29A Scotts Road
6733 0209 | scotts29.com/buonaterra
Despite its impressive address, a black-and-white house on Scotts Road, Buona Terra isn’t a sprawling see-and-be-seen-at restaurant. The intimate dining room, located in a ground floor wing, seats just 24. Though the space is small, the menu is a lofty list of modern northern Italian fare.
Take for instance the cuttlefish tagliatelle – the kick-off to chef Denis Lucchi’s seven-course degustation menu ($138). This pasta-less dish is so named for its flat, broad strips of tender cuttlefish cooked sous-vide and accented by melon, almond and a salty squid ink powder. Picture an Italian version of a Chinese moneybag dumpling and you have the crispy asparagus fagottino; it’s served with a three-milk cheese sauce – that’s cow, sheep and goat – and is a light precursor to the crab tagliolini with Oscietra caviarand oxtail tortelli with potato cream and Borretane onions to follow.
The lamb loin, cooked on the delicate cusp of medium and medium-rare, comes with a flavourful pistachio and parsley crust and is paired with a potato-parmesan pave and tender artichoke heart. The sweetness of the nougat semifreddo is dialled up with mixed berries, passito sauce and an ample serving of Sicilian Pupillo moscato, poured by skilled sommelier Gabriele Rizzari.
Toast the evening with a stem of grappa or step next door to ritzy Nektar for a post-meal digestif. Either way you’re assured a peaceful evening, just steps from one of the busiest intersections in the city.
Must-try dish: Agnello e carciofi (pistachio-crusted lamb loin)