Basilico @ The Regent : Taste of Mountains and the Seas

From the very first bite--a Squid ink Burrata with Smoked Salmon and Caviar to the final mouthful--invariably an epiphany burst of chestnut honey cream in a petit choux shell--dinner at Basilico unfolds with a series of unorthodoxies and witticisms. Whether it's my first or Nth visit, there is always pleasant surprises that keeps me wondering what will be coming up next. 
Wine-drunken cheese
This is not char siew. It is Beetroot Cheese
If I didn't had the menu next to me, I think I would not have touched the odd looking Orange cocoon-shaped stuff on this plate. I'm glad I avoided such a grave mistake as this was such a tasty plate of hand-kneaded Beetroot gnocchi with Boston Lobster. The gnocchi was soft, chewy and pretty cheesy, paired off with a discreet asparagus cream that smoothened the robust flavors. This is one of the new dishes on the seasonal-rotating menu of "Mari e Monti", a year-long series produced by Executive Sous Chef Angelo Ciccone and Basilico Head Chef Luca Beccalli that draws inspiration from the mountains and seas of the Italy. 
A dinner here theoretically goes by 3 courses of antipasti, ala carte main course and dessert but realistically speaking, it's probably 10 courses or more since it is in the style of buffet for antipasti and desserts. 
One of the highlights that evening was the Squid Ink Risotto that would be available for the first quarter (25 Jan-3 April) which focuses on region specialties from the Appenini Mountains in Central Italy. Though the shallot sauce seemed detached from the rice, the risotto wore fine flavors of the sea and the exceptionally tender cuttlefish exuded a lovely smokiness. 

Also from the same region is the Roasted Pigeon with Seasonal Baked Vegetables while the Grilled Sea Bass and Octopus will only be rolled out in the next quarter when the focus shifts to ingredients from Adriatic Sea, the East Coast of the Italian Peninsula. I prefer the fish to the wild poultry as the former achieved a better balance on flavors and textures.

That dish was brightened by the Spicy Datterni Tomato sauce and roasted green olives, with a tasty crispy squid ink risotto cake. There might be plenty of elements here but the cooking was underpinned by an almost luminous depth of flavor. 
To conclude, we had the crispy Chestnut Honey Bigne, which was just as sweetly satisfying as the Almond Tartlet with Cherry Compote and Lemon Meringue. In fact, I was not aware that the golden cream puff had been deep-fried until after the meal. That was really heavenly. Of course, there is still PLENTY of other quality desserts to indulge free-flow as long as your stomach space permits. 

It is always so fascinating to see that the chefs are always thinking out of the box to create something new and exciting for diners. Yet, everything carried out so smoothly without compromising on quality. This is perhaps one of the reasons why Basilico has constantly been recognized as one of the best Italian restaurants in Singapore that promotes Italian lifestyle and culture and food. 

Now I'm sure you know where to head for quality Italian food.

Regent Singapore, 2F
1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249714
Lunch 12pm-2.30pm (Mon-Sat) / 12pm-3pm (Sunday)
Dinner 6.30pm to 10pm 
Priced at $88++ per person
Tel: +65 6725 3232/3
For email reservations: