Idyllic iLLIDO – La Dolce Vita…by the Sea
Our Travelling Gourmet Dr. Michael Lim visits a tropical island to discover…..
Text & Photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet
MESMERIZED by the scintillating sight of ships & speed boats cruising on an azure blue sea, the perfume of basil and parmigiano distracted me…I turned and Steven the maitre d’ was by my side with a plate of Beef Carpaccio with a healthy salad of mixed greens and walnuts. Soft, moist raw beef with just a hint of aromatic extra virgin olive oil pleased my tastebuds. A chilled glass of Piper Heidsieck NV champagne served at the right temperature (yes, I checked with my CIA thermometer), a perfect foil to the antipasto. The ristorante was full. The décor was in Meditteranean shades of black, apricot and red. Somehow, it brought back happy memories of a lovely meal I had in Italy with my friend, the boss of a powerful Family owned Compagnia. However, the sea was not the Adriatic but the South China Sea as I was in ilLido inside Sentosa Golf Club. Lido comes from the island of the same name in Venice.
Home made Taglioni con Gamberi al peperoncino by Chef Michael from Treviso arrived next. Only 1mm thick, it was ‘al dente’ which means those who only know about Chinese cuisine would condemn it as being undercooked. With this pasta I selected youthful pugliese Tormaresca Chardonnay 2004, so very different from those from the USA or Oz due to the terroir. The fresh citrus and bergamot flavours was splendid with the fresh crunchy prawns while the adequate acids moderated the creamy, luscious sauce spiked with piccante peperoncino (chilli). On my last visit to Puglia, I found that the natives can eat spicier food than most Singaporeans! A nubile young lady in a bareback floral print outfit caught my attention for just a moment. Then the Capo di tutti Capi’s (Godfather) favourite demanded my undivided attention. The best Ossobuco a la Milanese I ever had was in superb place in a remote part of Milano, but this interpretation came a close third. Tender fall off the bone veal in a slinky, seductive gravy that was not too salty was so satisfying and appetizing, I could not stop at just one bite. When you have Tomarresca Rosso 2003 from Puglia made with the Negroamaro grape varietal for your Ossobuco, forget about Cabernet Sauvignon. Many wine lovers who only know wines from Australia & a certain French region have never even heard of this grape, one of my favourites. Like a shameless seductress the bouquet of sweet oak, Amareno cherries, mint and eucalyptus tempted me. I am not ashamed to admit that I finally succumbed to temptation and finished the glass. As Edith Piaf sang, “Je ne regrette rien!”
Dark, deep and desperate desires emerge with….
The sweet and sinful part is the best part of any meal. Please allow me to tell you about a dessert that means “pick me up” in Italian. It was actually created in a ‘Casin o’ or house of ill repute in Venezia by the boss-lady, who realized that a dessert with coffee would give alertness & drive away sleepiness from her guests. Mascarpone cheese is deliciously nutritious and good for stamina. We always need sugar for energy when we indulge in strenuous exercise. Marsala wine is intoxicating and removes one’s inhibitions while improving creativity. Cocoa is an aphrodisiac known for centuries. Needless to say when she served Tiramisu to her VIP guests business boomed! I wonder why….
IlLido’s melt in the mouth-terrific Tiramisu Veneziano comes in a see-through glass Café Latte cup topped with 2mm of cocoa powder. Mama mia, I love it!
Come here after a round of golf to soak in the dining experience; relax and revive. Intriguing Italian cuisine and superb sea views make for an unbeatable combination. “Speak softly, love so no one hears us but the sky…and the sea!”
E favoloso! Buon appetito! J
Sentosa Golf Club
27 Bukit Manis Road
Hours: 11am till late for Drinks, Lunch, Dinner and of course Dessert! There are over 200 labels in the wine list
The Travelling Gourmet’s Ratings