Buono Terra (Singapore)

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The interior of Buono Terra

 

Singaporeans’ growing appetite for Italian cuisine has fueled a deluge of openings. From homey trattorias to swanky Italian digs, abundant choices abound.
Since last November, Buono Terra by The Connoiseur Concerto has joined the fray, on the upper end of the Italian dining club. Sited next to Ki-Sho at Chateau TCC along Scotts Road, Buono Terra occupies a boutique – if narrow – space in a free standing building that seats no more than 30 diners and this connects to a 10-seat private dining room tucked at the rear.
Looking quietly austere with dark grey marble floor and white washed walls adorned with contemporary art pieces, Buono Terra’s fine dining intentions are immediately obvious upon arrival, as is its well-curated Italian wines (180 labels) housed in glassed-in wine chillers smack bang on both sides of the entrance.  Should you need vino advice, look no further than restaurant manager cum sommelier, Gabriele Rizzardi, who is on hand to offer (excellent) wine suggestions.
What to expect
32 year-old Italian chef, Denis Lucchi, an alum of Gattopardo and Garibaldi, dishes up contemporary Italian cuisine via an a la carte menu that runs alongside 2 sets of tasting menus – a seasonal menu and a degustation menu (the latter offering a microcosm of the a la carte but in tasting portions) – each priced at S$128++ for 6 courses (2 starters, a pasta, 2 main courses and a dessert).
Yes, it’s a steal. Mind you, these sets are not mere wimpy attempts at filling up menu space but an honest effort to lure diners with fresh ingredients, deft execution and, best of all, great value.
Octopus salad
Pistachio-crusted lamb loin
Consider the many treasures from the tasting menu: a mound of sous-vide octopus salad with capers, olive and potatoes wrapped in a carpaccio of cucumber crowned with purple-hued potato crisp; perfectly poached egg with short spears of asparagus on toast with Taleggio cheese and black truffle shavings; and pistachio-crusted lamb loin with artichoke and potato puree.
Warm mille feuille of King crab with pumpkin cream
Home-made tagliolini pasta with raw prawn and leek puree
Or the spring-summer menu: a disc of warm mielle feuile of King crab with pumpkin cream alongside fava bean puree; veal’s tongue that’s first sous-vide then pan-fried and served with spring salad in raspberry vinaigrette; and the home-made tagliolini pasta tossed with red prawn and leek puree.
The sets are immaculate. But during our visit, these were briefly let down by the fish course – both the monkfish wrapped in Parma ham and the grilled seabass fillet arrived a little parched.
Still, there are many reasons to plan a return visit to Buono Terra. If not for the outstanding Italian wines or the excellent value tasting menus, perhaps it will be to savour the black truffle tasting menu (5 courses for S$168++). To do the latter, you need to get into Rizzardi’s good books as the stash is reserved for regulars.
Buono Terra
29A Scotts Road | 65-6733 0209 | www.scotts29.com/buonaterra/

For picture story, visit www.facebook.com/bibikgourmand

© Evelyn Chen 2013

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