A fine-dining Italian restaurant on the second floor of One Fullerton, overlooking the Merlion, Forlino now seems to be in a limbo after their famous Japanese chef has left. But when we visited that day, we found the restaurant excellent in all ways.
Forlino is managed by the DHM group which also manages L’entrecote, Sabio by the Sea, and &Made. The a la carte appetisers and mains cost about $40 a plate, so a 3-course dinner is about $100. They also have a set dinner from $128++. On weekends, there is a $68++ brunch. Their lunch set starts from $38++ and we were there for lunch.
For starters, the mortadella e stracciatella is ham wrapped around cheese on a bed of greens. The combination is simple but quite perfect. It’s packed with umami with all types of textures; slightly nutty, slightly bitter to balance the savoury. Superb.
The foie gras terrine (supplement $10) has a pool of marsala reduction and comes with a extremely buttery brioche and a side of apple confit. It’s good, an iron-y pureness from foie gras undercut by the sweetness, but it can get a little heavy.
For mains, we tried three. Guancette di maiale is a slow-braised Iberico pork cheek which is tender and faultless. Branzino e finocchio is an immaculately pan-seared seabass with fennel, baby spinach, and blood orange. The fish is fresh and bright and succulent. And the whole dish is very summery and healthy.
The uni linguine (supplement $15) uses fresh Hokkaido sea urchin but comes across as a tad fishy. The pasta–slightly harder than al dente–is coated with Sardinian bottarga (or dried roe). To counter the fishiness of the dish, there is a tinge of citrus (lime?), lifting the dish. This is another dish that feels summer-y but I’m not sure if it is worth the supplement fee.
The tiramisu (supplement $8) is fantastic. The mascarpone foam is delightfully light. It also comes with dark chocolate cream, coffee gelato, marsala jelly, and Novara biscuits.
Although the 72% dark chocolate and vanilla layer cake is much too sweet, it isn’t heavy; on the contrary, it is quite addictive and if you have no diabetes in your family history, it’s easy to finish it on your own.
The mango mousse is balanced and light and goes very well with what is named as “pistacchio cream” on the menu. But it is not so much as cream as a great sponge-like texture which tastes amazing.
We were quite impressed by Forlino with the amazing ambience, the polite and attentive service, and the delicious food. The food is clearly inspired by the season of summer: light, delicate, and breezy. It’s true the food plays safe and doesn’t take crazy risk to be different but it is delicious. This is one safe bet that we will return. We paid $65 each for lunch.
One Fullerton #02-06, Fullerton Road Singapore 049213
Tel: +65 6690 7564
You may be interested in…
–Senso Ristorante & Bar, Club Street: Sunday Prosecco Brunch Starting from $68++ (So Worth it!)
–Caffe B, Club Street: New Location, New Chef, Itameshi Better Than Before
–Amo Restaurant, Hong Kong Street: Excellent Pizzas and Sharing Plates, Best for After-Work and Adult Gatherings
–Braci, Boat Quay: Brilliant Modern Italian Restaurant, a Deserving One Michelin Star
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.