Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
Copyright all rights reserved
The intrepid and irrepressible Travelling Gourmet TM goes to celebrate Italy’s National Day on 2 June, 2015 with..
MIO amico, His Excellency Paolo Crudele, Italy’s Ambassador to Singapore. It was a very lavish and opulent affaire held in the posh surrounds of the Fullerton Bay Hotel. There was live music and it was also the 5oth Anniversary of diplomatic relations between Italy and Singapore. Italy was one of the very first to recognise the Republic of Singapore on 28 October, 1965 just months after Singapore tumultuous split from Malaysia. These official events follow a time honoured tradition and protocol. I know because I have been invited to so many of them.
At 19:32, the National Anthem of Singapore was played by the live band followed by the Ambassador’s speech and toast to the President of Singapore. Ambassador Crudel very touchingly mentioned the Founder of Modern Singapore, Lee Kwan Yew’s passing recently. Then it was the speech of the Singapore government’s representative followed by the rousing Italian National Anthem..and toast to the president of Italy. The Singapore representative had spent time in Italy and spoke at length about globalization, and his shoes and suit that were made in Milan, his pen from Switzerland and so forth. I thought to myself that he had better be careful before the CPIB investigate him for purchasing all these branded goods from many lands…One thing struck me…the guests, even the VIPs and one very horizontally challenged (fat) gentleman from Italy rudely started scoffing in an ‘yeow kui’ manner while the Italian Ambassador and Guest of Honour were in the middle of their speeches. Appalling behaviour n’est pas!
Food and wines galore!
Under the capable hands of my friend Executive Chef Sandro Fablo and Chef Carlo Marengoni a vast array of Italian specialities was laid out in grand style. Antipasti of Salads, Arugula (rocket leaves), Cheese, Olives, Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil, Grilled Vegetables like Artichoke, green and red Capsicum (peppers), Grissini Breadsticks. Ciabatta bread, Tomato Bread and lots more!!
Piatto Secondi or main courses included Barilla Risoni Pasta that looks like arborio rice grains to the uninitiated…served in a gigantic Parmigiano Cheese Wheel with Asparagus and Mushrooms. The pillow tender Beef in Barolo Wine Sauce was superbo. I asked Chef Sandro, “Did you braise it for 5 hours!” Sandro replied cheerfully , ‘Six hours!” I also liked the cheeky Venus’ Belly Button which is Barilla Cheese Tortellini! SeaBass in a creamy Alfredo Cheese Sauce and Rosemary Chicken were other treats…
Delightful Dolci always gives a sweet finale to every meal!
There was Alfero artisanal ice cream or Gelati with Strawberry, Pistachio, Bacio which means Kisses of Chocolate and Hazelnuts, Vaniglia (vanilla) and ineveitable Cicciolato or Chocolate. A real goodie was the Sicilian Canoli filled to the brim with Ricotta and Cream and of course Tiramisu in cute edible Chocolate cups, as well as Panna Cotta which translates to ‘cooked cream”.
Plenty of very attractive Italian wines from sponsors like Angra and The Italian Wine List. I tried quite a few and liked the Sartori of Verona selection. Citra’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Berlucchi’s Brut and Rosato (Rose) Sparkling wines were also worthy of note. I was pleased too to meet up with another guest, Christian Carminati, the Assistant F & B Manager of the Fairmont Hotel and his lovely fiancee.
Salute e Buona Festa della Repubblica!
At the link below is the Italian National Anthem. It is not as bloodthirsty as the French National Anthem…
Singapore’s very positive national Anthem!