Il Lido, romantic fine dining.....at Sentosa
It was lunch at Il Lido this time. It looked like it has been a long time since I have stepped into Sentosa. As I was going into the island, I was surprised to see a castle on the right! The stylish and elegant Il Lido is situated in the very prestigious Sentosa Golf Club overlooking a sensational view of the Straits of Singapore and the lush greenery of the golf course. The inspiration for the name of this restaurant came from Venice’s Lido Island and its many similarities with our Sentosa – fashionable resort! The owner Beppe De Vito, is a well-known personality on Singapore’s food and beverage scene. Aside from turning heads on the local F&B scene with his opening of Forlino, he also created a first in local fine dining when he launched the Il Lido Luxury Yacht as a mobile dining venue, a premier experience in Singapore.
This sophisticated Italian restaurant boasts of indoor as well as alfresco dining. Being the typical Singaporean who wants to shade myself from the sun, I chose to dine indoors. It’s all about space, light, modern, warm, welcoming and still contemporary and well integrated landscape. The inside of the restaurant is chic with colorful Kartell chairs thrown in. I have always been fascinated by the rich colors of these Italian ‘jelly’ chairs, as I call it. Most of the furniture was imported from Italy – I can see that. We were given chairs to place our handbags and I was sort of thrilled by this gesture. We ladies always have a problem to finding a descent place to put our handbags you know and the Italians really know their women.
We had tasting portions of several dishes. What does one do with an expensive cut of protein laden tuna? Make it into Tuna Tartar with White Peach and Baby Spinach! Very simple dish made of well marinated diced sashimi fresh tuna served with summer white peach slices and baby spinach. I should say, it was an ideal dieter’s meal on its own. The Buffalo Milk Mozzarella with Tomato and Basil Salad was an ultra delicious combination of fresh buffalo milk mozzarella cheese, slices of good ripe tomatoes and not enough basil leaves.
We tried two different soups – first, the Lobster Soup with Crab Meat and Crispy Leeks, lightly thickened, smooth textured soup with a balanced crisp textured from the leeks was sensational – I am a bisque fan and this was absolutely delicious. The Porcini Mushroom & Truffle Cream Soup – is a ‘treat’ soup. Definitely not the kind of soup you would drink every day, this thick soup was very heavy scented with two of God's great gifts to humanity - rich, heady, flavorful porcini and truffle.
I love fava beans aka broad beans and it is not often that you get fresh young fava beans cooked into a sauce and the Pappardelle with Broad Beans and Pecorino Romano Cheese served at Il Lido had exactly what I like. The bright green sauce with pieces of young beans held together in a sauce of made Pecorino was outstanding. Pecorino cheese made of ewe’s milk has a sharper taste and more bite than Parmesan and gave a very lively kick to the Pappardelle. Just in case you don’t know, tender fava beans coupled with Parmesan, Pecorino or sharp cheddar cheese makes a great combo. An Italian boyfriend once told me that in spring, all he needs for a nice afternoon is fava beans, a good cheese, a nice bottle of wine and then a nap in the shade! We had tasting of Tagliatelle with Wild Boar, Blueberries and Parmesan Cheese Shavings. I admit it. How often does one get to taste wild boar in Singapore? I did – just last week at Il Lido. The tender shredded meat blended very well with the light hint of blueberries that I never saw but tasted and Parmesan cheese. But honestly, I would love to have the wild boar with the pappardelle and the broad beans with tagliatelle instead but it did not look like it mattered because I finished the last morsel of pasta on my plate with relish.
Stop! We are not gluttons but we had to try, you know? We tried Atlantic Cod with Lemon Scented Potato Mash and Red Onion Compote. The mild flavored, flaky, moist, dense cod went along very well with the contrasting sharp balsamic vinegar flavor and taste of the red onion compote. The potato mash lacked the lemon ‘scent’ – perhaps my nose was drawn to the sharper stronger smell of the red onions. But potato mash is an ideal match to cod. The Grilled Duck Supreme with Leg Confit Timbale and Orange Salad was served next. The nicely grilled, tasty, tender and moist flesh of duck leg complemented well with the orange salad. My favorite main course was the US Prime Beef Tenderloin with Grilled White Asparagus and Truffle Sauce. I can see that these beef tenderloins were caressed and treated with kindness and respect because I was just eating away succulent, luscious, flavorful meat with a light truffle sauce that came with feather light shavings of truffle.
Phew…….after that entire meal, one would wonder if we had space for desserts. Being the Dessert Devil, I had. The must try-must eat is definitely the Amaretto & Orange Crème Brûlée – should be pronounced “ krehm broo-LAY”. This creamy custard with its crisp caramelized sugar topping is a dream to eat because of the combination of orange and Amaretto. The Traditional Tiramisu was a beautiful picture. You could see the layers of cheese, ladyfingers cookies and smell the coffee. The ladyfingers were not over-soaked and the mascarpone cheese mixed with the zabaglione custard was the right sweetness.
The Prosecco Parfait with White Peaches and Star Anice was an impressive pannacotta like dessert that was light and not overly sweet. It got along with the Prosecco stewed white peaches that had a faint hint of star anise.
Finally, it was time to look around to see more of Il Lido. The Lounge Bar is quite stylish with an ambience that is eclectic. The extensive beverage list features classic and contemporary cocktails, with a great selection of wines and champagnes by the glass as well as premium beers. Apparently during the week, cool up-to-date piped-in music is played and people come in to soak into the nice, classy ambience that definitely eludes positive and uplifting energy….after all Il Lido is surrounded by nature at its best.
Sentosa Golf Club
27, Bukit Manis Road
Tel: 6866 1977