We were truly excited to know that we are visiting Buona Terra. While it is fairly common to get degustation menus at French restaurants, hardly are we able to think of any that does this to Italian fare.
Menu is totally customised by Chef Denis Lucchi, tailoring the menu according to the guest's dietary preference and restrictions. To augment the experience, we suggest to opt for the excellent wine pairing done expertly by Chief Sommelier Gabriele Rizzardi, who at the same time is an superb host.
If you are not ready just yet for the degustation menu, Buona Terra has the constellation menus of which you can select 3, 4 or 5 dishes from a set list, with any combinations of appetisers, mains and desserts.
And so we present: The Good Earth Menu
Bread basket and bread sticks! A selection of sesame, squid ink and rosemary crisp. Don't say we didn't warn you. The breads can be addictive! We had to politely reject the offer of a second basket knowing that 10 dishes lies ahead of us.
The bread were complemented nicely with the olive oil, sea salt and special balsamic vinegar. The best balsamic vinegar is the 25 year Gold Balsamic which can be seen in the right most of the picture below. The taste was heavenly smooth yet lingers in the tastebuds for as long as you dont take a sip of water. Extremely elegant and unique with exclusivity.
Amuse Bouche of smoked salmon and salmon roe. To whet the appetite and get things going!
Hokkaido Scallop Tartare in “Ceviche” with Beluga Caviar
Iberico Ham “Pata Negra” with Tomino Cheese and Black Figs
As you can imagine, the wonderfully aged Iberico ham. The sweet figs are a good replacement to the usual rock melon that is served and the uncommon tomino cheese that gives that little nudge to the tastes. A mellow marriage of flavours is further enhanced by the off dry white wine, yet letting it linger on the tongue long after the morsel had been devoured. Mysterious and yet very intriguing. (8/10)
Seared Red Prawn with Red Onion, Tomato Salad and Brandy Sauce
Paired with Terre Alte, Livio Felluga 2011. Sweet red prawn from Spain. The meat is delicate and sweet. So fresh that we could literally taste the sea! The tomato salad provides the crunch and refreshing contrast to the dish. The broth is made from a reduction from the prawn head, brandy and tomato.
The balanced blend of Friulano, Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon grapes gave a extremely intense mix of fruit and flower aroma. Rather unique structure and it could probably be even stronger with a little more aging. The pairing contrasted the broth and our only complain? Give us more of the heavenly broth!!! (9.5/10)
Seared Foie Gras with Yellow Peach, Amaretti Crumble, Pumpkin Sauce and Vin Santo Ice Cream
Paired with Gewürztraminer Kastelaz, Elena Walch 2013. This is made for foie gras lovers. Peach, we never had peach with foie gras, and we found it a much better than having it with apples. The peach lends a deep flavour while providing the sweetness to complement the fatty liver. Crumble adds a crunch and the pumpkin just brings everything together. The gewurzt cuts through the oil and cleanses the palate, lending a fruity finish that is like a secret admirer to the peach. (9/10)
Squid Ink Tonnarelli with Bamboo Clams and Bottarga
Fresh Porcini Mushroom Risotto
Paired with L'Eterno, Feudi del Pisciotto 2011. Ok, we weren't expecting truffles at this time of the year. Summer truffles to say the least. And maybe because of that our expectations were slightly elevated already. Well cooked in terms of flavours and fresh porcini can never go wrong, we would have preferred it to be offering a better bite. While the risotto pales in the menu, we have to give special mention to the Pinot Nero.
This vintage of L'Eterno has a really brilliant ruby red color. The nose was intensely clean and pleasing. Hints of cherry, plum and raspberry, cocoa and tobacco amalgated to a tannic balance. A very good body with that searing finish of cherry and plum. It has to be one of the best Italian wines we EVER had. Rich, complex and very endearing. (6/10 for food, 10/10 for the wine)
Lamb Loin with Artichoke and Potato Pave
And we think that the wines couldn't get better. The wine pairing was crazy good. The Sangiovese wine strikes a chord with those who love the more full bodied and medium to strong tannins. A light, fresh, elegant yet powerful 100% Sangiovese brings out the best in any red meat especially lamb so well cooked.
This luscious, complex nose, delivering impressive depth of fruit as well as a long, polished finish. Was an excellent company to the lamb. A perfect marriage! (10/10 for both!)
Grade A4 Toriyama Wagyu Beef with Cauliflower Puree and Port Juice
And how do you pair a wine for 5 distinctively different cheeses? Gabriele got it absolutely right again without sacrificing any of them. This Amarone has an enormous richness and striking intensity, with a strong nose of leather, tobacco and dark chocolate. Rich and super velvety. Perfectly balanced pairing and we were bawled. (8/10)
Fresh Mix Berries with Mascarpone Cream, Chocolate Soil, Banana Cake and Olive Oil Ice Cream
And.... this is not all. A red moscato. Need we say more? Strong roses from Trentini 100% Moscato Rossa, bright ruby red with a touch of orange peel. On the palate you will be charmed with the complexity of this dessert wine, indeed a fascinating mix between acidity, sweetness and tannins. A perfect ending to the Good Earth meal!
Of course, the evening only ended with Italian coffee and petit fours and even a nice portion of limoncello.
A great overall dining experience and this has to be our favourite Italian restaurant for now. With the quality, premium ingredients used, and the quality of wine, it is very reasonably priced. A great place for hosting guests (private room available), a romantic dinner or a celebration for the special occasion. This is where you want to be.
The challenge with working with premium ingredients is that there is a certain expectation and we think Chef Denis nailed it down right on the spot. The excellent wine pairing by Gabriele enhances the dining experience and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
(Private Parking available, Valet services available)
29 Scotts Road