I have heard many rave reviews about FORLINO, so when the nice people at The Fullerton Heritage invited us bloggers for a food tasting session, I licked my chops and said, "Si, per favore!" For a mommy like me who is always cooking for others, it's nice to have someone else cook for me for a change. Especially when that someone is talented Chef Giuliano Dacasto.
To get to FORLINO, you first meander through a short flight of stairs and corridor. You'll find gleaming checkered marble flooring and ornate blue paneled walls all the way. Very palatial and luxe.
There's a small drinks area where you can sit back, relax and watch the world go by. That's The Fullerton Hotel across the street. See the lamp stand on the right? It has a machine gun for its stand. Very quirky!
Here's one of the two private function rooms.
A quick shot before other guests arrived. The decor of the restaurant was surprisingly staid compared to the theatrical stairway entrance. But when you notice the panoramic view in front of your eyes, you quickly realise the wisdom in keeping thing understated.
I spied tourists buying ice-cream along the promenade. :)
From where I was seated, I had an unblocked view of the soon-to-be complete Marina Bay Sands.
I got to meet 2 popular food bloggers - Catherine of Camemberu and Brad of ladyironchef. We shared the table with our dinner companions, as well as the lovely executives who hosted us.
Our menu for the evening was a preview of Forlino's Valentine's Day Set Menu. This will be available from 12-14 February, at the cost of S$128++ per person.
But first, something to drink.
(Note: drinks not included in the set menu). FORLINO has a cellar which houses a collection of very fine wines. I spotted in the Vino menu, a Château Mouton Rothschild (2000 Pauillac), which can be all yours for S$3300. I had a Dulcis (centre glass) - a syrupy, warming wine in the colour of deep copper. It came recommended per my preference for "something sweet". I also managed to sample the Moscato d'Asti (glass on the right) which I found to be a refreshing, sparkly drink. I liked it better than my own Dulcis, actually. Thankfully, and miraculously, I managed to stay sober despite being a pathetic (non)drinker. Cin cin, everyone! Hic.
~ Apertura ~
This arrived quite quickly. Sashimi grade scallop, filleted paper thin. Sweet and smooth, with a sharp salty edge from the caviar. Delectable. Certainly, a precursor of even better things to come.
~ Insalata di Granchio Reale con Infiorescenze di Piselli Rucola Selvattica e Salsa di Melone ~
Jumbo Crab Salad with Sweet Pea & Wild Rucola Sprouts and Cantaloupe Sauce
The crab was meaty, sweet and superbly fresh. How I relished every bite. The cantaloupe sauce - whipped to a frothy foam - added a nice summery dimension.
~ Tortino di Barbabietole su Fonduta di Robiola ~
Beetroot Cake with Robiola Cheese Fondue
Unfortunately, this didn't get the popular vote. It was rich and heavy - probably from the potent combination of cow, goat and sheep cheeses ... a tad too much after a few bites. It also strangely reminded us of luncheon meat. None of us managed to finish it. Perhaps a smaller portion might be the answer?
~ Tagliolini al Nero con Zabaione ai Ricci di Mare e Pomodorini Semi Caniti ~
Homemade Squid Ink Taglionlini with Sea Urchin Sabayon and Semi Dried Cherry Tomatoes
Oh, this was beautiful. What a difference fresh pasta makes. The tagliolini had a slight chewy bite, not found in commercially made versions. The sea urchin sabayon was superb. The sabayon was tempered to a perfect velvety consistency and coated each strand of pasta like a dream. Every mouthful had hints of sweet, salty and spicy. Delish!
Next, came the mains. For the set menu, you'd have to choose between Cod or Beef Tenderloin. But since this was a food tasting session, lucky us got to sample both.
~ Merluzzo Nero con Asparagi, Salsa di Arance Sanguinelle e Olive Disidratate ~
Black Cod Filet with Asparagus and Sicilian Blood Orange Sauce
Fresh, firm Black Cod from the Atlantic ... it was as fresh as fresh can be. Lightly pan seared, with the skin blistered to a crisp, and paired with a delicate, citrusy sauce. My kind of sauce ... loved it. I was short of licking the platter clean.
~ Filetto di Angus Prime con Radicchio Candito e Salsa di Fegato Grasso al Porto ~
Angus Prime Beef Tenderloin with Goose Liver & Port Wine Sauce and Radicchio
Everyone unanimously agreed that this dish was outstanding. Except me. I don't eat beef, so the chef prepared something special for me. Here it is:
~ Terrina di Melanzane e Scamorza con Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale ~
Eggplant and Smoked Scamorza Terrine with Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Pretty as a picture. The scamorza was meaty, savoury and smoky ... a perfect complement to the eggplant. I almost (I said, almost) couldn't bear to destroy this lovely creation. Just look at the plating! Balsamic vinegar dotted along like thread stitches. And the flowers! Almost every dish had some sort of floral embellishment. Exquisite presentation.
~ Mousse Bicolore di Yogurt e Fragole con Salsa di Menta e Cioccolato ~
Strawberry & Yogurt Mousse with Peppermint Chocolate Sauce
I finished this with gusto. I usually don't order yogurt mousse if I can help it, because if done wrongly (too much sour, too little sweet), it could taste like puke. But this one had the right balance. I couldn't detect the peppermint in the chocolate sauce though. And I thought the scattered pop rocks was such a cute, clever idea. Brought back many childhood memories there!
~ Caffe e Piccola Pasticceria ~
Coffee & Petit Fours
These were a nice way to end the meal. The meringues were my favourite. I could have eaten another plate if it was offered to me. I washed them down with a cup of freshly-brewed, unsweetened tea.
And so ended a meal most memorable. For the 3.5 hours that we wined, dined and chatted at FORLINO, it was truly, la dolce vita.
FORLINO will be offering the above Valentine's Day Set Menu from 12-14 February, at the cost of $128++ per person. For reservations, contact:
1 Fullerton Road
Tel: (65) 66877-6995
Much thanks to Fulvia & Merissa (from The Fullerton Heritage/The Fullerton Hotel) and Lyla (Ate Communications) for hosting us, as well as FORLINO, for the beautiful dining experience.