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78%100%54 votes

Buko Nero

EuropeanFusionItalianWestern
This family-run trattoria serves a stylish Italian menu, some of it with Asian influences. The menu changes regularly and meals are carefully prepared by Chef Oscar. Be prepared to wait for at least a month before you can get a table.

Tue - Thu: 18:30 - 21:30

Fri - Sat: 12:00 - 14:00

Fri - Sat: 18:30 - 21:30

Closed: Mon, Sun, PH

+65 63246225
$66 based on 54 submissions
Dinner (32 votes), Quiet (24 votes), Hidden Find (15 votes)
Hoongy !

Popular Family Dining

I do not generally make dining decisions one month in advance, so thank goodness that friends like Panerai does and then lets me have a seat the day before when my schedule is clear - well, I made sure it was for such an opportunity.

Trudging across a place I thought I knew well, it still took me awhile to find this hole in the wall that has a warm family atmosphere - somewhat literally in temperature as well.

Once seated, I proceeded with the amuse bouche which was a really well executed egg on crustino. I liked it so much that I actually asked for seconds.

I then tried the Parma ham on toasted bread, together with grilled tomatoes and egg. This was a really wonderful dish in which the flavours of the juicy tomato blended so well with the egg with a crunch at the end.

The special of the day was a charcoal pasta with thick carbonara sauce. Paired with chicken slices, I found it a tad too salty for my liking. Although I had the starters portion, it was really large.

My friend recommended the mushroom soup, and hence I tried it. With a strong truffle oil finish, it was a very refined thick soup with strong bits of cut mushroom minced and integrated into the broth. Well executed.

A popular starter at Buko Nero is apparently the Taw Kwa Tower, and hence I tried it. Think of it as an "ang moh's" interpretation of the telor tahu goreng without the egg. Instead the "tower" was created from fresh vegetables with carrot strips that created a crunchy finish.

For my main course I had the beetroot risotto. Arriving in its purple glory, it was done al dente and had a sweet finish.

By the time I was done with my main course, I was too full to have desserts.

What amazed me about this dining experience is the kitchen. Chef Oscar is a one man show in a limited kitchen that proved that you do not need to have a "foo fa" industry kitchen to produce good food. On crowded evenings, do come early or expect to have a little patience for the preparation of the food as there are no external staff other than the three family members themselves. Nonetheless, good things are worth the wait.

The HGW community like this place for...

  • pasta3 votes
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Based on 54 votes
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28 Aug 2013 • 1909 reviews • 258 followers

Popular Family Dining

I do not generally make dining decisions one month in advance, so thank goodness that friends like Panerai does and then lets me have a seat the day before when my schedule is clear - well, I made sure it was for such an opportunity.

Trudging across a place I thought I knew well, it still took me awhile to find this hole in the wall that has a warm family atmosphere - somewhat literally in temperature as well.

Once seated, I proceeded with the amuse bouche which was a really well executed egg on crustino. I liked it so much that I actually asked for seconds.

I then tried the Parma ham on toasted bread, together with grilled tomatoes and egg. This was a really wonderful dish in which the flavours of the juicy tomato blended so well with the egg with a crunch at the end.

The special of the day was a charcoal pasta with thick carbonara sauce. Paired with chicken slices, I found it a tad too salty for my liking. Although I had the starters portion, it was really large.

My friend recommended the mushroom soup, and hence I tried it. With a strong truffle oil finish, it was a very refined thick soup with strong bits of cut mushroom minced and integrated into the broth. Well executed.

A popular starter at Buko Nero is apparently the Taw Kwa Tower, and hence I tried it. Think of it as an "ang moh's" interpretation of the telor tahu goreng without the egg. Instead the "tower" was created from fresh vegetables with carrot strips that created a crunchy finish.

For my main course I had the beetroot risotto. Arriving in its purple glory, it was done al dente and had a sweet finish.

By the time I was done with my main course, I was too full to have desserts.

What amazed me about this dining experience is the kitchen. Chef Oscar is a one man show in a limited kitchen that proved that you do not need to have a "foo fa" industry kitchen to produce good food. On crowded evenings, do come early or expect to have a little patience for the preparation of the food as there are no external staff other than the three family members themselves. Nonetheless, good things are worth the wait.
05 Sep 2012 • 11 reviews • 21 followers

Makes the next-to-impossible reservation worth it

Straight from the horse's mouth, Buko Nero accepts reservations exactly one month in advance. So if you want a table on the 30th of September, call on the 30th of August. Any earlier and you won't be entertained, any later and you risk dining elsewhere.

For all the hype surrounding Buko Nero, I expected the food to be stellar. But few dishes stood out. There're a couple of exceptional dishes though, at prices that are surprisingly reasonable.

Top of my list is Oven baked cod with spicy crust. Cod can get gelat after awhile, but not in this case. The spicy crust made all the difference. From first bite to the last, you just can't get enough of it.

Next is the Buko Nero Tau-kwa Tower. Topple it and it looks like rojak. Bite it and a zesty citrus mist breezes into your mouth. Who'd expect the humble fried bean curd to become a superstar in an Italian joint?

www.rumblingtummy.tumblr.com

20 Aug 2012 • 11 reviews • 0 follower

set lunches

Located nondescriptly amongst a row of shop houses in tanjong pagar, buko nero can be easily overlooked if not for its resounding reputation on online forums.

Offering value for money set lunches only on fridays and saturdays, reservations have to be made at least two weeks in advanced.

Unlike other restaurants offering set lunches, Buko Nero's set lunch remains a mystery only until lunch starts at 12pm. I have tried asking what would be served at 11am and the chef had declined any information.

Given only two choices for each course (3 course), perhaps it may be a risky dining option. Not to worry nonetheless, for whatever is served for the day is usually the freshest of ingredients. One will almost never go wrong ordering whatever is offered for the daily set. Be prepared to wait nonetheless, as there is only ONE cook (the owner, himself) and one/two people serving (his wife and his/her mother). Nonetheless, the entire dining experience is an indulgent affair; without being overly opulent yet satisfying.

From the preparation to the service to the taste of the food (that gently tickles your taste buds), it is without doubt that the chef and his wife are genuine food lovers; passionate about sharing the joy of healthy and wholesome dining.

On our subsequent visit, we replaced the main course with items offered on the alarcarte menu and payed for the difference. It was then that I realised that it is a wiser choice to opt for whatever the chef is offering (lunch items for that day) as the alarcarte items were disappointing.

With portions a tad small and options limited, Buko nero may not exactly be the best valued set lunches in town. However, the experience here is a less formal version of fine dining nonetheless, and really a great choice to relax and unwind after a busy week.

12 May 2012 • 7 reviews • 0 follower

Finally!

Placed our reservations, waited for three weeks and finally! We were part of the Buko Nero clan.

Overall experience was very rewarding with good food and good hosts.

We will return again. Thanks Tracy and Oscar!

12 Jan 2012 • 41 reviews • 1 follower

Nice restaurant.

A simple, cosy restaurant situated along Tanjong Pagar road. Lose your concentration and you might just miss this outlet!

Entering the 22-seater restaurant, you can never miss Tracy, Mum? and Oscar. The very value-for-money set menu of the day sits right at the wall, very prominent. The washroom is a paradise - it brings me to shame as it looks even better than my own!

The menu at Buko Nero is very simple. Maximum 3 starter/entree/dessert to choose from. Tada! Anything else, Tracy will introduce you the specials of the day and the set menu of course. The flexibility of Chef Oscar is fantastic because you are allowed to change the main course, subjecting to the price difference.

The food has been consistently good throughout the two visit. I always liked the mozzarella cheese and parma ham crostino. The ingredient may seem simple but the taste and texture brings it to a whole new level.

The special Momotaro tomato with basil and something puree was extremely appetizing. The sweet and sour puree with slightly salted tomato was genius.

The chef was in the mood for fish, with the introduction of salmon-wrapped zucchini, topped with tomato and Fusilli with braised seafood (consisting salmon and 2 other seafood I forgot - sorry I wasn't paying attention!). Both of them were great, with the latter graded excellent. The fusilli was cooked to perfection and the braised seafood ratio was perfecto. Just the right dampness, amount of fish (it wasnt overpowering with fishy) and taste.

The cream of brocolli with spicy crab meat is a hit too while the dessert wasn't in the same league as the rest.

In short, the set menu I had for the first time was fantastic. Priced at $55?, this is cheap!

I will be back.

PS: To be very honest, service can lapse when the restaurant is full as there is only one Tracy and she has to be everywhere to introduce specials and serve/introduce the dishes. It's up to your own discretion.