Do you love Italian food? Are you a sophisticated diner who enjoy the finer things in life? Get ready! The stage of the inaugural Gusto Italiano festival has been set to bring you on a gastronomic adventure across the diverse regions of Italy! A celebration of Italian culture and fine cuisine happening from 1 September to 3 October 2013, it has brought this PinkyPiggu into an evening of wine and dine indulgence with an exclusive dinner hosted by Forlino at One Fullerton last week. The exquisite menu was specially crafted by Chef Kentaro Torii, with a focus on the flavors of the relatively unknown and rustic island of Sardegna in the south of Italy.
Located on the second floor of One Fullerton, Forlino's main dining room boasts of floor-to-ceiling glass windows, offering a spectacular view of the Marina Bay. The interior oozes much of classic elegance with doses of opulence, setting a splendid tone for the sumptuous dinner ahead. Servers went around with canapes and offered us glasses of Caviro, Tintoretto Prosecco Extra Dry before the dinner officially commenced.
Chef Kentaro's delectable creations were paired with the exquisite Wines of Argiolas. The history of Argiolas draws back from the early 1900s in Serdiana and the winery is widely known for its crisp, refreshing white wines and complex reds. One of the key highlight is the highly sought after Turriga which is considered to be the Sassicaia (one of Italy's leading Bordeaux-style red wines) of the south!
he Turriga wine has an intense ruby red color and rich and complex aroma. In the mouth it is structured, balanced, fine and persistent. - See more at: http://www.winesandwine.com/wines/turriga.html#sthash.ifMzgLs9.dpu
Tonno alla Vernaccia
Blue Fin Tuna in Almond Crust, Amalfi Lemon & Vernaccia Sauce, Mullet Bottarga, Braised Fennel
2011 IS Argiolas, Vermentino di Sardegna DOC
Blessed with glorious mediterranean weather, Sardegna is quickly gaining a reputation for some of the best produce in Italy. Classically trained in the art of Italian cuisine from his stints in United States and Italy, Chef Kentaro also spent several years in Sardegna and immersed himself in the local culture and flavors unique to the island. Armed with the knowledge, skills and recipes, Chef Kentaro showcased a special menu with a keen eye for detail which one can only expect from a top Japanese chef. The 5-course dinner started off with a traditional Sardinian Flatbread which reminded me of Indian Thosai at initial glance. It was delightfully wafer thin and crisp with a subtle aroma of freshly-baked bread. A beautifully plated Blue Fin Tuna with a light white wine sauce soon followed and was so tasty that everything was polished off in no time.
Zuppa di Arselle e Fregula
Arselle Clams and Fregula Soup, Saffron, Poached Lobster, Datterini Tomato
2008 Cerdena Isola Dei Buraghi IGT
Sardinian Small Gnocchi, Slow Braised Lamb Ragout, Pecorino Sardo
2010 Costera Cannonau di Sardegna DOC
Next up is another typical recipe of Sardinia, Arselle Clams and Fregula Soup. It was a picture of gorgeousness as the fresh clams, poached lobsters and tiny spheres of pasta sat prettily in the savory broth. What stole the show ultimately was the chunks of lobsters which tasted so divinely fresh and sweet! I almost moaned in delight as its succulent and bouncy flesh danced around in my mouth. This was effortlessly my favorite dish of the evening! Compared to the soup item, the Sardinian Small Gnocchi was much heavier on the palate with a lip-smacking slowed braised lamb ragout accentuated with richness of the Pecorino Sardo cheese. I thought the pasta texture for both dishes was a bit hard and undercooked, not quite to the desired al dente bite yet.
Suckling Pig Loin Roasted with Mirto, Cannonau Pork Jus, Sardinian Artichoke Confit
2009 Korem Isola Dei Nuraghi IGT
2008 Turriga Isola Dei Nuraghi IGT
We put our appetite aside for awhile when it was announced that Chef Kentaro will be portioning and plating the upcoming dish of Suckling Pig Loin in front of us. Needless to say, I positioned myself to catch a glimpse of Chef Kentaro and his team in action while trying to get some decent shots at the same time. Very much like a paparazzi, but I'm not the only one lol. I returned to my table to find my plate of gastronomical delight already waiting for me, a slab of superbly tender meat laced with red wine sauce.
Deep Fried Fresh Pecorino Ravioli, Orange Honey, Pistachio Gelato
Argiolas. Mirto Tremontis
Amedei 70% Black Chocolate Tart
Another highlight of the dinner was the desserts! I never had ravioli as a dessert before, and the moment of anticipation culminated to an orgasmatic high as the Deep Fried Fresh Pecorino Ravioli gripped my tastebud, hitting all the right spots. To describe the experience as fantastic would be an understatement. The ravioli was deep fried to a crispy perfection, within its ethereal airy shell lies the sharp and salty melted pecorino cheese. Gently drizzled with orange honey and lifted with quality pistachio gelato and chopped pistachio nuts, each mouthful was a caress on the tongue, a teasing sensation of hot and cold down the throat, a naughty play of flavors and textures. Finally, it all ended perfectly with the Chocolate Tart made with the luxurious Amedei chocolat.
The recipe for these remarkably original cheese fritter calls for a final drizzle of bittersweet corbezzolo honey. Corbezzolo is Italian for strawberry tree, an evergreen Mediterranean shrub whose flower nectar lends the signature bittersweet flavor to this specific honey. - See more at: http://www.aglioolioepeperoncino.com/2011/12/seadas-sardinian-fritters.html#sthash.cnGKjlMQ.dpufThanks to the organizers of Gusto Italiano for the invite to this wondrous dining experience.
Gusto Italiano is organized by Sphere Exhibits Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH), together with presenting partner The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC).
As part of the exciting line up of Gusto Italiano, there will be EATaly dining promotions where a selection of Italian restaurants across Singapore will be providing dining offers on their ala carte items to fans of Italian cuisine all year long.
HSBC cardholders will enjoy 20% off Gusto Italiano events and 15% off ala carte food bills at EATaly participating restaurants.
Do check out the following channels for more information, reservations and ticket purchases:
Official Website: www.gustoitaliano.com.sg
Hotline: +65 6319 4038 (Mon - Fri, 9am - 6pm)
Address: One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road, Singapore 049213
Contact: +65 66907564
Opening Hours: Lunch 12pm-2.30pm, Dinner 6.30pm-10.30pm