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Monday, 26 June 2017

[Media Invite] Dinner at ilLido at the Cliff @ Sofitel Sentosa


2 Bukit Manis Road, Sofitel Sensota Hotel, Singapore 099891
Tel: 6708 8310
Opening Hours: 12pm to 2.30pm (Sat / Sun lunch) / 6pm to 10pm (daily dinner)




ilLido Italian Restaurant has moved from Sentosa Golf Club over to the luxurious Sofitel Sentosa Hotel just beside it, continuing to serve up delectable, contemporary Italian cuisine helmed by Chef Simone Fraternali.






The restaurant is characterized easily by its romantic settings, perched on the hilltop, surrounded by greenery as well as the sea. The bar counter is by the pool itself, so diners can choose the view they most preferred. Interior is an intimate lure done in beautiful shades of white, deep turquoise and mahogany, comfortably seating up to 88 persons with option of private dining room for up to 12 persons.






Service was  impeccable on all levels, from the first greeting we received to the gentle thoughtfulness throughout the meal itself. This was a media invite attended by representatives from Hungrygowhere as well as some other familiar reviewers / food-bloggers. We managed to try dishes off their dinner menu as well as had a sneak peek into their new White Asparagus Menu.



Fluffy house-made Bread started the meal, soaking up the smoothness of olive oil dip and flavour of balsamic vinegar dip, served on the side.




Then we moved on to Pan-Roasted Foie Gras with Raspberries and Duck Jus (SGD$30.00), courting the butter-textured, smoky-tinged liver in the palate gently at first, before it turned into a full-blown love affair when the duck jus set in. One more?



White Asparagus with Lobster Knuckles and Amalfi Lemon Hollandaise (SGD$) was an interesting dish bringing together creaminess, sweetness and citrusy hints onto a single plate, with the notes all flat and nothing distinctive disappointingly.



The Grilled Octopus with Confit Tomatoes and Potato Cream (SGD$29.00) was a feast for the eyes as well the mouth, enticing with its vibrant colors convened. Octopus was juicy and slightly chewy, tamed by the easier touch of the potato cream edging the food arrangement.



Moving on, we had the Hokkaido Scallop Crudo with Tuna Tartare and Sweet Peas (SGD$30.00), another colorful creation that whetted the appetite hugely. From the sweet bouncy scallops to the springy tuna tartare to the umami burst of the salmon roe, this dish led the palate through a vivacious journey of taste and texture.





Following that, we enjoyed the Baked White Asparagus with Egg Milanese and Veal Jus (SGD$), white asparagus baked softly with a gentle crunch, encircled by veal jus and paper-thin slices of truffle. What stole the show though, was the single Egg Milanese perched on the asparagus, sporting a crispy exterior that gave way to luscious, creamy yolk under the knife's touch.

Pastas were served next, taking us up another level of exploration at ilLido at the Cliff.



Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Lobster, Cherry Tomatoes and Tarragon (SGD$42.00) comprised of springy, nearly al-dente pasta redolent of lobster's sweet flavour, even before biting into one of the luscious lobster pieces.



Then it was the Tagliolini with Hokkaido Scallops and Bottarga (SGD38.00), flat pasta and notes enlivened by the gentle sweetness of scallops and briny flavor of Bottarga.



The Pappardelle with Iberico Pork Ragout and Guanciale (SGD$34.00) was plain delicious, with well-textured wide pasta complemented beautifully by well-seasoned pork.


Next, we had Truffle Parmagiano filled Gnocchi with White Asparagus, Truffles and Carbonara (SGD $36.00). The spherical, sticky Gnocchi was coated with purple potato for that lovely hue, bursting apart to fill us with earthly goodness.



Meat and poultry dishes dawned next, starting with the Pan-roasted Seabass with Romanesco and Basil Sauce (SGD $38.00) - crispy skin and juicy flesh creamed over by aromatic basil sauce, lending stronger flavours to the mild-tasting fish.



Black Cod with Caramelized Celeriac, Lemon Capers and Vine Tomatoes (SGD$48.00) was immensely pleasing to the tongue, flakes of sweetness so smooth and melty, hitting home from the first forkful.



Following that, we tried the Guinea Fowl with Foie Gras and Black Truffle (SGD$45 00), an exquisite creation that required an arduous 2 days and 5 cooking techniques before it hit the plate. From slow-cooking to reduction to sous vide to confit preparation of various parts of the guinea fowl, to the baking of honey-glazed carrots, you can be sure that this dish is very well prepared to engage one's senses effortlessly.



Finally, the last savoury dish of the evening - Beef Tenderloin with Marsala, Foie Gras and White Asparagus (SGD $48.00). A luxurious dish where succulence and smokey summed up the beef, flanked by buttery foie gras and the gentle crunch of white asparagus for full satisfaction.

Moving on to desserts - one cannot dine at an Italian restaurant and not have desserts, no?



Vanilla and Orange Creme Brulee with White Asparagus Gelato made an appearance first, teasing the palate with citrusy hints and floral notes before the interesting white asparagus gelato set in, proving that vegetables make for good ice-cream flavour too.



Next, House Tiramisu (SGD $18.00) was not your typical dessert in a cup / jar. Fluffy and creamy notes of coffee, chocolate and coffee liqueur made for a good swirl around the tongue while the smattering of coffeebeans around the glass jar lent crunch and notes of my favorite bittersweetness.



The White Chocolate, Raspberry and Lemon Tart (SGD $18.00) offered lovely crusty mouthfuls of zesty, satiny lemon curd. After the Tiramisu, I could safely pronounce this my 2nd best loved dessert.




The grand finale was the Jamaican Pepper and Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries and Rum (SGD $18.00). Rich, velvety in texture and chocolateness, embodying gentle pierces of rum and pepper unto itself as a whole. Well, the palate approved big time.


Overall dining experience was superb, because of the impressive multi-faceted settings, excellent service, and delectable dishes. Hurry and make your book to try ilLido's White Asparagus Menu before end of July 2017.

Thank you  ilLido at the Cliff and team for hosting, as well as Hungrygowhere for the invite!


































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