It would seem almost wrong for Restaurant Week to pass and not have a single post on food here at Justified. Hence, this was my sole justification for dropping work and heading off to a dinner on a Thursday evening.
The restaurant of choice was Forlino, located at One Fullerton. Thus far, the restaurants covered on Justified have been either in school (NUSS Guild House) or nearby (Relish @ Cluny Court). I decided to venture a little farther and review a restaurant that might be useful when on a date to Esplanade. Or if you happen to need a snack before heading to Butter Factory. That said, Forlino offers a stunning view of the Marina Bay waterfront and is an absolutely breathtaking place to catch the sunset or the evening lights show at MBS.
Since this was part of Restaurant Week, the menu was pre-set for us, and it consisted of a scrumptious four-course dinner.
Before the arrival of the first course, we were served a very humble starter of freshly baked Focaccia with cheese. And you know your dinner is off to a great start when even the most humble course makes you do a double take. The warm and slightly moist bread melts in your mouth when paired with the special cheese that provided just the right amount of flavor. Fans of Café Cartel’s free-flow of bread: think twice.
Some of you might have heard complaints in the papers about how some Restaurant Week joints provide less-than-impressive menus that leave diners thinking that the meal wasn’t too worth the price. However, there was no scrimping on premium ingredients at Forlino because we were served nothing less than Pan Roasted Foie Gras in a blackcurrant sauce for the antipasto course. I must admit that foie gras is an acquired (expensive) taste but for those who are fans of it, there would certainly be no complaints with this dish — it was slightly crispy on the outside and oozes in your mouth on the inside.
The second course to any proper Italian meal must always be the pasta. And this was arguably the most mind-blowing course of the evening — the Tangliolini with Spanner Crab, served with sweet peas and in a Tarragon Cream sauce. The Tangliolini was a special kind of pasta that was slightly thicker than spaghetti. It was served in a slightly spicy but extremely yummy cream sauce, topped with a small portion of soft-shelled crab. Cream based pasta tend to strike fear because it tends to be extremely filling after awhile. But this cream sauce was just the right amount of tastiness without being too heavy on the palette.
For the main course, it was a choice between duck confit and a Mediterranean Seabass with Artichokes and Apricot Sauce. I decided to give the seabass a go. The fish was soaked in a very extravagant looking orange sauce that gave a new spin to what it means to “foam”. Personally, I am not a great fan of fish that comes with skin but I had to confess that this fillet was done so nicely that the skin slips into your mouth without feeling too oily or slimy. A slight letdown was the artichokes for its sourness didn’t seem to go too well with the seabass.
Fans of duck confit should definitely try the one served here (of which I pinched a little from Wei Ren)!
Although we were quite full (if you want “value for money”, an Italian meal like ours was better than say a French meal with its miserly portions), we eagerly awaited the Dark Chocolate Pudding in a Wild Berries Compote. This one was really a matter of personal taste. If you are a fruits and berries fan like my dinner companion Joyce, then you certainly would rave over its pairing with the not-overly-sweet chocolate pudding. What I really loved about this dish though, was its clever pairing with the bits of vanilla crisps topping.
We ended our evening with a good cup of latte as we admired the night scenery over the Marina Bay area. Overall, Forlino serves a truly impeccable selection of Italian food and in a very posh and quiet setting. The service staff were friendly and attentive and if you find yourself here some day, be sure to try the pasta.
Article contributed by: Gerald Leong (Law 2)
Special thanks to Joyce Ng and Lim Wei Ren for their company and small talk.