Some restaurants, when they first open, need time to mature. Too often, restaurants open before they’re actually ready for public scrutiny. The food disappoints. The service is slow and inefficient. Sometimes, even the decor isn’t properly finished. But when an experienced, successful and talented restaurateur decides to open a new signature restaurant, chances are high that he will make darned sure that before his first paying customer ever steps foot into his new place, every single detail would be perfect.
Such is the case with Forlino, the new stunning Italian restaurant opened by Beppe de Vito and Chef Osvaldo Forlino. My always hungry wife S and I had the great pleasure of dining at Forlino on opening night and, well, quite simply, we were blown away. Forlino is stunning. It is easily one of the sexiest and chicest looking restaurants in Singapore. The floors are clad in a classic, polished black and white diamond-shaped pattern. The wood-panelled and ornately decorated walls are a warm bluish-grey. The furniture is rich and elegant. The overall space exudes power, sensuality and elegance, a rare thing for restaurants here today.
The food is equally stunning. When Chef Osvaldo cooked at Il Lido, S and I were fans. But we always felt that he wasn’t quite the right chef for what was being positioned as a very modern and contemporary Italian restaurant. Here, surrounded by his family and cooking the food his own way, i.e. more traditionally, he’s finally proving why and how his family restaurant in Northern Italy was able to earn a Michelin star. The food at Forlino is traditional Italian fine-dining. And it is beautiful.
S and I enjoyed a fabulous meal. We started with a cornmeal cake with 36 months aged parmesan, topped with egg confit, and shaved summer truffles. The second course was both S’s and my favourite dish of the night: Piedmontese veal ravioli with shank ragu (and of course, topped with some more summer truffles). This dish was sensational. You could taste the hand chopped veal inside each savory and delicate raviolo. Our main course was grilled rack of milk-fed goat with Spring vegetables and a small portion of risotto. To round off our meal, we had two desserts. The first was Volpedo white peaches in moscato gelee. The second was a gorgeous Renette apple tarte with barolo chinato gelato. Everything was delicious. Considering that the restaurant had been open for only a few hours, we were truly and deeply astounded.
As mentioned, helping Chef Osvaldo run this very impressive restaurant is his family. His whole family. Having closed their family restaurant in Tortina, the Forlino clan has moved en masse to Singapore. Chef Osvaldo’s mother is in the kitchen, baking bread daily. His wife Patrizia is chef de cuisine. His daughter Serena is also working in the kitchen. His sister Laura and another daughter Gaia — a trained sommelier — are in charge of wine. Cousin Simone is the restaurant’s manager and Simone’s wife is also cooking in the kitchen.
I have no doubt that Forlino, situated on the second floor of the 1 Fullerton building and perched overlooking Marina Bay, will be a success. It may even become Singapore’s very best Italian restaurant — it certainly is the sexiest.
One Fullerton #02-06
1 Fullerton Road, Singapore 049213
Tel: +65 6877 6996
Three-course set lunch $45
Four-course traditional menu $100
a la carte available
(Sorry about the crappy quality of the photos. Forlino’s is very dimly lit, which while sexy as all heck, is hell for taking pictures.)