I know we said that leaving a few months in between Buko Nero visits makes each visit more memorable, but little did we realise that we’d take that a bit too seriously. Our last visit was in Feburary! This visit the special menu was:
Amuse bouche: Crostini with cheese and mango
Starter: Scallop carpaccio with miso dressing and watercress salad
Soup: Pumpkin, mint and crab meat
Sorbet: Sour plum
A’s main: Squid ink tagliolini with arrabiata sauce and squid
C’s main: Seared hamachi fillet
Dessert: Hazelnut and praline cake
Both the crostini and the soup reiterated my view that Casa Verde ain’t no Buko Nero. Particularly the soup – the soups here at Buko Nero are just so much more intense, and the flavours are so much more concentrated. The scallop carpaccio was quite good but I think the miso dressing was a bit too strong and overwhelmed the rather delicate scallop somewhat.
My main sounded better than it tasted though. I guess I expected the texture of a hamachi head/cheek, where the meat is quite fatty and even when grilled, is almost melt-in-the-mouth. In contrast, a hamachi fillet is leaner and meatier, so at certain points this was a bit dry. The skin was great though, incredibly crispy, and I don’t know where they source their green peas from, but for someone who normally abhors green peas, these actually tasted very fresh and were prepared till just tender, not mushy. The pasta was better, but not one of their best.
Cake was delicious – ground hazelnuts inside the cake batter so the whole cake was just perfumed with hazelnut, and topped with shaved chocolate and praline.
One of the highlights, for me, was the bread at the start. We used to have little bread rolls which were already quite yummy, but today it was an incredibly light focaccia with tomatoes, onions and olives. I dare say that I think I’ve grown to like olives (black ones, that is. Still can’t do the green ones).
Some dinners here may be more mind-blowing than others, but they’re always satisfying and very good value for money.
Tonight’s menu was a bit too experimental for my liking. I guess I’m beginning to prefer more traditional Italian cooking. Still, any visit to Buko Nero is great. Too bad it’s so hard to get a reservation.
126 Tanjong Pagar Road
Dinner: 6.30pm to 9.30pm (Tuesday to Saturday)
Lunch: Noon to 2pm (Friday and Saturday)
Closed Sunday and Monday