Watch: Inside our dinner at il Cielo with #FriendsofBuro

Gin and gastronomy

Text: Norman Tan

Video: Justin Chen
Image: Robin Thang

As a thank you to our close friends and collaborators, Buro 24/7 hosted a cocktail class and degustation dinner at Hilton Singapore

The thing about gratitude — being thankful, showing appreciation, telling others that you actually care — is that it's often left unsaid. Implicit in our warm gestures and bright smiles, but without being explicit in our words and actions. Expected even, but rarely communicated.  

So when we — that is, the Buro 24/7 Singapore team — wanted to thank our #FriendsofBuro and collaborators for a great 2017 (for all those video shoots, special projects, and interactive microsites) we wanted to make sure that they felt loved. A hat tip to their unwavering support. A bear hug for being an awesome friend. 

And what better way to say thank you than an intimate night at Hilton Singapore — downing gin cocktails at Opus Bar & Grill, and dining from il Cielo's autumnal degustation menu — all with a rooftop view of Singapore to boot? Golden.

Click on the video below for an inside look at what went down that evening.


What's the key to a fun night? As it turns out, the simple combination of great company, a good bar, and generous cocktails. It also doesn't hurt if the mixologist — and in this case, the super affable Yadhaven Santheran from Opus Bar & Grill — lets you mix and pour your own drinks.       

Opus Bar & Grill, Hilton SingaporeTracy PhillipsOon Shu An

After a gin masterclass to taste and appreciate the subtleties between five different gins, we were let loose to create our own cocktails; trying our hand at complementing the freshness of Gunpowder Irish Gin with slices of grapefruit, or tempering the spice of Mobasa Club Gin with sprigs of fresh mint. It was meant to be two parts tonic to one part gin, but somewhere between frosting my glass with liquid nitrogen and adding slices of dehydrated oranges to finish off my G and T, I flipped the proportions. Whoops. Explains the hyper happiness.     

Inch Chua

Double Tap

Fiona FussiVanessa Fernandez, aka. VandettaOpus Bar & Grill, Hilton Singapore


Dinner was served on the Hilton Singapore rooftop (24 floors above Orchard Road with a blue-lit pool shimmering in the glow of the city lights) and it was no less than a decadent six-course meal at il Cielo by Chef Yohhei Sasaki.

Known for crafting a sensorial dining experience that combines the best seasonal produce from both Japan and Italy (flown in especially for il Cielo), Chef Sasaki spoiled us with his latest autumn menu that included a theatrically smoked Sanma fish (presented under an upside down martini glass) with Japanese ginger, charcoal grissini and Kyoto eggplant bagna càuda paste; a four-cheese gnocco (stuffed with gorgonzola, Piedmont tartufo, mascarpone and taleggio cheese) sprinkled with porcini crumbles and drizzled with truffle cream sauce (as you can imagine, it was an intense explosion of flavours); and, my personal favourite, a sweet Japanese pumpkin pudding with mascarpone, white truffle milk, and shaved autumn black truffles. I. Die. Bananas.

il Cielo, Hilton Singapore

il Cielo, Hilton Singapore

"How 'piss-fit' are you, Norman?" asks Yvette King, merely two courses into our six-course dinner.
"Piss-fit? As in, how well do I hold my liquor?"
"Yup. It's an Australian term. If you're 'piss-fit' then you can really drink," King tells me.
"Well, let's just say, I'm already buzzing!"

As a special treat for the evening, each of Chef Yohhei Sasaki's six courses was accompanied with a bespoke cocktail dreamt up by head mixologist Santheran. And, since we were already well-lubricated from our gin masterclass earlier that evening, conversation and cajoling flowed naturally. Definitely a night to remember.  

il Cielo, Hilton SingaporeYvette King Victoria Cheng il Cielo, Hilton Singaporeil Cielo, Hilton Singapore

The il Cielo Autumn Signatures Menu at Hilton Singapore is available from 23 October to 30 November 2017. The six-course set menu is available for $138, whilst an à la carte menu starts at $32 per dish. For reservations call 6730 3395.


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