Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Forlino @ One Fullerton Singapore

Monday is usually not the best day to start the week. Who the hell would have the mood to dress up for dinner at a glitzy sassy fine-dining restaurant, sipping wines and champagnes, indulging in all those rich culinary and then waking up early the next day to go to work knowing that it's only Tuesday - the week has just begun. Well, maybe those who doesn't have to go by the official clock in hours would! I'm not one of those but since I'm on holiday, I could do that too.

And that very evening, I was taken to a beautiful Italian restaurant at One Fullerton located in Marina Bay which is built on Singapore's reclaimed land. The restaurant, Forlino, pride themselves as Singapore's Finest Italian Restaurant and I'll tell you why I had to agree whole-heartedly.

I'm quite a fussy person when it comes to a fine-dining experience. A fine-dining experience starts at the moment you stepped into the restaurant, down to the cutlery and service to the moment you waltzed out the door. I expect nothing but a stellar dining experience if I were to pay through my nose for that meal, boy.

The dinner at Forlino started on the right note. We were ushered to our tables with a GREAT view of the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyer and the Merlion. After taking our orders, they served us the still water, the Silex that we brought to the restaurant and then our amuse bouche. I must say that for every fine-dining restaurant, the amuse bouche is the first dish to impress. Well, the creampuff with Parmigiano and drips of bell pepper puree was impressive. It's light, fluffy and the cheese wasn't too overpowering either. E Buonissimo!

For appetisers, I had a Pan Roasted Goose Liver with Lambrusco Wine and Motello Cherry (S$32). What I loved best about this dish is that the goose liver was so tender, moist and fine. The sauce and poached pear slices was a good combination, resulting in the savoury and sweet taste. Then when I laced it with the Motello Cherry, it tasted even better because the this cherry has a rich and complex flavours. Don't be surprised if you taste chocolate in it too. I told the Chef that there should be 2 cherries instead of one!

My dining partner ordered the Spanner Crab with Tuscan Bread & Tomato Salad and Champagne Vinegar (S$32). Initially I wanted to order this but since I can steal a bite from his plate, I should order a different dish instead. It's aesthetically impressive from the bowl and on the palate, it's as good as it looks. The whole combination was refreshing, tangy and it has interesting textures of tomatoes, crab meat and greens all interwined together. An appetising entree indeed which is building up to the mains.

Silex 2005

One of the wines that I really wanted to drink was this Silex from Didier Dagueneau, one of the greatest Sauvignon Blanc producers in the world and dubbed as "one of the greatest winemakers of our generation". Sadly his legacy could not be continued as he died in a microlite accident in the Dordogne region of France at the age of 52 in 2008. He was also known as the "wild man of the Loire" due to his notorious behaviour and his different approach at winemaking. Therefore, his wines are immensely pleasurable as they are special, as unique as the man himself. As wine writer James Turnbull puts it: "No other wine born of silex soil has the firm and austere authority of Dagueneau’s."

Having tasted the Pur Sang 2006, I can't quite take my mind off Didier's wines. And now, having the opportunity to taste the Silex, probably his most famous wine, I would have an orgasm even before sipping. Seriously if you think a Sauvignon Blanc is just another white, you'll be so wrong until you've tasted Didier's Silex or Pur Sang. This white from Pouilly-Fumé has so much minerality that you'll find this a surprise. On the nose, you get these white flowers, verbena and nutty notes. It has a light yellow hue, indicating that it's still young and on the palate, you'll get to taste the zesty, floral notes as well as its richness and balanced acidity. Though this is not as lime-zesty as the Pur Sang, I find this very much elegant and refined. A 96 pointer from Wine Spectator is quite a fair review. I don't think I'll ever have a chance to taste his wines anymore and so it was indeed a cherished moment when I sipped my last glass of Silex 2005.

After the appetisers as we were enjoying the wines, we asked them to hold our mains for another 15 mins. After a while, the staff came up to our table and served two identical covered plates to us and I thought to myself, "how come the two mains come in the same plate although we ordered 2 different dishes". And voila when the lid was lift off!

It was Chef Mario Caramella signature dish - the Spaghetti 'alla Chitarra' with Lobster which I wanted to order initially but decided to go for the beef cheeks instead. It was indeed a very nice surprise 2nd course which I didn't expect. To be able to describe this dish in words might not be something I am able to do but to put it this way, "the dish was so well executed that I find no words to oblige a 2nd helping". The pasta was cooked al dente, absorbing the sauce so well and the lobster is still moist, juicy and tender. You can taste the burst of freshness and the sauce is not overpowering as well.

This is the main I ordered - Wagyu Beef Cheek with 100% Chocolate and Red Wine sauce (S$45). I ordered this due to 2 factors, one being I shall not give beef cheeks a pass if it's in the menu and second, I am intrigued with the combination of chocolate with beef cheeks. Actually, there's so many dishes on the menu that I wanted to try but sadly I don't have the space for everything. The beef cheeks is braised so tenderly and the chocolate and red wine sauce doesn't seemed to be a red eye to the dish. It blends very well, creating the slight sweet taste to the meat. There's also the herbs, carrots, onions and well mashed potato that is fine and beautiful to pair with the richness of the wagyu beef cheeks.

This is the Milk-fed Veal Shank with Vin Santo Wine and Forest Mushrooms Ragout (S$58). It's funny that I seldom take veal though it's supposed to be a very good piece of meat due to the young cattle instead of the meat from older cattles. This veal shank is delicious! The meat is extremely tender, meaning no extra amount of strength needed to chew this. I must say that Chef Mario is very good with sauces as they tend to pair the dish so well and you'll want to have every morsel of it!

1997 Arnaldo-Caprai Sagrantino di Montefalco

To go with our mains, we had another bottle of wine, this time a red made with Sangratino grapes made by Arnaldo Caprai which is considered as the Best Producer of top quality Sagrantino di Montefalco in the region of Umbria in Italy. This is one of those Italian wines that I've not tasted nor heard before and surprisingly, it exceeded my expectations. On the nose, you get these leathery and chocolate notes. On the palate, I can taste the ripe fruits such as plum and blackberries, there were also herbs and earthy notes with a touch of oak. The tannins are still young but it's a silky wine with a good balance and decent length. It's about S$250 for this bottle but I think it's worth it, considering we are drinking this at Forlino.

Our dinner seemed like a never-ending meal. It's a Monday and there were only a few tables which granted us extra attention from the staff due to a reasonably quiet day of the week at the restaurant. I didn't order any desserts and Ganesh, the restaurant Manager has the liberty to decide what we should be having to give a sweet ending note to our dinner. My wish came true, as they really served me their signature Molten Lava Chocolate Cake with Mascarpone Ice Cream and Persimmon Coulis. Well, I was thinking to myself that this dessert better pass Eiling's chocolate test or else I'll fail this dessert miserably. First bite into the cake and I was memerised beyond words. The chocolate was oozing out and the cake was so chocolatey! My perfect chocolate dessert needless to say!

Then there was also the Tiramisu which they claimed that it's one of the best desserts too. Okay, I'll take a spoonful and see if it's really that good. Well, one thing for sure, there's liquer in there which makes the Tiramisu more "real" as I dislike having a non-alchoholic tiramisu. The cocoa powder was rich and the textures were all there. I'll still stick to the Molten Lava Chocolate Cake thank you! It's one of the best chocolate desserts I told the Chef, almost speechless when I was trying describe how good it was.

Whimsical deco, impeccable service and fabulous waterfront scenary.

The phrase above truly summarised my experience at Forlino. I like how meticulous they are towards the service and also in their set-up of the tables. The staff did iron each table cloth one very table! Every dish was served in perfect manner, with explanation of the dish and politeness. The chef was friendly and he came out to greet his customers as well. The food was excellent, timeless menu, impeccable service, picturesque waterfront view and wonderful company. Forlino is truly a class above the rest.

Limoncello & Chiacchiere

Just as when I thought dinner has ended, Ganesh came holding a cute glass container holding a gold amber liquid. Desserts hasn't quite ended as in every Italian tradition, we should end with either a shot of Grappa or a Limoncello. I prefer the latter which also happened to be the chef's own special concoction which he made it himself. Very wonderful limoncello with hints of sweet honey. I think I had 3 shots because my date isn't fond of sweet stuffs.

One of the best dinner dates I ever had! This place is worth visiting again and again. I'm sure my 2nd visit won't take too long.


#02-06 One Fullerton | One Fullerton Road Singapore 049213 | Tel: 6877 6995

Opens Daily

Lunch: 12pm - 2.30pm | Dinner: 6.30pm - 10.30pm


Mun Mun said...

WoW! This is one true gem that you found. Likewise, I love good service and great food too. Would love to go back there some day too. Anyway, love the wines that you had.

The veal sounds really good.

Enjoy the good life of food and wine, Eiling!

Thumbs Up again! :)

KY said...

i want some foie gras, nowwww

Sean said...

wow, i've heard of forlino, but have not managed to visit it. sounds spectacular! would definitely order the chocolate beef cheeks too. i guess if this restaurant were relocated to KL, it'd definitely rank as the No. 1 or No. 2 best italian outlet in malaysia :D

Simon London said...

The dessert looks simply irresistible. The place seems amazing!

Wine Club said...

Hmmm looking delicious.

eiling lim said...

Mun Mun: haha... yeah I was lucky to dine here at Forlino with such a beautiful view and food. Thanks!

KY: Noooooooo

Sean: Yeah next time if you're in Singapore, you should drop by even if it's just for lunch.

Simon London: Yeah it does!

Wine Club: Sure is!

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