I was invited to a tasting last week at Sofitel Sentosa’s Il Lido At The Cliff restaurant to preview their new White Asparagus set menu. As someone who enjoys vegetables/ believes in healthy eating, this seemed like an interesting opportunity to try out new dishes which feature one of my favorites.
Il Lido is the property’s Italian restaurant, located right by a cliff that overlooks the Straits of Singapore. There are tables both inside and outside the restaurant building to cater for different preferences. We arrived in the early evening just before dusk and were greeted warmly by staff who led us to our table at the shaded terrace. The outside tables are very popular due to the views of the strait. In the evening, the lights of the passing barges provide a scenic backdrop fit for any celebration.
A bread basket with some balsamic and olive oil was provided while we waited for our starters to arrive. First came the Baked White Asparagus with Egg Milanese and Veal Jus ($32), followed closely by the White Asparagus with Lobster Knuckles and Amalfi Lemon Hollandaise ($30). A glass of Chardonnay IGT, Falesia, Paolo e Noemia d’ Amico, Lazio, Italy 2014 was provided as wine pairing for the starters.
We enjoyed the Baked White Asparagus with Egg Milanese and Veal Jus, with its refreshingly sweet white asparagus and perfectly cooked soft-boiled egg covered with a crisp, crumbly shell. The veal jus gives an additional savory dimension to the dish and whets the appetite in anticipation of the next course.
The White Asparagus with Lobster Knuckles and Amalfi Lemon Hollandaise was less to our taste however. The plating of the entree was beautiful but the combination of salad greens, lobster and lemon hollandaise sauce did not quite seem to fit.
Next came the pasta: Truffle Parmigiano filled Gnocchi with White Asparagus and Carbonara ($36). The gnocchi were a pretty purple colour due to the Japanese yam used and were unusually large in size. The pasta seems to be handmade too since the dough was a bit uneven in some parts but its soft chewiness paired with the exquisitely flavourful truffle parmigiano made for an enticing dish.
For the main course, we were served Beef Tenderloin with Foie Gras, Marsala and White Asparagus ($48) and Smoked Octopus with White Asparagus, Beluga Lentils and Saffron ($42). The two dishes were paired with a fragrant Pinot Nero IGT, Notturno, Paolo e Noemia d’ Amico, Umbria, Italy 2012 for the set menu.
The beef tenderloin was executed magnificently. Cooked to a medium rare consistency, it was tender and juicy with a strong flavour. The accompanying generous portion of foie gras was rich and creamy, with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency. This was, hands down, my favorite dish of the evening.
In contrast to the beef tenderloin main, the Smoked Octopus with White Asparagus, Beluga Lentils and Saffron was less exciting. It was an interesting presentation with a single large tentacle on the plate plus sides, and the octopus is cooked nicely so it’s not rubbery in texture. However the taste is more subtle compared to the beef so it didn’t really leave a strong impression on me.
To round off the meal, we were presented with a Vanilla and Orange Crème Brulee with White Asparagus Gelato ($20) for dessert. It seemed a bit strange at first to have a vegetable as a gelato flavour but Chef Simone Fraternali’s adventurous take on this classical dessert really pays off. There’s an elegant balance in the sweetness of the crème brûlée, the tartness of the fresh berries and the light sweet-savouriness of the gelato that makes it the perfect ending for this wonderful dinner.
Sofitel Sentosa Il Lido White Asparagus 4-Courses Meal (available til 30th July 2017)
- 3 Courses Set Menu @ $88++ ($128++ with 2 glasses wine pairing)
- 4 Courses Set Menu @ $98++ ($138++ with 2 glasses wine pairing)
Il Lido at the Cliff
Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa
2 Bukit Manis Road