Thursday, January 21, 2010

FORLINO

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 ~
Amuse Bouche
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:
FORLINO
One Fullerton
1 Fullerton Road
#02-06

Singapore 049213
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.

31 comments:

  1. Everything looks so fancy in that 5-star hotel restaurant!

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  2. What a treat for you guys Ju - I would love to visit this restaurant one day. The black cod looks sooo good! It's almost impossible to find cod like that here.

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  3. Noted it down as one of many restaurants to check out in Singapore when we are back. :)

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  4. Ju, lucky you! Food looks good, excellent presentation, though I thought there were a tad too much floral presentation. They're food grade I hope and do you eat them???

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  5. wouha very nice restaurant I am hungry now !! love the first dish !! Pierre

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  6. lucky you, get to eat for free hehe :)

    the food looks delectable and the presentation is gorgeous!

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  7. You are so unique.. Fabulous resto..elegant photos.. exquisite presentations..J'ai l'eau à la bouche..Everything is a work of art..

    And then I read..Could taste like puke:)(If done wrong~).. you made me smile the width of my screen and it's big:)
    Fun review.. you lucky girl.. well they are lucky really:)

    Have you read the Ruth Reichl books? You may like them very much..in one book ..it is mainly about her doing resto reviews in disguise sometimes:)

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  8. wow that's fast! it's probably gonna take me a while before i blog abt it, got too many backlogs to catch up on. See you tomorrow! I bet it will be a blast too :)

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  9. What fun! Bloggers in my neck of the woods do not get invited to such nice soirees, I can tell you. I don't eat beef either, and I'm so glad to see the chef came up with something so creative and appropriate as a substitute - I hate it when they throw some boiled veg at you and call it a day!

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  10. Gosh you lucky girl!!! lovely food altho I wouldnt have been able to pronounce them :) the puke part made me LOL too!!! still grinning in fact! indeed the corridor looks sooo palatial and teh view stunning....sigh ..must go to spore ~

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  11. Oh, Ju. What an amazing dinner. thank you for taking us along with you.

    Wow.

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  12. Che ristorantino chic avete scelto; questo chef italiano preprara delle meraviglie.
    Buon fine settimana Daniela.

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  13. Wonderful post Ju...thank you for sharing your adventure with us...beautiful food!
    L~xo

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  14. Love the decor and every dish looks so pretty!

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  15. What an elegant looking restaurant Ju! And the food looks amazingly good. The squid ink pasta looks so striking! :D

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  16. Everything looks really really good. Might have to check this out when I come back for a visit. Will have to meet some of you to bring me around :D

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  17. Everything is so beautiful here...好幸福哦!

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  18. What a nice treat !! All foods look so elegant !!

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  19. What a fun event! Everything looks divine! I think someone would have to carry me out after all of that good food! The yogurt mousse looks wonderful and I love the pop rocks too! :) Glad you had a nice time!

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  20. Wow! lovely restaurant and great food :)

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  21. The ambience really is very nice =) I've only been there for a quick lunch though. Never had the dinner set menu, which looks fab =) You lucky girl you!

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  22. Lucky you Ju, this event looks like fun! And what a great menu - everything looks refine and so delicious.

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  23. Fabulous place. Wonderful menu.
    You are lucky.
    See soon

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  24. You are lucky...VIP treatment : )

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  25. Hey hoped you enjoyed dinner, must have from the pics...

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  26. Wow...that must have been so cool! Funny where the love of food can take you huh! I love reading your recipes, but as I said before, seeing the snippets of your life are just so cool!!! Singapore looks beautiful!:)

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  27. I got hungry and then full by the end! I feel like I was sitting beside you. What an appetizing presentation and lucky you to be invited!

    Your pics are great...thanks, Ju.

    Diane

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  28. Gorgeous setting, delicious and beautiful food, interesting company..makes a perfect evening!

    Your photos are stunning!

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  29. Dear Little Teochew,

    May i ask if Forlino does vegetarian? Dairies are fine. Your kind advice, please. Thank you.

    gbu,
    Terry
    terrytan23@yahoo.com

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  30. Hi Terry

    This is the reply from FORLINO's PR agency, Ate Communications:
    "Diners can always inform the service staff when they’re ordering that they are vegetarians and FORLINO will be able to prepare or propose something specially for them.

    There are also dishes with no meats or seafood (like the Warm Gorgonzola Cheese Cake with Pear & Star Anise Sauce or Pappardelle with Walnut Sauce and Basil Pesto), which are alternatives for diners who prefer not to have meats in their diets."

    Ju

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