07 October 2007

To share or to hog...

When I discover something novel and lovely, I sometimes find myself in a huge conundrum. What should I do? Do I share this exciting news-bite with everyone? Or would it be wiser to hog the treasure, to be shared only with the select few I intend to enjoy it with? The answer, if you haven't already guessed it, would be to spread the word. Food bloggers certainly would not be food bloggers if they did not like sharing their new bonanza.

I'm pretty sure other food bloggers share the same 'problem' that I have: I'm ALWAYS tasked to suggest a place to dine. Of course, it is natural to leave the where-to-eat-problem to the person who probably has a long list of eateries to try. But once in a while (Yes! It happens!), nothing comes to mind and thinking of some place on a tight budget becomes a painfully excruciating exercise.

So when Sherwin suggested a cosy gathering among the couple of us old Warwick peeps, I was SO relieved that he suggested some place he wanted to try. Better still, someplace I had not tried myself! Of course, if there's some new eatery, you can bet your life that some food blogger (in this case, June) would have blogged about it before.

Being so comfortable with this bunch of clowns, I shamelessly requested that we have lunch there instead of dinner. Apart from the fact that it meant I had to trudge up the terrible off-road in the sweltering heat, it was a great decision.
First and foremost, photos were a joy to take since the food was bathing in the glorious sunlight. Also, for some reason (maybe the heat?), we were the only ones there. I was not complaining about that, especially since the place was full house the night before. I really don't fancy shouting over tables to make myself heard or straining my ears to stay in conversations.

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Although I was not particularly ravenous, we ordered a whole load of appetizers, including a pizza to share. I heard sounds of pleasure around the table, and particularly enjoyed the mushroom soup. It was not thick nor overly rich like I expected it to be because of very many disappointing experiences, and I could taste the very essence of the button mushrooms.

The star of the round of appetisers however, was the Buono Pizza, which when translated literally means 'good pizza'. The few people who balked at the sight of rocket surprised themselves by polishing their pizzas to the last leaf. The white sauce and delicious blend of cheeses went perfectly with the occasional ring of tomato and the abundant scatter of the peppery rocket that would otherwise be rather overwhelming.

When we spoke to the chef, he admitted a penchant for adding his own little twists to dishes, and the Curry Seafood Pasta has got to be the epitome of this quirk of his. I didn't manage to try it, being too besotted with my own dish but it did look tempting. There were the classics of course, which he did not fool around with, like the Squid Ink Risotto. It seemed a tad oversalted, but my friend lapped it up. When it comes to portions, they definitely don't play the
small-portion-big-plate game, making this a great place to go when you're ravenous.

Although I was tempted by the ravioli (with seafood and tomato-based sauce), I eventually chose the tortelloni because well, it's cheese and mushrooms - simply irresistable. I managed to steal a ravioli from Vivien, and it was quite lovely. The tomato-based sauce was smooth and rich, and had evidently spent much time stewing gently in some big cast-iron pot.
But the tortelloni... ah the tortelloni. It was soothing with each bite, with the pasta substantially thick and just slightly chewy. The cheese stuffing was not overpowering nor cloying, and went well with the flavourfully earthy porcini cream sauce.

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Just when I thought I could stomach no more, the man himself came over to introduce his stock of specially imported ice creams. A peach sorbet, a pineapple sorbet, a chocolate hazelnut gelato, and a blueberry molten lava cake it was for the couple of us. The presentation was novel to me, and therefore fun to snap. The frozen peach that came with the peach sorbet was not let go either of course, and on a warm day like that, it was a welcome respite.

Couln't resist posting this really 'cool' photo of the pineapple sorbet as well. These baby pineapples were tres cute, but unfortunately not very edible since they were also served frozen.

I, of course, chose the chocolate gelato rolled in chopped nuts, which was probably a mixture of hazelnuts and almonds. The best dessert of the lot, though also least good-looking (and therefore not here), was the blueberry molten lava cake with an incredibly smooth and refreshing filling.

If I had to pinpoint one reason I have not been back to Buono's ever since, it has got to be the distance. Located just off Serangoon Central, you have to be armed with your street directory or GPS system to find the rather secluded Lichfield Road. But I would love to return with a bunch of close friends to while a lazy afternoon away with the best company ever - good food.


Tel: 6733 5646

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