In conjunction with Hilton Orchard's 9th anniversary, acclaimed Head Chef Sasaki of Il Cielo restaurant has curated a robust and exquisite spring tasting menu, with incorporating both Japanese and Italian cooking techniques and seasonal quality produce.
This spring tasting menu comes in 4-course ($118), 5-course($138) and also 7-course($168), with an optional wine pairing for an additional $50, $60, and $80 respectively.
We were served a trio of dainty amuse bouche to start. Chef Sasaki created three delicate palate teaser which consists of a sweet sesame cone, which were filled with smooth and rich bagna cauda mayo, and topped with a generous portion of ikura.
For those of you who have not heard of bagna cauda, it is a traditional sauce which is originated from Piemonte, Italy, This hot sauce is traditionally made from butter, olive oil, anchovies and garlic, but have been fusionised in Chef Sasaki's dish with a mix of mayo.
Besides that, we were served freshly made mini burrata cheese, wrapped with a thinly sliced Parma Ham, topped with crispy tomato chip and a blob of basil pesto and olive oil.
Lastly, buttery foie gras filling which were sandwiched between two decadent macaron shell, served alongside a petite pipette of aged balsamic vinegar.
For starters, which is also one of the highlight dishes of this seasonal menu is Chef Sasaki's Hotaru Ika alla Puttanesca. This dish compromises of Japanese baby squid which are marinated in Puttanesca (a combination of tomatoes, olive oil, anchovies, olives, capers and garlic) sauce, served with a fragrant Japanese Rape Blossoms Chip, and piped with a few dollops of squid ink aioli sauce and lemon gel.
The Asparagi Bianco e Tartufo Primaverra alla Carbonara, which is the second starter served from the 5-course/7-course menu selection is made up of creamy and luxe provolone cheese charged from an espuma, a bed a beautiful white asparagus. The slightly grilled asparagus is topped with grated organic cured egg yolk which is cured in-house, bits of crispy Guanciale (cured Italian pork cheek) and a hint of freshly shaved black truffle.
We ordered the Farfalle a casa con Salmone e Fave for our pasta course. This meticulously plated dish had an array of spring elements and colours, which consists of a bright orange confit ora king salmon which was well-cooked and had a nice soft & tender texture, complemented with a slight crunch from the fresh italian fava beans, paired alongside a luscious green pea purée sauce and a tad dribble of refreshing lemon thyme butter sauce, and finished off with a touch of Parmigiano cheese foam.
For main course, we ordered the Grigliato Takenoko alla Saltimbocca. It is made up of freshly grilled Japanese bamboo shoots which were served with strips of tender Japanese Wagyu shorthorn beef, a serving of 'brunoise' Japanese potato risotto, which were naturally sweet and crunchy, and finally drizzled with a full-bodied black garlic bagna cauda sauce.
Chef Sasaki's tasting menu had an additional surprise with a serving of his specialty, Special Aglio Olio e Peperoncino.
His speciality consist of a simple Italian favourite yet holds an extremely satisfying and bold flavour with the base of the pasta being made up of a special dashi stock that is infused with kombu and chicken, and is slow-cooked and reduced for hours to create a rich and flavourful stock. This went with handmade ramen pasta and topped with a sprinkle of Italian Peperoncino(hot peppers).
This dish of love is a thoughtful dish and was specially introduced by Chef Sasaki himself with having it served to our preferred portion of choice. So for those of you with bigger appeittes, you can order this handmade pasta for up to 200gm, with 20gm being the minimum.
We had a good size of 30gm, which was an ideal serving size from the 5-course selection as we still had enough room to fully enjoy our dessert.
Last but not least, we enjoyed a sweet ending with Chef Sasaki's Cannola e Uva, a rendition of a classic Italian cannoli. Traditional Cannoli is usually filled with sweet ricotta filling and flavoured with cocoa or nuts, but Chef Sasaki has infused a creamy and decadent rum and raisin cream instead. This sweet and crispy cannoli is accompanied with a scoop of refreshing grape sorbet with a distinctive sweet and sour note, crunchy luscious dark cacao grissini, fresh grapes and a few dap of velvety grape sauce.
Besides dining here, they also have a private room which caters to 12-15 pax if you wish to host any private parties or events.
With all that said above, this spring menu is only available till the end of April 2019, so do head on here should you require more information or to make reservations (highly recommended).
Il Cielo Level 24, Hilton Singapore 581 Orchard Road