Monday, July 4, 2011

Basilico - Lunch Buffet

After coming back from our trip, Basilico was the first restaurant we have visited to celebrate my sister’s birthday and before going further, we would like to give a big thumbs-up to the service and complementary cake the hotel has given us to make this celebration memorable.

Basilico @ The Regent, Singapore

Saturday lunches attract a huge crowd to this contemporary Italian restaurant in The Regent Singapore Hotel and one quick glance of the buffet area transports their diners to Italy. The spread offers is amazing and having just visited Italy barely a month apart, this indeed reminds us of what we had during our trip.

It is nice to explore the restaurant for the unique and distinct furnishing of each section. A circular room that fans out into various sections, catering to crowds of different sizes, each of the section is distinctive in its own manner. While the Espresso Bar is cosy with glowing floor lamps and a traditional bar; the private rooms give complete privacy adopting a walk-in wine cellar concept; not forgetting the main area that overlooks the poolside, an alfresco-like dining in the comfort of air-conditioning.

Upon entering the restaurant, one will be welcomed with a centre round buffet table featuring mostly regional Italian antipasto, appetizers and greens.

Chef Macro
Sous Chef Macro with the Parma Ham slicer

One of our favourites for this buffet lunch is the freshly shaved Parma Ham. Be it having it on its own or with Rock Melon, these thinly shaved hams are so tender without being overly salty.


Apart from the signature Parma Ham, the antipasto station also serves a selection of cured meat which includes Salami Calabrese, Cooked Ham and Mortadella (Pork).

This section also includes a wide selection of bread, which includes Lavosh, Grissini, Foccacia, Ciabatta and Lilicchio Bread. Among all the bread, Ciccio caught our attention for this “naan-looking” bread which has tomatoes and herbs toppings, making it tastier than the pizzas served in the buffet. The soft dough is slightly chewy and soft with a slight tang of the tomato puree.

Unlike most hotel buffets which serve fresh seafood, oysters and sashimi, this is distinctively themed Italian and Roman. Hence, one can expect an array of Treccia, Pomodor Sardo, Ricotta, Pomodoro San Marzano, Tomino and Mozarella, which remind us of the appetizers we had in Rome.

The selection of salads is also extensive, ranging from Octopus Salad, Anchovies Salad, Prawn Salad, Artichoke Salad, Asparagus Salad, Barley Salad, Mussels Salad and Zucchini Salad, not forgetting the Duck Carpaccio and Smoked Salmon.

Although the full buffet is not available during dinners, the antipasto and desserts stations are still available. Main courses, on the other hand, are ordered a-la-carte.

Cheese & Honey

The cheese station, described by Chef Macro, can be either appetizers or pre-desserts. According to chef, it is recommended to enjoy a young cheese (e.g. Robbiola Di Bufala) with a strong honey such as Chili Honey or Truffle Honey. These honeys are made in-house and the reason for eating cheese with honey before dessert is to prepare the palette to receive sweets so as to make the desserts more tasteful. A wide selection of cheeses including Pecorino, Gorgonzola, Asiago, Puzzone, etc.

Olive oil with Duck Rillette and Pork & Mushrrom Terrine

Tuscany in Central Italy is one place with lots of olive tree plantations and often the Italians do not eat their bread with butter but instead with olive oil. Hence, one can expect a decent selection of olive oil, not only to accompany the bread but also the grilled meats.

Salmon with Fennel

This part of the buffet line will feature Asian food on weekdays and Italian food on weekends. On the day of our visit, the Roasted Cod with Pizzaiola Sauce is a worth a mention. Apart from the fish being extremely fresh and succulent, the accompany sauce is light and tangy (made of olive oil, chopped onions and garlic, tomatoes and herbs). Apart from that, the juicy Wagyu Beef Balls and Chicken alla Cacciatora are worth a mention.

Open Kitchen featuring carvings, grills, pastas and pizzas

The main highlight of the buffet features an open kitchen with the chefs preparing the grill, pasta and pizzas constantly, making sure that the food is served warm but yet not too long under the warming lamps.

Sole Fish with garlic, herbs & olive oil

Seafood and fish dishes have always been prominent in Mediterranean cuisine. Therefore it is not surprisingly when Chef Macro proudly presents the Sole Fish cooked with the classic combination of olive oil, garlic, herbs and tomatoes.

Grilled Snapper, Pork Rib and Salmon (from front)

The grills is one of the main highlights. In general, the Snapper, Pork Rib, Salmon and Beef are nicely done with just the right amount of herbs and salt. Since this is eaten on its own without any sauce, the natural sweetness of the meat can be felt in every bite.


Although the pizzas are made at regular intervals, this falls short of expectation, for the other stations are just too outstanding. The dough is too thick and the toppings weren’t generous enough.

On the other hand, the lasagna is worth a mention for the sheets are cooked just right with sufficient meat sauce. In short, the balance between the lasagne sheets and sauce is optimum.

Chocolate Salami and other pastries by Pastry Chef Phillip

My visit to the Tea Lounge's high tea buffet is just in April, hence, I was quite surprised by the desserts available for this buffet. Prepared by the hotel’s Pastry Chef Phillip, this is completely different from I have came across in the high tea buffet. Unlike the regular favourites of fondue, cookies and mousse, the desserts served here seems to be distinctively Italian.

For instance, Chocolate salami is said to be an old dessert from Southern Italy. This is basically chocolate and biscuits shaped and looked like salami. Although the chocolate has a sugary after-texture, this is very close to eating a unsweetened chocolate crisp.

Talking Italian, how can one miss out Gelato, the Sicilian Cannoli rolls filled with Ricotta, the Meringue-based Strawberry Pavlova and the Florentine Chocolate Zuccoto. Indeed an eye-opening display of desserts.


Sfogliatelle, is a must-try in our opinion. Not only is this pastry painstaking to make but each pastry sheet is so thin and puffy. According to the waiter that served us, these shell-shaped filled pastries are native to Italian cuisine and was created in the 17th century.

This may not be a buffet that may appeal to regular buffet goers, particularly for those who are into seafood and sashimi but is a good Italian buffet to experience the style of cooking and some of the interesting way of eating cheese (with honey) and parma ham (with rock melon). In addition, the antipasti, home-made pasta, rotisserie meats, wood-fired oven pizzas and Italian desserts are pretty extensive and having dine in a restaurant with different dining ambience, one can imagine the experience awaits is quite an eye-opener.

Before signing off, we would like to thank Mr. Anshul Kaul, Director of Food and Beverage for granting us a photography opportunity of Basilico's Saturday Buffet Lunch and Sous Chef Macro for his warm hospitality and time to introduce us to some of the dishes in this lunch buffet.

Buffet Lunch
$39++(A), $22++(C) per person (Mon to Fri)

$42++(A), $28++(C) per person (Sat)
$48++(A), $28++(C) per person (Sat, non-alcoholic)
$88++(A) per person (Sat, alcoholic)

$69++(A), $35++(C) per person (Sun)
$139++(A) per person (Sun, champagne)

Lunch is available from Noon to 2:30pm from Mon to Sat and from Noon to 3pm on Sundays.

The Regent Singapore - A Four Seasons Hotel
One Cuscaden Road
Singapore 249715
Tel: 6725 3232


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