Sunday, 5 October 2014

Pontini Introduces Italian Buffet and Rejuvenating Mocktails

Pontini located at level two of Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel has introduced an Italian buffet yesterday. The 14-year old restaurant has been a mainstay for fine Italian cuisine for many years and continues to specialise in classic Italian cuisine with a contemporary twist. The restaurant prides itself on using premium ingredients imported from Italy and other parts of Europe.
 
Chef Daniele Sarno and his assistant
 
Helming the restaurant is Chef Daniele Sarno, who hails from Florence, Italy. Chef Daniele's believes in simplicity and he feels that marrying traditional ingredients with modern preparation methods can turn a simple dish into an extraordinary one. Pontini's buffet features a plethora of antipasti, breads, soup, main courses and desserts from various regions in Italy. The Italian specialties are executed deftly using the finest ingredients from Italy. A feast for the senses, this lavish buffet is available on Saturdays and public holidays from 12pm to 3pm.
 
Home-cured Scottish salmon platter, fennel salad, green apple, accompanied with condiments
 
The antipasti selection is very extensive and my favourite is the home-cured Scottish salmon platter, fennel salad, green apple, accompanied with condiments. It is a very simple appetiser and the green apple and fennel salad help to pique one's appetite before the main meal. The assorted Italian cold cuts served with candied fruit mustard, sweet onion and sour chutney and grain mustard provide a lovely combination of sweet, tangy and savoury flavours while the radicchio, pear, Gorgonzola cheese salad and aged balsamic vinegar aims to excite jaded palates.
 
Assorted cheese platter 
 
The assorted cheese platter is sure to entice the palates of cheese lovers.  For a taste of Tuscany, tease your taste buds with Tuscany style marinated octopus, cheek peas and green asparagus salad.  The octopus are succulent and every bite makes my taste buds tingle with gratification.
 
Tagliatelle with wild mushroom, pancetta, pine nuts and parmesan cheese
 
The show kitchen is very impressive and you'll be captivated by the dazzling showmanship as Chef Daniele and his team whip up the pastas à la minute. You'll get to choose from different preparation methods including aglio, olio and sweet chilli, fresh tomato fondue with basil, “Roman” style carbonara, wild mushroom, pancetta, pine nuts and parmesan cheese and “Genovese” style basil pesto sauce. I like the "Roman" carbonara and the wild mushroom, pancetta, pine nuts and parmesan cheese. I did not get to try the other styles as I wanted to save my taste buds for the main courses and desserts.
   
 The Grand Copthorne Pizza
 
The thin crust pizzas are very satisfying too. I tried the Vegetarian pizza with tomato, cheese and zucchini and the Grand Copthorne pizza topped with parma, ham and arugula salad. The pizzas at Pontini are prepared using pure and high quality Italian ingredients including water, cheese, tomatoes and flour resulting in a light, crispy and fluffy crust.
 
 Oven-baked Norwegian salmon mignon in pistachio crust
 
For the mains, I love the oven-baked Norwegian salmon mignon in pistachio crust and the chicken thigh"Diavola", spicy capsicum and tomato sauce with dried oregano. The salmon mignon's delicate, nutty and crunchy crust provides a delightful contrast to the tender flesh. The chicken thigh "Diavola"is very flavourful and I love the tangy flavours. The spicy capsicum and dried oregano enhanced the overall taste of the dish. Those who are inclined towards beef will be tempted by the tantalising flavours of the Piedmont style braised beef brisket, potato fondant in herb gravy. The beef is seasoned with Italian herbs and braised for over an hour to give it a melt-in-your-mouth texture.  Another winning dish is the sautéed live mussels in crustacean saffron broth and broccoli floret. The saffron broth and broccoli floret complemented the mussels beautifully.
 
 Intoxicating desserts
 
For a perfect finale, indulge in freshly brewed coffee or tea and take your pick from the ensemble of intoxicating desserts such as mini tiramisu, zesty lemon tart, exotic vanilla panna cotta, pistachio and almond biscotti or the stracciatella and ricotta cannoli prepared delicately at the live station. The alluring flavours will leave you completely satiated.
 
Enthralled by the ensemble of desserts
 
 
Award-winning Executive Pastry Chef, Nicolas Maugard and his assistant
 
The restaurant also offers rejuvenating mocktails such as Pink Cucumber Punch (pure green tea, cucumber and raspberry sweetener), Vanilla Lemonade (vanilla, rosemary and lemon soda) and Emerald Mojito (Thai basil, lime juice, mint leaves and apple juice). The mocktails are priced from $5 onwards.
 
Rejuvenating mocktails

The Italian Buffet is priced at $48++ per person. Pontini is located at level two, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.

For reservations, please call 6233 1100 or email dining.gcw@millenniumhotels.com

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