il Lido

il Lido is one of those restaurants that oozes class and elegance in an effortless, understated way. Of course, being perched on a hilltop replete with a magnificent view of the turquoise waters and encircled by lush greens goes some distance in making this a luxurious oasis away from the buzz of the city.

Service was as you'd expect from a fine-dining establishment, impeccable and discreet but attentive. I'd casually mentioned that we were celebrating a colleague's birthday, and they'd planned a surprise birthday cake, illuminated by a single candle, for him. Even I was taken aback because the surprise was so unexpected. But appreciatively so. 

To top it off, the food was fantastic; masterful and exquisite. Best of all, the portions were pleasingly hearty. So even with the upmarket prices, I thought the meal was thoroughly worthwhile. 

Shortly after we were seated, we were served not one, but TWO, amuse bouche! First off was a cup of Porcini Mushroom Soup laced with roasted barley for a little crunch, dusted with nutmeg for levity, and swirled with balsamic for a faint piquancy.

Next up was the Truffle Arancini, a miniature riceball crowned with a truffle shaving, intensely fragrant and wonderfully textured.

The Bread Basket of tepid crusty rolls was so good, we actually finished up them all. No mean feat considering the amount of food we'd ordered.

A tip for the wallet-light: get the extremely value-for-money 3-Course Set Lunch ($38), complete with an amuse bouche and coffee or tea. The daily soup option was a Cream of Asparagus, smooth and thick, fragranced by a splash of truffle oil.

The daily choice appetizer was a melt-in-your-mouth Beef Carpaccio, simply flavoured with shavings of parmigiano and wisps of microgreens and arugula, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

An ala carte menu item, the Green Asparagus & Truffle Casserole ($28) was a bright green soft-boiled egg slurry weaved with garlic croutons and diced asparagus.

For the mains, the pasta-of-the-day was a soft and chewy Homemade Penne with Pumpkin Squash and truffle sand, homey and sweet and mellow.

The daily fish was a perfectly Grilled Halibut with grilled root veggies, a light-as-air pomme puree and brown jus. The crisp of the skin was contrasted by the soft moistness of the flesh.

Off the ala carte menu, the Mushroom Risotto ($35) stirred with stracchino cheese, and topped with shimeiji mushrooms and micro-cress, was sumptuous. A word of caution to small eaters though, this was massively portioned!

The daily dessert option was a Vanilla Panna Cotta, a wobbly cone of delicate cream, balanced by the tart-ish strawberries.

Some of us swopped out the daily dessert for a sweet on the ala carte menu. It was really nice that we were allowed to do that. The Banana Brulee ($18) was sweetened with salted caramel and sided by a rich coconut gelato.

The Hazelnut Coulant ($18) was rich but nuanced, and juxtaposed with a spiced chocolate gelato.

The complimentary birthday cake, a Tiramisu Moderno ($18) was an excellent rendition of the classic Italian confectionery. This was at once heady, creamy and moist.

Another ala carte menu item was the Italian Cheese Platter ($28), a fine selection of the blue, fontina and parmigiano varietals. Dates, fig compote and some rustic garlic-rubbed toast were on hand to help mop up every last bit of the funky cheese. 

il Lido
Sentosa Golf Club
27 Bukit Manis Road
Tel: 6866 1977
Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 12noon to 2.30pm for lunch; 6.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner;
Closed on Mondays
Website: www.il-lido.com

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