There about this time every year, I splurge on a year-end dinner. Typically, I would opt for a buffet-style meal. I would also choose a western establishment, as that allows me to enjoy Christmas festive dishes too.
This dinner is, of course, to celebrate the end of the year. But beyond that, it does not have any sort of congratulatory or thanksgiving note. I still go even if the year was miserable, albeit to a (much) cheaper restaurant. Over time, it evolved into one of my many rituals for the calendar year. Last two weeks of December. Start checking out what’s on promotion. Make the reservation. Go. Glut. Start looking forward to the one next year.
Oh, by the way, I always have this year-end dinner alone. It’s year-end quality time for me and myself.
Anyway, for this year, I returned to the Italian restaurant I went to in 2014. Basilico, at Regent Singapore. I decided to return for I greatly enjoyed their semi-buffet dinner the previous time, especially the appetizer spread with so many types of cheeses and equally as many condiments to go along with. And then there was the service, which was attentive without ever being intrusive. What Basilico offered felt just perfect for what I was looking forward to. A slow, leisurely meal, with all sorts of exotic food options for me to go geeky over.
Incidentally, Basilico was having a Alps of Italy Dinner promotion. I didn’t notice this till I finished eating. 😛
I’m no gourmet, so I’m not going to attempt any detailed review of Basilico’s food quality. What I’d just say is, there feels to be an emphasis on natural tastes. Be it the main dish or desserts, I didn’t sample anything that was too sweet or too salty. Or as we Singaporeans say, too gaow (weighty, heavy after eating). This translates to … being able to eat more and try more things! There’s also no need to gulp down gallons of water later, just to wash off flavouring-induced thirstiness.
On the topic of having a year-end dinner alone. Naturally, I have a good number of acquaintances who find this ritual of mine bizarre. Pathetic even, as in, was your year so horrid you can’t even find someone to eat a meal with?!?! As I wrote in one of my tags summaries, I completely fail to comprehend the revulsion. I guess it’s a matter of, I always intended these meals to be quality time with myself. And nope, I don’t reflect on life, meditate on the ending year, or ponder the future months during this meals. I just, eat. Perhaps if these acquaintances were to infuse lesser meaning into a meal, they too would be able to comprehend the joys of festive solo dining. For starters, they would have more energy to appreciate the food with.