When cousin L asked if we wanted to have dinner with her and M at Buko Nero, we leapt at the chance, since our last trip was way back on 13th February. After a number of failed attempts (they were away, then closed for a private function), L managed to snag a choice reservation for 19th December – 7.30 pm on a Saturday night.
This is where it gets freaky… I went back to our previous Buko Nero posts to see what we had, since it’s been so long. And in 2008, we also went just twice, on… 13th February and 19th December! What are the odds?!
Anyway, we all had the set and swapped the main for either the specials, or interesting new dishes on the menu.
Amuse bouche: Crostini with flaked cod in a wholegrain mustard dressing
Starter: Korean pear salad with grilled saba in a ponzu and pink peppercorn sauce
Soup: Chickpea with basil and crabmeat
Sherbet: Sour plum
A’s main: Twice-cooked duck breast with anchovies sauce
C’s main: Risotto with fontina cheese and speck
M’s main: Crusted cod with bell pepper coulis
L’s main: Beef tenderloin wrapped with pancetta, in a blueberry and red wine sauce
Dessert: Chocolate cake with caramel and home-made macha gelato
The crostini and soup were both very good. The salad was alright but I wasn’t particularly keen on the texture of the Korean pear.
A and I ordered mains off the a la carte menu, and L and M ordered the specials. The duck was quite a generous serving – ten sizeable slices on a bed of pureed potato. Flavours were good, but the duck was a bit overdone for my liking.
My risotto was sheer decadent heaven. The flavours were really intense, from the cheese, to the slices of speck (a kind of parma ham) on top, to the amazing sauce that was drizzled on the circumference of the mound of risotto. Rich, creamy and oozy – three of the best words to describe a risotto and the one tonight scored on all fronts.
We didn't try L and M’s mains so both of you – do share (your views, clearly, not the food).
The dessert wasn’t one of Chef Oscar’s best, but I surprisingly liked his home-made macha gelato. Instead of the lurid green that is the Haagen-Daaz green tea ice cream, with an equally in-your-face flavour, here it was very subtle and restrained. A nice complement to the cake.
My risotto was the best dish of the night, but to be honest, I found the duck rather disappointing. Still, a satisfying and pretty reasonable meal.
126 Tanjong Pagar Road
Dinner: 6.30pm to 9.30pm (Tuesday to Saturday)
Lunch: Noon to 2pm (Friday and Saturday)
Closed Sunday and Monday