Basilico Weekend Brunch

It has been close to 2 years since the last time I have ever been to a buffet due to all the safe distance regulations and the intermittent closure of F&B outlets. In fact, buffets used to be an affair for friends or family gatherings so with the dining restriction of 2 persons ( 2 months back), I was mostly dining at home. However, being the glutton I am, I readily agreed to join my friend when we started reminising about the gorgeous spread at Basilico.

We booked for the weekend brunch buffet and surprisingly, the restaurant is pretty empty and this is especially highlighted with the spaced-out tables to meet the safe distancing regulations. Ever since the pandemic, buffet restaurant has started to operate with a different mechanic so most of the items can be ordered via the menu with the servers bringing them to your table. Guests are not allowed to be mingling or walking around the restaurant

The chefs are still cooking by the open kitchen where the self-service buffet line used to be but instead of crowds of hungry customers, all the chefs look relatively lonely standing by the empty counters and waiting for orders from the servers

The menu is spilt by categories like anti pasti selections, seafood platters, pizza, pasta, main course , desserts and cheese platter. I was slightly late so my friend helped to order 1 serving of everything in the menu. The first plate was the anti pasti which has Datterini Tomatoes with Basil, Putignano Burrata, rocket leaves and artichokes

There was also the parma ham with rock melon and various cold cuts. For the anti pasti selections, the quality of the food is great and the serving size for one is just nice to get a feel of which items you would like to get 2nd helpings. My only complain is the melon wasn’t as sweet as I remembered but it could be due to season or availability of the fruit due to current logistic challenges

Under seafood platter, you could choose from prawn, boston lobster and scallops but to save stomach space, I went straight for the lobster which was medium in size but considerably fleshy. I found the lobster missing that sweet succulent flavour and was a little dry due to the way it was grilled

Something I was looking forward to was the Foie Gras as I had some of the best ones at Basilico before the pandemic. When the plate was served, I was firstly disappointed by the size as they were a lot more generous in the past. When it came to the color, I could see some pieces were overcooked with an overly charred crust. When I bit into the first piece, my disappointment set in as there was no melt in the mouth texture and some bits were chewy. Deciding to give them another chance, I ordered a 2nd plate and only 1 piece was closer to their previous standards. I compared the feedback with my friends seated at another table and they found the foie gras of low quality

After the foie gras, I kind of lost all mood for the rest as I specifically came for them but the ones served were really a disappointment. However, this octopus carpaccio surprised me with their mouthful of flavours as I chew on the thinly sliced pieces. Each piece was tender and not rubbery with great light flavours from the lemon sauce

With increased expectations from the carpaccio, we moved on to the main courses which had the lamb. chicken breast, fish and beef. I ordered the lamb and chicken which came with a side of roasted mini potatoes. The lamb was fantastic with a great charcoal flavour infused from the grill and most importantly, it did not have the gamey taste which turns most people away from lamb. Instead, it was tender and succulent with the nice grilled flavour. The chicken breast was well cooked but nothing too different for mention

The seared fish fillet was served on a bed of grilled vegetables like cauliflower and corn with a garnish of sprouts. I only had a bite of the fish as I was getting quite full but the fish was quite well flavoured and succulent

One of the items which my friend loves was the cheese focaccia which has an earthy flavour from the cheese and charred skin of the focaccia bread. If I still had stomach space, I would probably eat a couple of these as a snack as they were quite delectable

If we left without ordering the risotto, it would have felt like a sin. A risotto lover, I definitely need to order one in any Italian restaurant so I was glad the serving was small enough to not waste further food. The risotto was cooked al dente with a consistent creaminess to the rice and mushroom sauce. Topped with the grated cheese, the risotto was surprisingly light and not too heavy on the palate

Finally, for desserts, we ordered only 1 serving to share as we were quite full and also nearing the end of the brunch. On our sampling plate, we had a chocolate mousse cake, red velvet cake, tiramisu and a pistachio tart. Together with dessert, we were served either coffee or tea. Dessert was pretty general without any piece that is particularly outstanding

We also has the cheese platter which was served with truffle honey and nuts. The cheese selection on the platter was nice but I had no more space to stomach the entire platter so I only had a taste of the softer cheese which I liked. The quality of the cheeses is definitely there and the platter would be a prefer end to the brunch

Overall, the service and food standards of Basilico is guaranteed although there are certain misses like the foie gras which is disappointing to me. Personally, I am half hearted about the experience of a full service buffet as I totally miss the ability to walk around and look at all the food available and getting only the ones which attract you visually. When the buffet is full serviced, you get a surprise on what is served to you and there might be a lot more food wastage when it is something you do not like and if you finish everything, you can’t really fully enjoy every dish. The full service buffet also takes slightly longer than self service as there is limited staff available. Personally, I will not be visiting anymore buffet until the restrictions open as I feel the full buffet experience is no longer there

Address: 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249715

Operating hours for brunch : Sat and Sun 12 pm to 3pm

Author: elizbeartravel

A human bear who loves travelling, eating and cooking

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