[dropcap size=small]C[/dropcap]hef Dennis Lucchi of Buona Terra is an expert when it comes to drawing the line between sublime indulgence and painful excess. His cuisine is neither too light nor too heavy-handed, and always just enough to satisfy.

Take, for example, his Tonnarelli al Cannolicchi: The plate of squid ink tonnarelli comes with plump bamboo clams from France, and a dusting of bottarga just for that touch of something special. Another standout: Lucchi’s elegant branzino. A whole, line-caught wild sea bass from Brittany, filled with onions and Umbrian extra virgin olive oil and baked in a salt crust for 30 minutes, the dish is presented by the chef himself and fillet at the table.

Lucchi served his apprenticeship in the kitchens of fine-dining establishments in Rome and London, and at Michelin-star restaurants in Lake Garda, his hometown in Italy. When he arrived in Singapore, he brought with him family recipes handed down through generations. These inspire his modern interpretations of Italian classics such as homemade potato gnocchi, which is served at the restaurant with ossobuco ragu that is simultaneously delicate and creamy. Its gremolata garnish is so fresh, you’d swear the herbs were plucked from the ground moments before being chopped and scattered over the dish.

The superb cuisine is further heightened by expert wine pairings, picked from a collection of 150 Italian labels selected by chief sommelier Gabriele Rizzardi. The only thing more impressive than the rare and hard-to-find vintages on offer, is Rizzardi’s knowledge of them, and the warmth and grace with which he serves each glass.

Buona Terra
29 Scotts Road
T 6733-0209

The full list of Singapore’s Best at
G Restaurant Awards 2016.

All tastings conducted incognito with esteemed members of G’s Food Panel.