Buona Terra Italian Restaurant, Dine with the Good Earth!

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After a very delightful visit to Ki-Sho for dinner, it was time to discover Buona Terra, the contemporary Italian fine dining restaurant located within the same compound of Chateau TCC at 29 Scotts Road. Occupying the extension site of Chateau TCC, Buona Terra is conceptualised to preserve the exclusive and elegant ambience of a colonial history from days past. Helmed by chef de cuisine, Chef Denis Lucchi, Buona Terra offers all its guests a selection of five different sets from the Stella Menu priced at $88++ for a three course to the extensive Buona Terra Degustation Menu priced at $228++ for eight to ten courses. With a focus on fresh and top quality ingredients in each dish, Chef Denis’ creations is complemented by an extensive wine list of over 200 labels procured and recommended by Chief Sommelier Gabriele Rizzardi. Ready for an adventure into dining with the Good Earth?

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On a Monday night, the small restaurant was packed with guests. Each was clearly enjoying themselves to the fill. As the waitstaff offered the menu to me, mum and I opted the two different set menus of 1) Seasonal Set $148++ and 2) Sole Menu $128++ from the recently released Constellation of the Stars selection. Unique to the Constellation of the Stars menu, guests are able to customize their dinners from a range of antipasti, pasta, secondi and dessert sections.

In this review, I will firstly run through the dishes presented in the Seasonal Set. Thereafter, I will touch on the five dishes I selected for the Sole Menu.

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Start off the dinner with a serving of Italian Brut Antica Fratta 2008. Sparkling wine with a crisp, slightly bitter aromatic.

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Warm bread and breadsticks to serve.

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Dinner started with a serving of the Amuse Bouche. Tonight’s creation was a unique creation of Creme Brulee with Parmesan Cheese and Truffle. The caramelised, sweet crust broke into a layer of savoury cheese peppered with bits of aromatic Truffle. It was a surprise for me and defied traditional notions of the usually sweet dessert.

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Seasonal Set Menu $148++

The Parma Ham with Black Figs and Grilled Tomino Cheese was a quaint starter that was both comforting and tad salty. The flavours are rich and mildly intense, with the crisp ham standing out in textural contrast to the tender, melted cheese. Pieces of figs gave off a sweet balance that perhaps could do with a little more presence.

Recommended wine pairing : Verdicchio Selezione, Garofoli 2006

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I cannot gush enough over how much I enjoyed the Seared Red Prawn with Red Onion, Tomato Salad and Brandy Sauce. A single serving of a giant red Prawn, perched in its own juices was the quintessential example of Chef bringing out the sweet sea savoury fragrance. The sauce is made from juicing the prawn’s head together with a good dose of brandy and sweet onions. Kudos to Chef for this excellent dish.

Recommended wine pairing : Manna, Franz Haas 2011

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The Squid Ink Tonnarelli with Bamboo Clam was one dish I could not wrap my head around to. Mum loved the alkaline flavours that was well interweaved with savoury clam bits. However, I found the alkaline aromatics from the bamboo clams a little too strong for my liking. Still, a unique dish that deserves a mention for those keen for something bold and flavourful.

Recommended wine pairing : Terre Alte, Livio Felluga 2011,

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The Organic Egg with Asparagus and Seasonal Black Truffle is what I will call comfort food. Runny Yolk from the poached egg, with a good amount of lightly fragrant shaved black truffle layered over the top, this would probably be an ideal breakfast dish. The simplicity in ingredients, combined with a good use of green and white asparagus for flavour and texture, makes this a worthy dish to go for.

Recommended wine pairing : L’Eterno, Feudi del Pisciotto 2011

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I give a thumbs up to the Cape Grim Beef Tenderloin with Veal Sweet Bread, Artichoke and Potato Puree. The beef tenderloin, done a beautiful medium rare is exceptionally juicy and robust in flavour. Discover the potato puree tucked underneath and slowly engage in the jus ladled by the side.

Recommended wine pairing : Barolo DOCG Cannubi Boschis, Luciano Sandrone 2008

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To go with the desserts, Gabriele served up the L’Ecru IGT, Firriato 2008 made from a late harvest of grapes grown in Mount malvasia. A gorgeous golden hue hints at the almost syrupy sweetness that is both a perfect palate cleanser and partner to the end of the meal.

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The novelty of chocolate soil really stood out in this dish, reminding the diner of the restaurant’s earthly origins. Fresh Mix Berries with Mascarpone Cream, Chocolate Soil, Banana Cake and olive oil ice cream is pleasant and delightful with the soil adding a gritty textural contrast to the softer, tart berries. I wasn’t able to make out the olive oil notes in the ice cream but still thought it was good enough.

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Constellation of the Stars : Sole Menu 5 Course at $128++

I was blown away by this dish. Having had a similar form for the third time this year, I admit that Buona Terra possibly serves up the best Buffalo Cheese yet. The Burratina Cheese with Parma Ham “Galloni Aged 24 Months” while looking simple, hides the Cheese’s creamy interior that simply oozes out upon the first cut. The garofoli is the recommended pairing for this dish as its delicious and crispy flavour is well complemented by the salty ham and tender cheese. The wine was aged a good 32 months in the barrel for its flavour development.

Recommended wine pairing : Verdicchio Selezione, Garofoli 2006

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The Mediterranean Fish and Seafood Soup was hearty and satisfying to say the least. I thought that the flavours of mussel really stood out and was in harmony with the more umami rich tomato and olive oil base. With such pristine textures and yet some homely flavours, this was one of my favourites dishes for the night.

Recommended wine pairing : Cervaro Della Sala IGT, Antinori 2010

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The Taleggio Cheese Casoncelli with Seasonal Black Truffle left a visual impact upon serve. The coloured contrast of black and white truffle shavings together with freshly prepared yellow Casoncelli pasta made the entire dish look extremely appetizing from the start. Still, while most would think that the truffles are the key in this dish, I would place it to the stuffed cheese within each layer of pasta. The slightly gritty, umami and savoury cheese flavours, paired with the fairly neutral yet tasty wheat pasta, was beautiful from start to finish.

Recommended wine pairing : L’Eterno, Feudi del Pisciotto 2011

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The wines of Terre Alte, Livio Felluga 2011 and L’Eterno, Feudi del Pisciotto 2011. The former is paired with the Squid Ink Tonnarelli with Bamboo Clam while the latter is best enjoyed with the Taleggio Cheese Casoncelli with Seasonal Black Truffle.

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I give another thumbs up to the selection of Charcoal Grilled Iberico Pork Jaw with Potato Rosti, Braised Endive and Apple Sauce. The choice of pork jaw left Chef with a very springy, slightly fatty and tender piece of meat. It was very well placed as a centrepiece on its own. Having it charcoal grilled seared in the flavours while the apple sauce was delightful in lending a fruity sweetness to the overall dish. Excellent.

Recommended wine pairing : Barolo DOCG Cannubi Boschis, Luciano Sandrone 2008

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I had Nougat Parfait with Passito Wine Sauce for dessert. The nougat parfait was fluffy and sweet, nicely complemented with a more richly flavoured passito wine sauce. The candied nuts by the side was the textural contrast in this dish, signalling a playful end to the meal.

Recommended wine pairing : L’Ecru IGT, Firriato 2008

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Petit Fours and Tea to round up the meal

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The wine cellar

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Chief Sommelier Gabriele Rizzardi

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Chef de cuisine Denis Lucchi

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Chateau TCC

The dining experience at Buona Terra is remarkable if you are keen for a journey of refreshing Italian cuisine that goes beyond the regular fare while in a setting that speaks of calmness and serenity. Chef Denis’ culinary creations are simple, homely and inviting. While each dish carries a certain finesse, each is also very approachable to the diner in discovering for himself/herself the flavours distinct in each unique ingredient. I found the small, cozy environment perfect for a more intimate dining experience. Having that with a good collection of wine well recommended by Gabriele, this will be dinner all set and prepared for a beautiful night’s out.  For diners who want to be surprised by what Chef Denis can create and perhaps even off the regular menu, go for the Degustation set of 8 – 10 courses, it will probably be an exciting adventure through and through.

Thank you Buona Terra for the invitation

 

Buona Terra
29 Scotts Road
Singapore 228224
www.scotts29.com
Buona Terra Menu (Degustation 8-10 courses) – $228++/person
Seasonal set – $148++/person, price subject to ingredients featured. Additional $110++ for wine pairing
À la Carte (Constellation of the Stars Menu) Wine pairing starts from $58++
 Stella Menu (3 Course) – $88++
 Luna Menu (4 Course) – $108++
 Sole Menu (5 Course) – $128++