The Place National Gallery Singapore is fast becoming the next dining destination other than an art gallery. As the first restaurant I checked out, I was looking forward to my meal at Aura, an Italian restaurant opened in the latest art attraction in Singapore by the ilLido group. I will describe the ambience of Aura as posh, but not over-imposing. In addition to the dining concept, there is also the Aura Sky Lounge one level up, a rooftop bar concept with a panoramic view of the Padang and Singapore’s skyline including the Marina Bay Sands.
The Food We checked out the weekend brunch menu, which is a fixed price at $48++ per person. This is quite a good deal if you are looking to try a variety of items from the menu. The starters spread were amazing even though it came in tapas portions. We stuffed ourselves silly with the Crab Crostini, Salt & Paprika Calamari, Stracciatella & Tomato Bruschetta, Parma Ham with Musk Melon, Trofie with Truffle Pesto and Prawns and Stracci with Duck Ragu. My favourite of the lot is the Trofie with Truffle Pesto and Prawns, a hearty al dente pasta with a tinge of truffle to whet the appetite. The rest of the starters fell flat and were at best average. All portions served here are for three persons.
For mains, choose from the Black Cod with Tomato and Herb Crust, Hokkaido Scallops with Porcini and Beetroot or Beef Sirloin with Asparagus and Red Wine Sauce.
I will recommend going for the Beef Sirloin which I thought was the most impressive of the lot, especially if you are a beef steak eater. Mine was requested to be done medium-rare, which definitely brought out the succulent flavour of the beef well.
The Hokkaido Scallops with Porcini and Beetroot fared better than the Cod fish in terms of its presentation and taste for us. The vivid natural pink hue of the beetroot provided a nice contrast to the scallops, which was already visually appetising even before we started eating. The Cod fish wasn’t bad, just not outstanding amongst the three mains we tried.
For desserts, go for the Bailey’s & Hazelnut Feuillantine which scored on its robust texture, crunchy base and rich hazelnut flavor. My only gripe is that the Bailey’s dosage could have been more intense.
Rants We found the service to be rather underwhelming. There were numerous occasions where we felt neglected and it was a challenge getting the attention of the staff.
Will I Return Again? Aura is no doubt a beautiful restaurant in National Gallery. We like the distinct restaurant and bar concept in one space even though the food wasn’t particularly outstanding, nor was the service. I will make time to try other restaurants in National Gallery instead on my next visit.
Make your reservation instantly at Aura here.
Monday to Sunday: 12pm to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm
Tel: +65 6866 1977
Ranted by The Ranter