Thursday, April 2, 2009


I really really wanted to try Forlino for a very long time, after hearing many rave reviews about it from friends as well as on Chubby Hubby's blog. So imagine how pleased I was when I finally convinced E to bring me there for lunch.

Upon stepping in, we were transported to another world by the beautiful decor and stunning views. Done in a modern take on Victorian style, the understated and elegant plush luxe surroundings were the perfect counterfoil to set off the breathtaking 270 degree panaroma of the Marina Bay seen through ceiling-to-floor windows.

We had the set lunch, starting with home-made foccacia bread and an amuse-bouche of fresh mozzarella on cherry tomato garnished with mint. The warmed foccacia bread was crispy and redolent with olive oil, although I felt that it lacked depth of flavour and that wonderful bready yeasty taste. The amuse-bouche however hinted pleasurably of better things to come, with the different tastes complementing each other wonderfully.

For starters, I had the beef carpaccio while E had a pumpkin soup. I very much liked my beer carpaccio - vibrant and citrusy tasting, served on a fresh and zingy rocket and celery salad. The peppery and sharp scents of the rocket and celery set off the beef really well. E's pumpkin soup was nothing much to shout about though, can only say that it was serviceable.

My main course was a grilled red snapper served with capers, olives and rosemary, while E had the pasta. Again, I think I made the better choice of the two of us. The fish was lightly grilled with a thinly crispy skin but still moist and juicy flesh, and the scent of the rosemary and caper jus was simply tantalising. E's tagliatelle was good (fresh pasta can never be bad) with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves but did not rise to new heights - I have cooked better fresh pasta at home before. Sweet ending with coffee and handmade petit-fours (almond cookies somewhat like baci, meringue 'kisses' and chocolate ganache truffles).

Forlino has the potential to be great - it has outstanding views, beautiful and stylish decor and cutlery, and the quality of the food is high - good ol Italian comfort food (though not quite 'knock-me-out' standard). It is however somewhat let down by harried and spotty service, the waiters are not fully trained and professional enough to live up to the billing of fine-dining. There was practically no explanation of all the dishes and little warmth shown. Nevertheless, given the price of lunch and all the other plus factors going for it ($38, but there's a one-for-one deal until end May 09), this has got to be one of the best value lunches that one can enjoy. E and I will probably go back for dinner to try out their famed lamb chops and veal ravioli (E has this hang-up about eating baby animals so I will get double portions of lamb and ravioli. Oh joy!)

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