14 January, 2007


Year 2006 ended with a fabulous Christmas celebration that took place in one of Singapore’s most notable restaurants – Zambuca.

Executive Chef Dennis Sim teamed up with Culinary Director Angelo Sanelli, of Michelangelo’s distinction, presented us with selections of original and contemporary Italian dishes balances with a well though out selection of conventional delights.

Zambuca happens to be a bar as well as a restaurant that features a magnificent wine cellar. Specially set to the temperature of 18°C and use mainly for wine dinners, this cellar is a definitely an enchantment for all wine enthusiasts.

Appetisers were soon served as we were still busy deciding on what read like mouth-watering dishes from the menu.

However, the pretty dreadful Bruschetta they serve as a complimentary were pretty stale toast and even staler toppings of Italian Sausage and Mushy Beef Spread or Egg Mayo with Caviar. Thankfully, the sampler starters were dished out in succession not long after and I have to say I am quite impressed. First up was the Carpaccio di Manzo, or Beef carpaccio with parmesan cheese and quail eggs, lightly drizzled with extra virgin oil.

The thinly sliced beef melts in your mouth and the parmesan adds zest to the otherwise bland dish. This was soon followed by Parma Ham with Rockmelon.

In terms of presentation, I thought this was one of the best that night. The chef was even generous enough to give us a huge chunk of the melon wrapped around with a wedge of ham. The Gamberi con Aglio Olio e Crema, or Tender tiger prawns with sliced garlic, finished with Devon cream and placed on a bed of shredded spinach served in a hot iron terrine, as put simply - Divine.

The prawns were gigantic and fresh, and the cream sauce was purely mouth-watering, so good that we were scooping the sauce straight from the iron bowl and gulping it. The Mussels topped with Tomato-based Sauce though were ordinary.

Although the flesh of the mussels was big and juicy, I suspect that they were cooked separately from the sauce as the mussels lacked taste and flavouring from the gravy. The gravy also was not the best I have tasted as compared to the many mussels dishes I have tried in Perth. However, the biggest disappointment of the night was that of the Calamari Fritti.

The Squid rings were too salty and the coating of the flour was done badly such that we end up eating the squid separately from the flour. Thankfully the last starter of the night, Foie Gras, or Seared duck liver served on toasted brioche topped with Granny Smith apple, peppered fig and port wine redeemed it all.

Consider one of the greatest delicacies in French Cuisine, the liver was juicy and the fatty oil that oozes out from it is simply blissful. It was simply so delicious that I decided to have more servings of duck for my main.

And thus it ensures that I also have a whole serving of Foie Gras to myself along with the breast of the duck – pretty sinful I must say, but for occasional indulgence, I reckon that it was all worth it. Known for their lamb dishes, I would also highly recommend the Agnello Marinato alla Griglia, or grilled and marinated rack of lamb served with asparagus and mushroom ragout, parsnip puree and drizzled with chili chocolate sauce - done in medium rare.

The tenderness of the meat along with an exotic sauce simply tops all the dishes for the night.

Food: 3/5

Service: 4.5/5
Ambience: 5/5
Price: 2/5
Total: 14.5/20
The Pan Pacific Singapore
7 Raffles Boulevard,
Singapore 039595

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