Food hits: What to try at Hotel Michael’s Palio

The Italian restaurant’s opulent, yet affordable, Oro Nero Risotto hit the spot big time

Palio’s Oro Nero risotto comes topped with edible gold and Avruga caviar. Photo: Weekender, Karin Cheong

Risotto fans who enjoy the richness and flavour of the Italian rice dish will be in for both a visual and culinary treat with Palio’s excellent Oro Nero risotto ($32).

The rice, which is grown in Northern Italy, is first simmered in a full-bodied seafood stock before adding a squid and ink braise. The dish is then topped with a freshly seared scallop, Avruga caviar, and a lavish sprinkling of gold dust.

My dining companions and I enjoyed the robust, earthy flavour that came with the dish and finding surprise chunks of scallops hidden in the glossy, black rice.

Here’s a warning though: Order this dish on first dates only if you’re confident that your date does not mind black inky smears on your teeth.

We also tried the Maialetto ($38), an Iberico Pork confit set atop a bed of stewed capsicums and port wine sauce. Slow-cooked for two days, the pork was tender and well-caramelised.