It's been a while since I've been to Basilico, one of the city's more well-regarded Italian restaurants. While the food isn't the most outstanding (La Strada or Garibaldi share the podium, imho), their service was top-notch. The smiley staff were efficient but discreet, thoughtful, and went above and beyond the extra mile. Additional cushions were brought to supplement the already plush chairs, as they'd noticed that my galfriend was preggers. They made every effort to make sure she was comfortable.
Although Basilico is renowned for their semi-buffet, we opted for the ala carte route instead...we're long past the age where we'd eat our money's worth at buffets.
Shortly after being seated, and settled into our comfy chairs, we were served complimentary mini foccacia cakes sided by a delicious tapenade. These were warm and fluffy, fresh out of the oven. Me likey very much!
Another complimentary small bites, the Fried Whitebait with homemade mayo was addictively good. A sprinkling of herbs lent flavour and aroma.
The Risotto alla Pugliese con Aragosta, Capesante, Gamberoni, Granchio, Prosecco e Asparagi ($38), canaroli rice fat with seafood stock and prosecco, was generously dotted with lobster dice, scallop cubes, prawn bits, crab shreds and chopped asparagus.
The Raviolacci con Ricotta di Bufala e Spinaci, Sughetto, di Datterini con Basilico e Cacio Pugliese ($35), pockets of buffalo ricotta and spinach, slathered with grilled tomatoes, basil sauce and cheese shavings, was probably the best dish of the lot. This was balanced, and the ravioli dumpling was nuanced and subtle.
The Filetto di Merluzzo Scottato al Timo, Carciofo Novello e Patate Violette al Forno, Salsa alla Zafferano ($39) comprised a fragrant thyme roasted cod fillet, moist and fleshy, served with grilled baby artichokes, baked purple potatoes and a velvety sunny-hued saffron sauce.
1 Cuscaden Road
Level 2, The Regent
Tel: 6725 3232
Open daily from 12noon to 2.30pm for lunch; 6.30pm to 10pm for dinner