Monday, June 11, 2012

Basilico: Best Italian Sunday Brunch Buffet in Singapore!

Disclaimer: I'm saying its the best Italian Sunday brunch, so if you're not into Italian cuisine, don't try this! Also I think there isn't a huge variety but there's quality in what they serve.

The boy and I were having a headache thinking of where to go for Sunday brunch the past Sunday and then suddenly Basilico popped into his mind and we got soooo excited about it!!! I've been to Basilico w the boy two years ago and last year with my bestfriend and this time, I'm back w the boy again! 

We were very sure we'd get good service and most importantly, good quality food. Instead, we got all that and more. This was truly a mindblowing experience in terms of service!! I was extremely wowed by the wonderful service the team at Basilico gave us and the other guests (lest you think we had some special treatment). I know they were as nice 'cos I observed them doing the same for the oth guests around too :)

My previous post on Basilico can be found here. Essentially, there are a few items at the core of Basilico's Sunday Brunch spread but some mains and appetisers do change as well as the desserts!! Most desserts change actually :) Also, compared to the previous two years, Basilico has made some improvements to their already stellar buffet :)

Cold seafood: Prawns, king crab and crayfish (I know you cant really see the crayfish but its at the most right of the pic!)

I really like how the king crab is alr cut up so its so much easier for you to scoop out the yummy flesh :)

Cold seafood: scallops, lobster, mussels

Change #1: There's more cold seafood on offer now! *meaning more value for money hehe* Used to be just king crab and lobsters if I'm not wrong :)

All the cold seafood on offer!!

Scallop: slightly sweet
King Crab: slightly sweet too
Lobster: this was quite a letdown 'cos the meat felt like it was still in the process of defrosting so it was a tad hard and chewy :/
Prawn: take the big ones!! Juicy and crunchy and sweet
Crayfish: not bad! Slightly sweet too

This was some ricotta cheese that's quite old I think! It had a sign telling us abt its "heritage" haha and I really liked it! This was w the appetisers!


Mainly burrata cheese variations! And omg I LOVE LOVE LOVE their tomato variety!!!! They have so many different types!! Green, pink, black/reddish etc and they taste super sweet and nice!!! Kept eating their tomatoes hehe.

Change #2: More tomatoes and cheese options!

Parma ham to the left and different types of ham!

There's also rock melon to go w the yummyyyyy parma ham as seen below. This one's not too salty and goes absolutely well with the rock melon!

Appetisers: Grilled asparagus, grilled zucchini, smoked duck, smoked salmon, artichoke salad

Of these, I tried what was on the plate, ie asparagus, zucchini and artichoke and loved all for their crunchy flavour. The grilling taste was the strongest in the zucchini! Love the asparagus for its crunchy, juicy and slightly sweet taste!

Change #3: what you see below is now found in the hidden-foie-gras-room (ie where they used to prepare the foie gras for you)! I asked the chef and he said it was cos it got too smokey inside the room when they cooked too many foie gras so they moved it out! Now they have pizzas, bread, cheese (this has been there all along) and a truffle risotto station! :)

The nice friendly chef at the risotto station sliced the pizza for us :)

Bread selection! 
Squid ink bread, assorted focaccias! 

Cheese lover's heaven!

Truffle risotto

This was aromatic and delicious! The rice wasnt too mushy and it doesnt give you the jialat feeling aft eating it! Kudos to friendlyoungchef! :)

Squid ink bread: salty!!!!!! The boy could taste the squid ink but I could only faintly taste it! It was good though, I'd say I like this better than TiongBahruBakery's! The white part at the bottom is salty too!!

Pizza: this one wasnt that nice cos it was cold already!

The very kind Mr Luit gave us complimentary glass of champagne each :) Thank you for your kind hospitality! More about him later! Now onto the mains!

Pasta selection: Beef lasagna, spaghetti with diff toppings etc

Squid ink pizza!  They had others like margherita pizza, focaccia with truffle and mascarpone and another pizza but I forgot what it was! :X

Ratatouille, sauteed mushrooms, potatoes, grilled mix veg

THE MUSHROOMS ARE TO DIE FOR. Totally breakfast worthy and if you're a mushroom fan, pls try it! I had numerous servings!!!! Juicy and flavourful, crunchy but a little soft, TOTALLY missing it now!! I love a good mushroom side :) The ratatouille is good too! 

Baked sole fish

This was not bad! Soft flesh!

Grilled beef, grilled lamb

Sorry I forgot what the one on the most left is but it was changed to grilled chicken later on! And next to this they had the Wagyu rump and Roasted pork!

Roasted pork: This was heaven to the boy 'cos the skin was SODARN CRISPY!!! I could hear the loud crisp whenever he bit into it zomg. He was smiling with each bite! The soft juicy meat went perfectly well with the crispy skin. He was amazed at how they made it so crispy!

Change #2a: The foie gras station is now beside the grills you see on top!


I've been to quite a few places serving foie gras during their Sunday brunch like Melt, The Dining Room, Oscar's, Triple 3, but to me, Basilico serves the BEST foie gras amongst all! Why?

#1: Theirs is of a respectable size (places like Melt, Triple 3 are uh sadly quite small)
#2: Theirs is the most flavourful and most melt in your mouth but still a little crispy kinda texture!!!

I like how theirs is simple, just balsamic to help balance the oilyness with the sour twang of it so that I can enjoy the foie gras in its own glory. I believe the dash of salt and pepper before pan-frying it is part of the reason why 'cos Dining Room doesnt do it and it realy doenst taste as good!

Theirs is wonderful and I had uh, let's just keep it a secret 'cos I had well a little too many :)

Squid ink pizza, grilled snapper, grilled lamb, ratatouille and mushrooms

Squid ink pizza was quite good! It had smoked salmon and caviar on top of the slightly salty crust!

Snapper was quite dry.

The lamb, omg the lamb. Since two years ago I've remembered the awesome lamb I ate here and till this day, ITS STILL AS GOOD!!! Lamb haters, dont worry, this does not have the smelly lamb taste, instead there's a slight smokiness from the grilling, a little soft 'cos of the v thin layer of fat, the chewiness from meat itself and the fragrance cos of the seasoning and its own yummy juice :) This is one helluva lamb rack! On par w restaurants outside or even better!!! Look at it below:

Seafood stew

This was slightly spicy!! Provided a nice contrast to the food I've had so far as I think this was the only spicy dish! It was a little sour too cos its tomato based! Quite nice!

Lobster bisque!

This was better than the one we had last year somehow haha and the boy said this would be a damn good broth for hae mee aka prawn mee haha.

These dishes can be found at the middle part of the buffet which also had: salmon with fennel, italian sausages, meatballs and oth dishes

Salmon w fennel was okay, a little dry though. There was another fish there which was quite okay only, nothing exceptional.

Change #3: More desserts!!!! As seen on that huge plate up there! That's the almond pear cake.

Mango tart, choc fudge cake

Plum tart, pastry w cream filling, background: mousse cake!

Pavlova and some doughnut thing I think!

Towards the left there were small shooters of chocolate, sabayon, strawberry cream and sth else.

Vanilla gelato!

Basilico makes their own gelato and flavours that day included: orange sorbet, pistachio, espresso, nougat, vanilla and strawberry!

Orange sorbet tasted quite sweet to me, didnt like it! Nougat tasted a little artificial but the boy liked it haha. They have a smaller scoop so you can ask for that if you wanna try out the flavours first!

Pear almond cake, mango tart, plum tart, choc fudge cake, lemon macaron

Pear almond: This was good and something different! It was crunchy cos of the nuts on the frosting and it was more grainy than usual (the cake) but went v well w the poached pear!

Mango tart: this one has a diff base compared to the plum tart. This one was quite thick but surprisingly it doesnt make it annoying to eat! This one, though thick, was still quite crispy and went v well with the creme and sweet mango!

Plum tart: LOVED THIS! I ate like 5 or 6 pieces of this cos the crust was just so crispy and buttery and yummy and the plum provided just enough sweetness :) it's really an evil little thing haha cos I suspect I can eat the whole lot!

Choc fudge was a tad dry for me but tasted sth like a commercial choc cake I've eaten before

Lemon mac was quite good tho I took the last one and they didnt replenish :(

Some cheese, plum tart, berry cobbler

The cheeses were good!! Mr Vincent kindly recommended me some cheeses to try :) Thank you so much for your help!! They were great! The berry cobbler was okay, plum tart was great! The cobbler was found at the ice cream counter along w the macaron, assorted toppings for ice cream, choc madeleines!

Now onto the exceptional service that I feel is one of the best, if not THE best service in Singapore considering its a buffet restaurant!!

I'd like to commend two people!

Firstly, Mr Luit! He was very friendly throughout our meal, constantly checking we were okay and that lunch was good. He made us feel very welcomed at Basilico :)

Secondly, Mr Vincent!! He was extremely helpful, helping me with my plates when I had too many to hold, pulling out the chairs for us when he saw us walking back to our seats and he happened to be nearby and giving us cutlery when he noticed we needed extra ones or that we were missing a spoon 'cos we took something soupy. He really provided us and the other guests exceptional service :) Even though he was wearing a suit, he didnt mind taking this mop-like thing (though the end was like a cloth kinda thing) to wipe the aircon vents cos there were some water droplets there. 

Thirdly, the rest of the staff on duty! They were very helpful too and I like that they gave us new cutlery when they knew we were having desserts next and then later when we had some more mains, they gave us the cutlery for our mains as well. It was kinda like magic the first time 'cos we went to get desserts and when we were back, there was new cutlery on our table and they gave us a small spoon for our ice cream! We were kinda surprised 'cos usually you'd have to ask or take new ones yourself but here, they think of everything :) Then after few rounds of dessert, I wanted more mains so I walked over and when I came back, there was fork and knife for me to eat my mains! :) Wonderful!

 I must really applaud them for giving such exceptional service, especially at a buffet :) Smiles were never missing too, making my afternoon a wonderful, enjoyable and memorable one.

The best friend also told me she thinks this is the BEST BUFFET in Singapore and I'd have to concur! The quality of the food, the ambience (depending on where you sit) and especially the buffet makes this worthy of that title. Now if only there were oysters... hahaha ok just kidding. But do note that this is an ITALIAN buffet, so if you're looking for international/seafood etc, pls look elsewhere!

Oh yes, special mention to Mr Martin Dell for making reservations for me and for being so kind :) 

To me, I feel Regent Singapore truly has one of the BEST services, surpassing that of the more "famous" hotels.

Basilico - stellar service, good food, what more do you want? Do give them a try if you have not!
The Regent Hotel
Level 2
$88++ for coffee/tea and juices in the buffet! (There's a juice counter! Serving like 6 varieties of juice and the boy loved it! Oh they have fruits too like pears, persimmon etc but whole fruits!)

They also have a champagne option which is of course more expensive but not sure of the price sorry (UPDATE: its $140++)

Friday, June 8, 2012


A new cafe has opened in the Telok Ayer Street vicinity which is home to quite a few cafes. This cafe has a wholly different concept from usual cafes, it well, is kinda like a mini-sized supermarket (hence the name I suppose) but it sells a myriad of things. I can't help but wonder, do people actually buy these stuff from them or just come for the food?

I really love the entrance though, very unique, and chic :) The door doesnt really close properly though, so make sure you close it behind you!

Here's a peek into the interior of the shop and some the things on sale:

They also sell pasta!

The counter displaying the goodies of the day :) and its also where you order/pay!

I really like how the menu at Sprmrkt is different everyday (opens Mon-Sat) so there are different things you can try each day you go down! 

Wednesday - Apricot Tart

Please, if you're taking it away or eating this at home, you MUST heat it up!! Heat it up till its piping hot cos that's how ours came and it was delicioussss! At first when I wanted it as take-away, the lady asked if I wanted it heated up and I said no. On hindsight, that was totally a stupid decision 'cos I know that it won't be as good!! Its very fragrant, generous pieces of apricot, just the right amount of sweetness, perfect tart crust (a little crunchy but not overly so), hints of butter in the crust but not overpowering and the thin layer of custard in between the tart and the apricots make it so yummy! 

I really liked this :) 4.9/5

Friday has Carrot Cake!

I had high hopes for this aft the awesome tart but guess it was my too high expectations that led me to be slightly disappointed :/ It was a little dense for my liking, and there were chewy pieces of idk, maybe pineapple bits or something like dried fruit which I didnt really like. Overall, its okay but I think the tarts are much better!!! 3/5

The chef is really friendly, so is the other lady owner and the other stuff there :) There's not GST or service charge. The mains are like $10-20 I think and are served in this square box that gives me the beachside-shack feeling haha. Have yet to try their food yet, and that will be on my to-try list next! :) 

I just visited their website and read about their story and ohmyyy, the chef that I've talked to quite a few times comes from a quite amazing background! He's cooked at Les Amis group of restaurants followed by Waku Ghin. Now I'm q amazed, he's so amazingly humble, can't tell he's cooked for such top restaurants! (Not that Waku Ghin is top in my books 'cos my family went there on NYE and had their 400++ dinner menu and only the wagyu + desserts were stellar and worthy. But this is irrelevant.)

FYI , it's opposite Moo's Bar and Grill!

2 McCallum Street
Website (click for their menu!!)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Oscar's Amazing Grace Sunday Brunch

The boy and I decided to go for the Amazing Grace Sunday Brunch as it happened to be the last Sunday of May and this brunch only happens on the last Sunday of each month!

The brunch starts at 12pm but we arrived at 12.30pm, the restaurant was I think 1/4 full? Not the scene I usually see in buffet restaurants during Sunday brunch, but anyway, we were too hyped up about the pretty spread in front of us! :)

Freshly shucked oysters

There were 6 kinds!! Loch fyne, fine de claire no. 3, Tasmanian, some canadian one and forgot the last one sorry!

Cold seafood!

Crayfish, yabby, mussels, prawns, lobster, crab

Ala carte menu

You can basically order anything you want here, any number of times. They'll serve you the seafood chowder automatically idk why. Oh yes, you order with the service staff and then they'll bring the food to your table. The wait is about 10mins or so!

Chilled lobster with lychee sphere and caviar

This was uh totally sub-par, couldnt taste anything at all

Seared scallop with cauliflower emulsion and bacon powder (left)

Uh this was kinda sub-par too, couldnt taste cauliflower, scallop was soft, bacon powder tasted faintly like bacon

We didnt eat sushi/sashimi that day so no comments about these!


This is the LARGEST salad station I've ever seen at a hotel buffet, this is not even all of it! There's a parmesan bowl if you wanna mix your salad in it and some other salad stuff at both ends of this pic. Sorry, wasnt tall enough to fit everything in haha. But anw, the stuff available are quite interesting!

Green tomato, black tomato, diff kinds of red tomatoes, round beetroot, sliced beetroot, diff kinds of nuts + in diff "states" (like natural or roasted etc) - walnuts, cashew, pine etc. Radish, cucumber, anything you can think of basically!

And they have the most marvelous collection of VINEGARS!! They have fig vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, idk what other diff kinds, but many for you to choose from :) I was so happy and psyched about that!

Mushroom brulee with caviar

If I'm not wrong is brulee. This was sub-par too.

Seafood chowder (Ala carte menu)

Creamy and chunky but not overly creamy!! Would be better if there was more seafood inside, many potatoes though! Not a bad rendition of it.

Roasted Prime Rib

Stuffed and roasted whole chicken

The boy was given a hugeass slab of beef at this station and he said it was a tad dry :/

Salt baked salmon

This was quite good! It wasnt as tender/soft/flakey as I'd like it to be, but it was close enough.


They have a HUGE variety and I totally love this :)

Chefs preparing for dishes on ala carte menu

Pics of what we had: 

Pan-seared Goose Liver (Ala carte menu)
With pickled portobello, toasted brioche, truffle honey drizzle and port wine jus

I was quite sad 'cos the goose liver was on the thin side for me haha couldnt eat to my heart's content! Portobello mushroom's the one right at the bottom (not another goose liver haha) and it was juicy and nice as usual, the toast was v crisp! But I liked eating the goose liver on its own :) couldnt taste any truffle though. Would have been better if the pieces of liver were thicker!

Butter poached lobster
Served with quail egg, leek fondue and lemon beurre blanc

The boy said this was quite good if I didnt rmb wrongly! :)

Baked Cod Fish
with potato and lobster bisque espuma, tomato ragout, herbs salad and vincotto galzed

This was sub-par too, the sauce totally covered the naturally sweet tasting cod and well, it was a little overcooked, so I wasnt happy with this dish.

Beets, mixed nuts, dried fruit chips from the salad bar and a cracker + fig jam!

Ordered many more portions of goose liver! We told them to just combine the orders haha. The slices given were still very thin :(

Parmesan bread with dips
Olive oil + balsamic, butter, duck pate

I was lamenting about how this buffet doesnt serve breads unlike others (I know who notices the bread counter at buffets right?? But I do haha) then they served this! A waitress will it bring to your table and offer it to you. I was happy for a moment but after biting into the bread, I didnt like it :/ It was too hard for me and not fragrant!

Twice cooked pork belly
with chickpea and eggplant puree, mango, coriander and red onion salad

The boy LOVED this! He couldnt stop raving about how crispy the skin was and that it had minimal fat, so he thought this was really good :)

Braised Wagyu Short-rib
with moromi miso aubergine relish, cucumber mint salad, horseradish and potato foam

The boy said the beef was very soft and tender and he liked it too! :)

Bread pudding

Assorted cookies

Waffle station with assorted sauces and fruit squares

Assorted cookies

Ice cream + choc truffle + cookie + ice cream condiments 

Condiments included: marshmallows, gummy bears, diff gummies, etc


This is one serving. When ordering, they'd ask you how many so just tell them how many of this you want! You can opt for your waffle to go w ice cream! The waffle was not bad, not as fluffy or crispy as I'd liked it to be but still, not bad.

Sweets!! Mainly repeated though, so actually, the spread isnt that big haha 

Green tea chestnut amarean (cake slices in the foreground): not nice, no green tea taste nor chestnut taste!

Tiramisu (behind green tea): didnt try

Chocolate royal hazelnut crunch

This was gooood, best dessert for me that day!! Heavenly dark choc mousse atop a superduper crunchy layer at the bottom!! Ate like 3 or 4 slices of this!! Yum!!

Black forest torte

Strawberry shortcake

Not worth your calories at all

Pear crumble

Cherry tart

Not worth the calories

Not worth the calories, can barely taste anything

Lychee and pear charlotte

Only tasted lychee cos there was a whole lychee in there, not worth the calories too.

Mango truffle (white choc ganache with mango and yoghurt): This was good!!! Really tasted like mango yoghurt

Delilah (pure dark hazelnut gianduja): woahh this was dark and bitter! I like!

Left to right:

Milk rocher (roasted almonds w milk choc): didnt try this
Citron (white choc and lemon): didnt try this either!

Left: champange vanilla truffle: mmm full of champagne! Nice!

Right - orange surfine (dark ganache with natural orange paste): didnt try this either!

Scoop of ice cream! - Passionfruit mango

This was gooooood, so sour and yummy after a heavy meal :) If I'm not wrong, the ice creams are from Movenpick! They have creme brulee, choc, vanilla, strawberry, and I forgot what else! 

They have fruits also, in small cubes tho :/ Watermelon, rock melon, honeydew, guava, etc.

Modern Baked Apple Tart
Served with honey anglaise sugar praline and toasted pistachio

I thought this was ok only, forgettable 


They also had a cheese section, with about 9 or so cheese varieties?

Or you can ask for ice cream in a cone! :)

Complimentary mints

Given to us after paying! They dont have complimentary parking tho :/ Which is quite a bummer!

Service was definitely friendly there, but inattentive at times 'cos our drinks were not refilled most of the time and we had to ask them to do it.

We both felt the spread was quite good in terms of variety, but it lacks in quality in some places esp in the desserts section. The seafood was good, mains were ok. There was also a noodle bar outside, where there was bak kut teh and some oth local favs on offer as part of the buffet but we didnt venture out to try those haha.

It was 78++ per person but there was a Citibank promo with 15% discount so I think it was $150 or so for both of us!

And just to let y'all know, the boy and I had diarrhoea three times after the buffet and we didnt eat brekkie or dinner that day so it must've been Oscar's. I called the restaurant to give them feedback and they said they'll get back to me about it but have yet to do so.

Update: the manager did call me back and told me he'll gimme and the boy complimentary afternoon tea at lobby lounge but we've yet to go!

Conrad Hotel Singapore
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