The yuletide season is upon us yet again and what better way to celebrate than to have a nice cozy dinner on the eve of Christmas? The choice of location was decided on IL-Lido. Situated in the posh Sentosa Golf Club, IL-Lido is relatively new in the Italian restaurants scene as opposed to other more established outfits like Senso and Garibaldi. Helmed by award-winning Chef de Cuisine Michele Pavanello, formerly from Pontini, it boasts good food and a killer view of the Singapore Straits to boot. Not wanting to leave things to chance(and being a typical Singaporean), I made a reservation for dinner on the 24th right at the start of November.
Our reservation was for 7pm and I had opted for indoor seating(there's outdoor seating as well where you get to see the sea, but it can get quite warm). Just a word of caution. IL-Lido can be quite tricky to locate for first timers because you have to walk through an open air dining area to get to it. First looks at the interior. Simple yet chic in its own right. Curtain pieces between tables give the illusion of privacy, with dim lighting, lamp shades and designer furniture adding on an element of pure exuberated class.
Food wise, I had the Christmas Eve set menu, which consisted of Goose Liver Lackered with Hazelnut and Juniper Honey with Leeks Veloute, Traditional Capon Consommé with Pistachio Dumplings, Homemade Saffron Tagliolini Pasta with Lobster and Tarragon Sauce, Roast Turkey with Black Truffle and Chestnut Stuffing and Mashed Butternut Squash and Chocolate Soufflé Pancake with Wild Berries and Caramel Sauce. My gf went ala carte and ordered the Deep Fried Calamari with Spicy Tomato Sauce, Deep Fried Mixed Seafood with Lemon Sauce and Molten Lava Dark Chocolate with Vanilla Gelato for dessert.
Notice that all Italian restaurants have the habit of serving up complimentary bread right at the start of the meal? IL-Lido was no exception. Thinly sliced pieces of garlic bread were served in a funky container that reminded me of reindeer antlers (I wonder why). The garlic bread was surprisingly good and made for an excellent snack. Even my gf, who doesn't like bread, had quite a bit of it. I guess this goes to show how good it really is.
I found the Goose Liver Lackered with Hazelnut and Juniper Honey with Leeks Veloute to be excellent. Very smooth, quivery and literally melt in your mouth with no strong aftertaste. The Hazelnut and Juniper Honey made it a little sweet and crunchy as well. It did remind me of eating Ferraro Rocher chocolates. This is as good as Ember's Foie Gras, if not better! The Traditional Capon Consommé with Pistachio Dumplings tasted nothing out of the ordinary. The Pistachio Dumplings tasted more like small tiny balls of mined pork than anything else. Although the taste was light, it did seem a little too oily though.
Homemade Saffron Tagliolini Pasta with Lobster and Tarragon Sauce certainly sounds good and fortunately, it met my expectations. The homemade Taglionlini was a little chewy and not too starchy, with the accompanying pieces of Lobster fresh, sweet and crunchy. The sauce had this sweet taste that I couldn't really identify with anything else that I've eaten, so its rather unique in that sense. My gf's Deep Fried Calamari with Spicy Tomato Sauce was nothing short of excellent. The batter coated on the calamari was minimal yet extremely flavourful. The calamari itself was huge and chewy, yet easy to cut and digest. Dip a calamari into the spicy tomato sauce and the goodness oozes through with a slightly sharp taste.
For mains, my Roast Turkey with Black Truffle and Chestnut Stuffing and Mashed Butternut Squash was a star in certain aspects, yet a let down in others. It was good because the turkey meat was very tender and juicy - very unusual for turkey meat, which is usually dry and tasteless. It was bad because I couldn't taste of see the chestnut and butternut squash gave it a weird sweetish yet salty taste. My gf's Deep Fried Mixed Seafood with Lemon Sauce was quite a portion and everything was lightly battered yet flavourful, which didn't make you feel nauseous after consuming too much. It was good, but not outstanding.
Desserts. You just love them or hate them. My Chocolate Soufflé Pancake with Wild Berries and Caramel Sauce was essentially molten chocolate wrapped up in a Soufflé Pancake. Decent, but hardly good. One gripe though. The chocolate seemed a little runny and didn't have that full bodied taste. My gf's Molten Lava Dark Chocolate with Vanilla Gelato was slightly better. The chocolate was housed in a tart like pastry with crispy deep fried edges. One slice through the pastry and molten chocolate gushes out. No full bodied texture for this chocolate as well. The accompanying Vanilla Gelato was a little too sweet for my liking and it tasted a little out of sorts. How so, I can't describe. Maybe its just me.
Dinner for 2 pax on Christmas Eve cost about $207/-. Service was polite and efficient, but a little pretentious at times. Food was, if I may say, very good. I'm not sure if its worth the hefty price tag though. Ambience is top notch and it is an ideal place to bring your date for a romantic dinner. Just for the Christmas season, there are carolers belting out Christmas favourites for your listening pleasure. Great ambience, good food, good service - need I say more? Just remember to save this place for special occasions and nothing more, unless you are loaded of course. ;)
The Christmas Carolers
Christmas Eve Menu
Notice how thin the bread is
Goose Liver Lackered with Hazelnut and Juniper Honey with Leeks Veloute
Traditional Capon Consommé with Pistachio Dumplings
Deep Fried Calamari with Spicy Tomato Sauce
Homemade Saffron Tagliolini Pasta with Lobster and Tarragon Sauce
Roast Turkey with Black Truffle and Chestnut Stuffing, and Mashed Butternut Squash
Deep Fried Mixed Seafood with Lemon Sauce
Molten Lava Dark Chocolate with Vanilla Gelato
Chocolate Soufflé Pancake with Wild Berries and Caramel Sauce
Chocolate and more chocolate
Value for money:7/10
Address: Sentosa Golf Club, Bukit Manis Road
Comments: Driving is almost a must here. Parking is free at the Sentosa Golf Club open space carpark, with valet parking being another option.