my 2 close buddies insisted on buying my wife birthday dinner on 22.11.2013, even though it was 2 weeks after due to various schedules. 🙂
we decided on al borgo, which another friend had introduced us at 1 of our earlier G8 dinners. i went there with my family many times afterwards and sometimes ordered the squid ink pasta & florentine steak takeout. i had not tried al borgo though for most of this year.
al borgo charges S$30 for corkage but if you buy a bottle then the second bottle is free corkage. 1 friend picked up a jacob creek moscato & he orderd an italian red feudi di san gregorio. another friend took the trouble to pick up a mille crepe from Lady M. she later had problem catching a cab to the restaurant. i would usually pick her up but this evening i was not sure of my wife’s timing & we made it to the restaurant just on time. 🙂
i ordered a few of our favourite dishes.
portobello mushrooms with crabmeat in pink sauce was an excellent starter. portobello was nicely grilled & flavourful & the crab meat pink sauce was excellent, pretty to look at & tasty. 🙂
parma ham pizza was good too. parma ham was a favourite for many of us (a friend commented it was not so dry when served on a warm pizza than as antipasti though personally i liked the latter more). it made for a fine combination of dishes for the evening though i had no special thing for pizza. 🙂
we ordered 2 servings of seafood squid ink tagliatele to share among 5pax. they were very good as usual, quite a bit of prawns & squid & the nice flavour of creamy squid ink went very well with the pasta. 🙂
next was the florentine steak (we waited quite a while for this item as the restaurant was quite full). this was a 700g t-bone steak (new york strip on 1 side & tenderloin on the other). it was S$60 before, now S$75, just as the squid ink was S$22 before & now S$25.
it came together with very nice grilled potatoes & mesclun salad & a dip of balsamic vinegar & olive oil (maybe with the grilled juices). it was still good though for this night, the meat was a bit tougher than what we had here many times before. being greedy, i ordered a second serving, and though we polished up everything, i thought afterwards i would have done better ordering the S$38 250g ribeye steak instead. 🙂
the mille crepe was the new hit in town. it was like kueh lapis, with many thin layers of pastry interleaved with cream & custard, very labour intensive to make & obviously very costly. it was not too sweet. we all liked it especially my 2 friends who had this recently at another birthday. 🙂 for my personal preference though i would prefer a ritz apple strudel which has apple in addition to cream custard & pastry.
the service at al borgo was super! nicola, the restaurant manager (he took over from luigi) was friendly, chatty & constantly at our table & mimmo (the chef) came many times & took several photos with us including with his “brother”, my good friend who had the same hairdo as mimmo. he even recommended the wine. 🙂 they also arranged for parking redemption for my 2 friends (never knew they had that, so i parked my car along the road with single yellow line though as there were quite a bit of construction going on, i had to park my car a bit further up the road). & the servers, kumar & 2 ladies, were also very friendly, attentive fun & cheerful (an important trait in service business). my wife was commenting on the generation change in the image of chefs. they used to be haughty & temperamental, scowling in their kitchen fiefdom, now they are reinventing to be like warm, gracious inviting hosts.
dinner was S$430 with wine, about S$338 w/o wine & just S$250 for 5pax if i had not ordered a second florentine steak. 🙂
the evening (& the whatsapp messages afterwards) was filled with conversation, laughter & fun. 🙂