We did our May pilgrimage to Buko Nero on Friday night. This time, I ordered the full set menu, while A changed the main course to one of the specials. The set for the night consisted of:
Rocket & Parmesan Salad with Pink Peppercorn Dressing
Cream of Cauliflower with Sea Scallops
Strawberry and Lime Sorbet
Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage and Mushroom Ragu
Baked Coffee Cake with Cream Cheese
The amuse bouche for the evening was the best that I’ve ever had at Buko Nero – crostini with a slice of seared rare steak, topped with a green apple salsa. Both A and I had the same reaction to this dish: pop the whole thing into your mouth, and the first experience is the crunch as you bite down onto the crostini. Then you get the tart sweetness of the green apple, and you’re like “mmm…”. And then, as you chew even more, the full flavour of the beef hits you, and the interplay of all three as you’re finishing the mouthful is mindblowing. A and I kept making yummy noises and sighs as we kept getting more and more of the taste of the beef as we kept chewing. It definitely wasn’t tenderloin, because it was way more flavourful. Maybe ribeye or sirloin? Or perhaps it was US beef.
The salad was pretty good for its simplicity. The cauliflower soup was excellent – not too rich, the cauliflower taste was dominant though not overpowering, and there was a very generous helping of scallops inside. Delicious. The sorbet was, well, sorbet… which is never really my cup of tea.
My rigatoni main course was pretty good, but I think this is probably the last time I don’t switch the main course. It was a well-executed pasta dish but nothing close to the standard of the specials that Chef Oscar whips up. The tomato sauce base had some grated parmesan cheese which made it less sour, and the spicy sausages were really good – bursts of spicy, fatty flavour whenever you bite into each piece.
A switched the set dinner pasta to the pasta special of the day - Squid Ink Pasta with vongole and sea scallops, in an aglio olio-based sauce. This, like the tagliatelle we had on our last visit, was wonderful. The pasta again tasted wonderfully home-made, and the sauce had the benefit of the clams to give it an incredibly strong flavour.
The cake was interesting – it was a strong coffee-flavoured cheesecake, and the cheesecake base had a nice gingery flavour to it. It came with caramel sauce and dusted with icing sugar. Washed down with a latte (me) and a cappuccino (A), it was a perfect ending to another great dinner here.
And whoopee, we managed to secure a reservation for 21st June! Can’t wait!
Wah rau! The beef starter thingy was (as EMF would say) UNBELIEVABLE! Highlight of the night! I could probably eat a whole tray of those things.
Although the mains didn’t blow me away as much as usual, the rest of the meal was outstanding as always.
Note to self: The latte here is way better than the cappuccino. Order that next time.