Dinner @ Basilico, The Regent Singapore

Some weeks back, a group of friends and I had dinner at Basilico, a new Italian restaurant at The Regent Singapore. Basilico is located in the space previously occupied by Capers (an all-day dining restaurant) and while it offers a lunch and dinner buffet (like its predecessor), the restaurant's focus is primarily on Italian cuisine.

Walking into the beautifully renovated restaurant, we were greeted by an antipasti buffet laid out on a round table in the middle of the main dining area. The pizza kitchen was to the left of the table and the dessert buffet was on the right. I wished I could have snapped a picture but I didn't want to disturb the other diners.

The waitress attending to us explained that we could opt for the antipasti buffet, choose a main course from the a la carte menu and end the meal with the dessert buffet. The antipasti buffet is priced at S$28+++ and the dessert buffet is priced at S$20+++. If you're not into buffets, no worries, they have a good selection on the a la carte menu.

Antipasto @ Basilico

Antipasti Buffet @ S$28+++

I couldn't resist the selection of cured meats (Bresaola, Parma Ham & Salami) and cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano & Blue Cheese were my favs) in the buffet spread thus I started my meal with a selection from the Antipasti Buffet and ordered risotto as a main course. The seafood salads were very bland so I was glad I took some capers and sun-dried tomatoes to add flavour. Thankfully, the cheese and cured meats were good so that helped to make up for the disappointing seafood items.

Risotto Pugliese

Risotto alla Pugliese @ S$31+++
Risotto with diced lobster, tiger prawns & scallops

The service staff had recommended me the Risotto alla Pugliese. Apparently, its their most popular dish and many regulars love it. After the bland seafood salads that I had eaten, I was worried about how the risotto would turn out. It was too late to change my order so I decided to try it anyway.

I was sorely disappointed. The risotto was bland and was dotted with diced, tasteless seafood bits. It was akin to eating airline food and you know how food tastes like paper when you're in the air. Besides, why would any fine restaurant dice seafood for a dish like seafood risotto, which are typically served with beautiful chunks (if not whole pieces) of fresh prawns or lobster? My theory is that this would only happen when the ingredients are not fresh or flavoursome enough to stand on its own as a firm chunk. Plus, it is likely that this dish was made from odds and ends of prawns, scallops and lobsters that were used to make other dishes. Eating this dish reminded me of bland starchy diced seafood soups that we sometimes get at Chinese set dinners. Granted that for S$31, one cannot expect a whole lobster but a chunk or two would be nice, or simply omit it altogether and give us chunks of prawns. This was definitely a deal breaker for me and I resolved never to have any seafood dishes here, if I ever return.

Basilico Restaurant
1 Cuscaden Road,
Level 2, The Regent Singapore,
Singapore 249715
Tel: +65 6725-3232

Operating Hours:
Daily: Noon - 2.30pm & 6.30pm - 10.00pm
Sunday Brunch: Noon - 3.00pm