Saturday, December 23, 2006

Zambuca @ Pan Pacific Hotel

Zambuca is a sister restaurant of the acclaimed Michaelangelo's, and they both specialise in Italian haute cuisine. Pizzas are only available for lunch, but not for dinner.

The interior of the restaurant is classy, and elegant, and well-suited for a business lunch or a romantic meal.

Service was a bit spotty today, as they had 2 very young trainees who kept fumbling with our orders. The wine didn't come until after we were halfway through our starters and that was only because we reminded a more senior staff, and he wasn't able to get our bill properly.

DH and I ordered 2 starters, 2 mains and a dessert to share.

The seafood soup (SGD16) was disappointing. There was plenty of fresh seafood in the soup - squid, prawns, fish, scallop. But the soup was thin, too salty, and lacked any hearty flavour that good broth should have. No amount of fresh seafood can remedy that.

The pan seared foie gras (SGD26) was quite good. A generous portion and well presented. The foie gras would have benefited from a few more minutes on the pan, as it didn't have that slightly crisp exterior that good foie gras should have.

My main of linguine with tandoori chicken (SGD28) was an unusual choice, but it was a chef's recommendation in the menu. I liked this dish, despite its alarming bright red hue. DH says it reminds him of the indian mee goreng that we get from our corner coffeeshop.

DH's main of duck breast, duck thigh and duck liver (SGD43) was fantastic. The foie gras was perfectly done this time, and the succulent duck breast, and slightly crispier duck thigh were a perfectly delicious accompaniment. The polenta that came with this dish was creamy and excellent. Our waiter commended DH on his choice, and said it was his personal favourite on the menu. I can see why.

The creme brulee (SGD12) was served warm with a nicely browned crisp top layer, and with a scoop of basil ice-cream. In the menu, the flavour of the ice-cream wasn't identified, and I had a hard time deciphering what it was. I knew it was a herb, and I could actually bite into little bits of leaf. But what was it? DH suggested fig, but it wasn't sweet enough to be fig. We asked and discovered. Basil it was. How very creative and different.


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