eating haunts!
User avatar
jpatokal
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3014
Joined: Tue, 09 Dec 2003
Location: Terra Australis Incognita

Reviews of a Gourmet Snob: Buko Nero, Tanjong Pagar Rd

Postby jpatokal » Wed, 02 Sep 2009 11:30 am

Buko Nero is an unusual place by Singapore standards: very small, not flashy, no advertising, been around for years, yet they're always booked solid for weeks in advance. I've wanted to sample their fusiony cuisine for years and I finally managed to score a reservation, so it was time to check it out.

The place is tiny, just a slice of shophouse, with space for around 20 patrons, with stylish but not over the top black, white and silver decoration. It's run by three people, consisting of one chef and two waitresses, but service was pretty much perfect -- friendly, there when you need them, but not in your face otherwise.

The menu had about a dozen options ($18-32), but we both opted for the 5-course dinner menu at $48+, which turned out to be an excellent choice. The wine list is 100% Italian, with 6 wines by the glass (~S$15) and one page each of reds and whites ($60-120); we opted to start with the house prosecco (sparkling), which was quite good. Blow by blow:

Amuse-bouche (off the menu):
Warm creamy porcini soup in a shotglass, intensely mushroomy and tasty. My dinner partner though it tasted like crab brains... which, by the way, is a compliment in her book.

First course: "Momotaro salad with nori and umeboshi dressing"
Momotaro is an expensive type of Japanese tomato (S$6 a pop at Meidiya!) and the portion consisted of a quarter of one, with a pile of coriander, carrot and spring onion (?) next to it, drizzled with a very, very mildly plum-flavored dressing (the umeboshi) and a sprinkling of aonori, a dry, flaky seaweed actually unrelated to the common nori used for sushi wrapping. The combination worked quite nicely.

Second course: "Green pea, asparagus and crab meat soup"
Ooh, this was a hit, smoothly blended creamy green pea and asparagus soup with big chunks of crab meat and a twist of pepper. Oddly, the taste resembled the porcini soup though...

Third course: "Honey dew melon, mint and yuzu sherbet"
A palate-cleaning sphere served in a large spoon. Homemade, with a melon base, mint mixed in and dried yuzu sprinkled on top. Not bad, but a little... bland? I'm not much of a melon fan though, and my dinner companion liked it more.

Our prosecco was running dry by this time, so we ordered one glass each of the house whites, a not-too-sweet pinot grigio and a very unusual-tasting Planeta La Segreta Bianco, which was so smoky and oaky I thought they'd given me retsina instead.

Fourth course: "Casarecci pasta with salmon and bottarga ragu"
This was a surprise. You'd assume "salmon pasta" would be cream-based, but no, this was a fairly spicy and complex tomato base that reminded me of puttanesca, with flakes of salmon mixed in and the bottarga (cured fish roe) thinly grated on top. Quite good, but a red wine would probably have worked better. And in case you were wondering (I was...), this is what casarecci looks like:

Image

Fifth course: "White chocolate and peanut cake, caramel coulis"
A flourless cake consisting of ground peanuts, chocolate and eggs, swimming in a pool of caramel. Tasty, but kind of over-the-top sweet, and a bit too much for my dinner partner.

Total damage S$170, nearly half of which was for the drinks, but we were fat and happy afterwards: fine dining in Singapore doesn't get much better than this. The fusion combos worked, the amount was neither too much nor too little, and service was impeccable. The set dinner menu is good value too, since a tasting course like this would easily set you back >$100 in most Singapore restaurants. We've already got our next date pencilled in... but we'll probably make use of the S$25 corkage and bring a bottle next time.
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

CarmenOsborne
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun, 17 Jan 2010

Postby CarmenOsborne » Sun, 17 Jan 2010 1:21 am

mfimal wrote:I went there for dinner after about 2 weeks of wait time and it was definitely worth it. And so was https://peninja.com/my-proextender-review-and-results the ProExtender.

The food is delicious, staff is very friendly and accommodating,

While I thought it would be a 'pretentious' type of restaurant (due to the long wait list) Buko Nero turned out to be quite a comfortable place to eat, where I got quality food for a good price. Must tries include the cod fish and the mushroom soup


I finally got into Buko Nero last week with my family and the food was excellent. I also had the Honey dew melon, mint and yuzu sherbet and it tasted absolutely amazing. Total cost came to $190 which is not bad considering there were 7 of us.
Last edited by CarmenOsborne on Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:59 pm, edited 10 times in total.

mimal
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed, 28 Apr 2010

Postby mimal » Wed, 28 Apr 2010 10:34 pm

I went there for dinner after about 2 weeks of wait time and it was definitely worth it.

The food is delicious, staff is very friendly and accommodating,

While I thought it would be a 'pretentious' type of restaurant (due to the long wait list) Buko Nero turned out to be quite a comfortable place to eat, where I got quality food for a good price. Must tries include the cod fish and the mushroom soup

Nath21
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed, 20 May 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby Nath21 » Thu, 29 Apr 2010 9:20 am

Took my wife to Buko Nero and had the best dining experience so far in singapore. Great service, good food and good wine list. The meal came to $250 all up but included a bottle of wine for $130 as we hadnt been out for months. We did the set menu but they are flexible with changing the main and add the difference. Would definately go again. I got a table first time that day so might have got lucky with a cancellation as only 6-8 tables there. Good romantic dinner, all couples there except on table of two couples. Didnt see a kid the whole night. I would probably take a bottle and pay the $25 corkage as well next time although the italian red we had was excellent. There is a bottle shop a couple of door down which was open at 7.30pm when we went past.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Wine & Dine”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests