Aura, a swanky concept by Il Lido group, a renowned F&B group focused on delivering quality dining experience. Located in the newly minted National Gallery Singapore, Aura occupied 2 two storey. The 5th floor focus on delivering Italian contemporary dining experience, while the 6th floor will be Sky Lounge, a place where you can chill out with the view of Singapore landmark.
|Part of Dining Area and Bar|
This time around we visited the Italian contemporary dining. The décor of the restaurant is classy and elegant. Once you entered the restaurant you can see the combination of dark wood tables with orange leather chairs, and the bar in the background with extensive bottle of wines range on display. Marble are used as divider in some part of the seating area.
|Part of dining area - different angle|
|Focaccia with olive bits|
First to arrive after we place our order is the Focaccia with olive bits. The warm focaccia has a nice crisp texture on the crust, with soft internal part of the bread. The olive bits on top really does wander to enhance the flavour of the bread. There is some olive with balsamic vinegar on the side to dip your bread with if needed.
|Focaccia with olive bits with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Dip|
Starters was shared by the group. Burrata Cheese with Cherry Tomatoes & Black Olives ($26). One of my all time favourite entrée. The cherry tomatoes provide the sweetness, arugula salad for a touch of bitterness. The creamy burrata cheese topped with bits of black olives with olive oil dressing really binds this dish together. Delicate and yet full of flavours.
|Burrata Cheese with Cherry Tomatoes & Black Olives|
Parma Ham with Musk Melon ($26). This dish is presented like a flower bouquet on a plate. The arugula salads and ham as the base, while the thinly sliced musk melon was rolled like a flower.
The parma ham is addictive like always, moist and slightly salty. The pale colour melon did not really contribute much in terms of flavour as it only has a subtle sweetness to it. It was easily overpowered by the parma ham, you will not miss it if it's not there. I still prefer my parma ham with bright orange rock melon.
|Parma Ham with Musk Melon|
Grilled Octopus with Crispy Egg and Corn ($28). One of the smaller serving appetizer. The well grilled octopus and corn made a good combination texture and flavour. Springy & succulent with sweet & crunchy. The creaminess from the egg yolk and mash potatoes added the wow factor to the already yummy dish. A must try starter here, though I wish the portion is slightly bigger.
|Grilled Octopus with Crispy Egg and Corn|
Scallops Crudo with Truffle and Smoked Quail Eggs ($28). This looks more like a Japanese carpaccio dish instead of Italian. The scallops is served au natural, using citrus and vinegar dressing enhance the natural sweetness of the scallops. The salmon roe added the mini burst of brainy saltiness, while the truffle oil added to the aroma of the dish. It looks rustic and complicated, but the ingredients just speak for itself. Yummy.
|Scallops Crudo with Truffle and Smoked Quail Eggs|
The most recommend dishes in Aura are their pasta range. The service staff will clearly highlighted this to you and featured heavily on their special menu. With that, I decided to try their Whole Wheat Tagliatelle With Duck & Foie Gras ($32). From the first bite, you can taste the difference between fresh pasta and dried pasta. The flat and thick later of pasta has a natural soft springiness to it. The tagliatelle did well to absorb the bold, robust and rich duck gravy and made gorgeous pairing with the smooth and velvety cubed foie gras. Yum Yum, it is indeed a must try dish.
|Whole Wheat Tagliatelle With Duck & Foie Gras|
|Whole Wheat Tagliatelle With Duck & Foie Gras|
(Check out the pasta)
I also sample Tagliolini with Scampi and Avruga Caviar ($38) from a fellow foodies. Tagliolini is thinly cut and springy pasta commonly used for a lighter type of sauce. In this dish, scampi and caviar are used together combine with the richness from the butter. Watch out for the touch of shredded chilli, in which give a nice twist to the dish.
|Tagliolini with Scampi and Avruga Caviar|
For sweet ending of the meal, we had Tiramisu ($15) and Bailey's & Hazelnut Feuilantine ($15). Unlike the traditional Tiramisu, I personally like the new touch to it. Light and creamy cream, with sponge cake base in between. The taste of coffee liquor, chocolate are nicely balanced, topped off with crunchy chocolate balls. Love it.
Meanwhile Bailey's & Hazelnut Feuilletine deliver a rich chocolate ending to the meal. It really taste like a Nutella dessert. I realised the Bailey's actually almost non-existent in this dessert. It can do with a couple more berries on the side, to counter the richness in this desserts.
|Bailey's & Hazelnut Feuilletine|
From the service point of view, the service staff was great. He was entertaining me with list of today's special while I was waiting for the rest of the guest to come. He was friendly, accommodating, not intrusive, know the food menu inside out. Wine recommendation was handled by the sommelier, which was very knowledgeable and professional throughout the entire process.
Overall, Aura is definitely a place to try for Italian Contemporary dining experience. I personally recommended the Scallops Crudo, Grilled Octopus, the Pastas and Tiramisu. It will create a dent on the wallet, but definitely worth the experience. Looking forward to the next visit in their Sky Lounge. Saluti!! Cheers!!
Food & Drink: 8/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80; $81 and Above
1 St. Andrew Road
#05-03 & #06-02 National Gallery Singapore
T: +65 6866 1977
OH: 12.00 – 14.30; 18.30 – 22.30