Sunday, May 31, 2009

IL Lido

IL Lido is known as a chic fine-dining place to hangout for the chi-chi crowd. Not being part of the chi-chi crowd, naturally E and I had not been there previously, so when the UOB credit card offer (one-for-one $38 set lunch) came along, this was too good an opportunity to pass up. So off we drove to Sentosa for a little exploration.

IL Lido is situated at the Sentosa Golf Club, commandeering the sea-facing cliff end, with great views of the Singapore Straits. The restaurant was done up in Italian minimalist chic style, with accents of neon colours sprinkled throughout - bright orange and bright green padded armchairs clashed with dark grey upholstered lounges. However, the decor looked a little tired and faded. Time for a renovation! Service was unpolished and unfriendly. The wait staff and especially the girl who showed us in seemed to radiate the attitude that restaurant diners are doing them a service by eating there...although I did notice that service seemed warmer towards the Caucasians. Tut tut.

The set lunch came with two options each for the starter and main course. For starters, we had a seared tuna salad and a potato soup. The tuna salad was good, with three generous thick slices of sweet tasty tuna very lightly seared to perfection. Unfortunately I could not say the same of the potato soup, which could best be described as bland and unexciting.

Moving on to main courses, we had a fettucine in a fresh tomato sauce with pesto, and a grilled spring chicken. Again, one (semi) hit and one miss. The al-dente pasta was beautifully cooked and complemented well by the heightened flavours of the fresh tomato sauce. However, the pesto sauce could have benefited from more assertive flavours - E thinks that this is because I have only ever eaten my own home-made pesto, which naturally tastes better and has stronger flavours of basil and pine nuts / parmesan cheese than the off-the-shelf type, since all the ingredients are freshly made. The chicken however, was quite a disappointment, since it was tough and dry from over-cooking. The strange sweetish jus also did nothing to bring out the natural flavours of the meat and the rosemary was strangely muted.

Dessert was somewhat lacklustre, comprising an assembly of apricot tart (with a soggy and not so buttery crust), a bland-tasting pistachio ice-cream, and a rather good jiggly creme caramel.

Verdict? IL Lido has definitely seen better days, and I can now see why it has fallen off the radar of foodies. No doubt the price that we were paying was really low. But even then, I do expect a fine-dining restaurant to maintain certain mininum standards of execution regardless - the restaurant chooses to offer promotions after all, so why do it if you are not sincere about it? This is not to say that our lunch was bad - it was actually quite good - but there is far better quality to be had at this price point (before discount) elsewhere, and without paying additional charges to enter Sentosa too.

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