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Saturday, 18 February 2017

Dinner at AURA Restaurant (by il Lido Group) at National Gallery (Revisit)

1 Saint Andrew's Road #05-03 National Gallery, Singapore 178957
Tel: 6866 1977
Website:  http://www.aura.sg

Having visited Aura for dinner with 2 of my favorite girls fairly recently (review here), I recommended the restaurant again for a gathering of 8 persons. It was both a farewell dinner as well as a gathering of sorts, incorporating our monthly Wine Friday session into it.

It was a Friday evening, bustling with patrons in the filling up the exquisite Italian fine-dining restaurant under the il Lido Group. The service crew staff in charge of our table was very friendly, humorous and helpful, constantly checking on us and ensuring we were fine.

We decided to share appetizers and desserts, while each of us should order our own, individual main course. Surprisingly we all ordered a different main course unanimously so we were able to try a bit of everything. The 3 special pasta of the night were Sea Urchin Pasta, Razor Clams Pasta, as well as Lobster Pasta; the special meat of the night was a Wagyu Beef dish. We also had a bottle of white wine (SGD$120.00) - Kanta Riesling 2012 Egon Muller and a bottle of red wine (SGD$170.00) Guidalberto 2012 Tenuta San Guido.

The first appetizer was Scallops Crudo (SGD$28.00) with truffle, salmon roe and smoked quail eggs. Loved the slippery and succulent texture of the delicious scallops against other favorites such as quail eggs and exploding salmon roe.

Next, Grilled Octopus with Crispy Egg and Corn (SGD$28.00) - loved the chewy, tender texture of the octopus and thinly-breaded egg with crusty exterior.

Parma Ham with Musk Melon (SGD$26.00) - I enjoyed the fine strips of salted ham and paper-thin slices of rock melon (to be eaten together) served on a bed of crunchy rocket salad.

Then Burrata Cheese with Tomatoes and Olives (SGD$26.00) - a huge dome of light burrata cheese with a creamy taste, close on the edge of sweetness.

Onto the mains, the Burrata Cheese Ravioli (SGD$26.00) with Amatriciana, was as per last review, rich in flavour and melty in texture.

The Sea Urchin Pasta (SGD$50.00) - one of the specials, and reviewed in my previous entry, was creamy in flavour with sea urchin being buttery in contrast to the al dente pasta.

Razor Clams Fettuccine (SGD$38.00), another of the night's specials - was robust in sweetness of the bouncy razor clams, every mouthful was enticing.

Spaghetti with Crab and Porcini (SGD$38.00) was flavorful as well, saccharine of crab and earthly bursts of the springy porcini mushrooms.

Tagliolini with Scampi and Avruga Caviar (SGD$38.00)   was another exotic pasta well-loved by all because of the crackling scampi and unique lusciousness, a rich pasta by and by.

Next, Whole Wheat Tagliatelle with Duck and Foie Gras (SGD$28.00) - a pasta well-moistened by savoury gravy and filled with tiny cubes of duck and foie gras. I found the dish a little salty for my liking.

Smoked Duck with Foie Gras and Young Spinach (SGD$38.00) was probably the dish with best presentation around the table that night. A rich and Carnivorous dish with succulent, juicy slabs of smoky duck meat and buttery foie gras.

Last but not least, my mains which was Pappardelle with Oxtail and Mushrooms (SGD$28.00), another umami dish with long, broad pasta. I felt that the pasta was a little too dry for my liking, and the ingredients too salty.

Time for desserts! Tiramisu (SGD$15.00) was every bit as creamy and good as when I'd last had it, redolent with amaretto and coffee's beautiful flavors.

Finally, Bailey's and Hazelnut Feuillantine (SGD$15.00), almost royally pretty with gold spheres atop the rectangular block of decadent pastry, mildly sapid of Bailey's sharper notes against nutty tones.

Overall, we enjoyed ourselves here at Aura tremdendously, as well as the splendid service and sumptuous food.

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