MOVE to the LIGHT…

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim the Travelling GourmetTM

All rights reserved

The irrepressible and irascible Travelling Gourmet goes to the ‘light’ side to find wine from…

MAGNIFICENT Castello Banfi in the Lighthouse restaurant perched high on top of the Fullerton hotel. We all have a ‘dark side’…but…it is better not to go there. The light is the better side to be at. I went to the Lighthouse restaurant in the special lift that you can take from the 8th floor. I was very happy to be warmly welcomed by eternally young and pretty Cherine, who has been in the wine industry for some time, and spritely Guillaume Blanchard of Castello Banfi. Castello Banfi is one of Italy’s best wineries in Toscana (Tuscany) and I love their wines. Castello Banfi’s own Resident Chef, tall and effervescent Domenico Francone was in town to cook a special menu…matched with their wines (what else). Chef Domenico has worked with my very dear friend,

3-Michelin Star Masterchef Heinz Beck in London. It gave me a happy opportunity to practise my Italian, one of my favourite languages.

{{{Opened in September 2009, Apsleys, a Heinz Beck Restaurant is the   

1st restaurant outside Italy created by internationally renowned chef, Heinz Beck, holder of three Michelin stars at La Pergola in Rome. Heinz Beck soon earned the restaurant its own Michelin Star, when in February 2010 it became the fastest London establishment in the Lanesborough Hotel, to be bestowed with the award. The Lanesborough is closed for extensive refurbishment at this time until Dec 2014… }}}

From where I sat…the totally unobstructed view of Marina Bay and the glimmering Singapore Flyer could only be described as breathtakingly beautiful. Not suprising, as it was the best table in the Lighthouse. The iconic giant observation wheel was where I was the 1st gourmet in the world to match Mooncakes with Champagne on 28 August 2008, with my good friend, HE Thailand’s Ambassador to Singapore, humble Khun Nopadol, as the Guest of Honour.

Then the first course arrived…discreetly. That is how it is in a really good restaurant. The service is so slick you hardly notice…

Cannolo di Branzino, Sedano e Melone…a cylinder that looked like a Cantonese Spring roll was actually 3mm-thin and crispy fried bread wrapped around Sea Bass. The companions were big brunoise of Sweet Melon foiled with crunchy Celery, 4 x 4 x 4 mm in dimension. Excellent with the mineral, bright and lively Castello Banfi San Angelo. I do drink Chardonnay but nothing beats a glass of Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris with a cool dish like this in Singapore’s tropical weather. Perfetta!

Well plated and artistically garnished, the next Tuscan inspired dish was a delight to taste! Chef Domenico is slim and fit. In the old days, food lovers used to say: Never trust a thin Chef…he doesn’t like his food…” NOW, in the 21st Century, The Travelling GourmetTM says: (Copyright Quote All Rights Reserved) ALWAYS trust a slim and fit Chef, he cooks delicious and healthy food!” The dish comprised…Tortelli Maremmani al Ragu di Manzo. A big square Tortelli which is like a ravioli, was filledn with Sheep Ricotta Cheese and Spinach and caressed with hand-cut appetizing Beef Ragu Sauce.

When I saw the dessert was Tira-misu, which is something normally only loud American tourists from New York order when they are in Italy, I was puzzled…However, when it arrived as a “de-constructed” (one of these “in” words which actually I am not very fond of) platter of the different compositions found in a classic Tira-Misu, I was pleased! The cute Espresso cup made out of edible dark chocolate was very  apt! It was very hard to practice portion control when tempted by this dessert…

The Lighthouse Restaurant

Fullerton Hotel

1, Fullerton Square

Singapore 049 178

Tel: 6877  8933

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About thetravellinggourmet

As a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer he has travelled the world in a keen & indomitable pursuit of exotic delicacies & fine wines. His articles have been published in over 20 prestigious publications, both local & international. Dr. Lim has toured and trained in Wine Evaluation & Oenology in most of the world's top wine producing areas from France to Australia. The Travelling Gourmet says, "Gastronomy has no frontier. These are the gastronomic voyages of The Travelling Gourmet. My unending mission. To explore strange new cuisines, to seek out new wines and new culinary experiences, to boldly go where no gourmet has gone before...." Have pen, will travel. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage & retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and/or MSN. Material may be works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents may be true but may also be products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual person or persons, either dead or living, events, or locales may be entirely and purely coincidental and unintentional. No part of this website may be used to villify others or for criminal purposes. Interests: Travel, Food, Wines, Cooking, Wine Appreciation, Parachuting, Languages, Music, Reading, Swimming, Hunting, Ballet, Fencing, Archery, Anthropology and more... The Travelling Gourmet is a copyrighted trademark. All rights and photos reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
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