Il Cielo

Wine & Dine - - RESTAURANTS -

Cielo, Hil­ton Sin­ga­pore’s cosy fine din­ing Ital­ian res­tau­rant just got a breath of fresh air with the ar­rival of new chef Yo­hhei Sasaki. While the res­tau­rant con­tin­ues to serve fine Ital­ian cui­sine, the per­son­able chef Sasaki in­jects dis­tinct Ja­panese in­flu­ences in the form of del­i­cate aes­thet­ics, in­no­va­tive flavour pair­ings and sea­sonal Ja­panese in­gre­di­ents. The Tokyo na­tive had spent most of his culi­nary ca­reer in Ital­ian restau­rants in Ja­pan and Italy. Now, his cos­mopoli­tan style and cre­ative flair brings a re­fresh­ing change to the ex­pe­ri­ence.

His six-course au­tumn menu ($138, un­til 30 Novem­ber) en­cap­su­lates his style nicely. The meal starts boldly with a foie gras mac­aron, hearty in weight and nicely flavoured. The ap­pe­tiser is a stun­ning en­cap­su­la­tion of au­tumn—a mound of egg­plant bagna cauda, ten­der tangy mar­i­nated sanma fish with smoked bur­rata, caviar and miyoga leaf, pre­sented un­der an up­turned mar­tini glass, first en­shrouded in a mist of sakura chip smoke be­fore the re­veal as the glass is whisked away. Vis­ual, ol­fac­tory senses are all de­light­fully assailed be­fore one tucks into the riot of flavours.

The mo­men­tum con­tin­ues with a tasty tagli­olini of juicy sweet snow crab and a light ragout of three mush­rooms. The main course of roasted maple duck breast was beau­ti­fully pre­sented, per­fectly ten­der and ac­com­pa­nied by a fra­grant, deca­dently rich espresso sauce. The choco­late foie gras tortellini on the side was rather thick at some parts though the ooz­ing foie gras fill­ing was lovely. The other op­tion for mains was a scal­lop with tomino cheese and white po­lenta—served like a lit­tle ham­burger, it was heav­ier, pos­si­bly a tad over­cooked.

Dessert was a high­light: a most en­joy­able, whim­si­cal pump­kin pud­ding, draped with a sheet of soy milk jelly. Just sweet enough, sur­pris­ingly light in tex­ture, it was worth set­ting aside stom­ach space for. The truf­fle oil and shav­ings of black truf­fle, while nice, was not nec­es­sary.

Set lunches start from $25 for two cour­ses and de­gus­ta­tion menus start at $88 for five cour­ses. A wine pair­ing op­tion of two wines and a prosecco costs only an ad­di­tional $30. —SEW Level 24 Hil­ton Sin­ga­pore, 581 Orchard Road. Tel: 6730 3395

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