by Zhen Xiang
@ 30 Jun 2017
At times, words alone do not suffice - there are some dining experiences that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Intentionally kept small to retain a cozy ambience, the first thing guests see when entering the restaurant are glowing rows of wine cabinets : always a great start to an evening because a meal without wine is like a day without sunshine. Possiblt, but not quite as enjoyable. While pairing wine with food is both an art and a science, certain styles of wine invariably work better with certain dishes.
At Buona Terra, sommelier Gabriele Rizzardi works closely with Chef Denis Lucchi to create an exquisite experience with their degustation menu and we started off with a cuttlefish salad that was created with texturally contrasting ingredients like celery, melon and almond for an innovative textural experience - crunchy, soft, silky, sweet, crisp.
Nevertheless, some might argue that an Italian restaurant can be solely judged by their pasta. To this challenge, Buona Terra rises victorious. Their home made tagliolini with crab, caviar and a pinch of lemon was sublime. While the crab and caviar needs little elaboration, what stood out was the quality and texture of the pasta. Its surface was delicately roughed to allow the pasta to hold onto the sauce and therefore the flavour - a sign of very well made pasta. The dish was made complete by the Rizzardi's recommendation of the 2009 Garofoil Podium.
Among the harmonious pairing of ingredients, lamb and artichoke rank highly in the upper tier; Chef Lucchi's agnello e carcifi (lamb with artichoke) brings about a touch of tenderness resulting from the well-marbled lamb which is subtly contrasted by the crispness of the artichoke. A glass of 2010 Tenuta San Guido Le Difese was another spot-on accompaniment to the dish, both in flavour and weight.
Turbots are a welcome luxury, especially when well-prepared and fresh. Chef Lucchi pan-sear them to concentrate their great flavour with a great texture then opts for a capsicum salad to reinforce that ocean-sweetness and pan-induced crunch.
In fact, Chef Lucchi's emphasis on textures can be best realized in his fagottino di asparagi; crispy on the exterior, the asparagus filling was tender and delicious on the inside. Bundled delicately with robiola cheese, the texture was rich and decadent without losing the delicacy of the asparagus.
Good food, good wine and one of the best service experiences I have experienced yet, Buona Terra delivers. XZX