What an apt title for a week where we’re all in need of a cure from this haze!
I love the space at Andrew Walsh’s new Cure restaurant. Somehow approaching the entrance, with the bright ‘Cure’ lit up beside the door, it all seemed very London. The greeting, the friendly staff, the buzz and the view to the kitchen, where we again get to eyeball Chef Andrew Walsh and his team deftly arranging plates of deliciousness right before our eyes, all screamed London. And although the down lights drilling a spotlight onto most tables are a bit intense, bloggers and foodie photographers will be ecstatic for the photogenic light shed on the beautifully presented food.
As for the name. I’m not a fan. Everyone seems confused as to whether it’s ‘The Cure’ or ‘Cure’. A google search for ‘cure’ comes up with the dictionary definition of, “A drug or course of medical treatment…” And every time I write it I feel like I need to insert inverted commas to explain that it’s a name. It is what it is though. The venture is a joint one for Andrew Walsh with his neighbour Joel Fraser from the Cufflink Club on Jiak Chuan Road. They’ve both been on the Singapore F&B scene for long enough to have the experience necessary to open somewhere great, so fingers crossed.
Something I did love about Cure was seeing Andrew Walsh looking more relaxed in the environment he’s created. I saw several smiles and waves and I sensed a feeling of warmth from the kitchen (no pun intended). He seems to genuinely be enjoying himself. I also saw him send a plate of food back to the kitchen when it was placed in front of him for his seal of approval and it didn’t meet his expectation. So he’s paying attention as always to ensure consistency and high standards are applied to the food he’s being credited for. One thing to note about the room at Cure is that I’ve been told that the seats right in front of the kitchen can get a little warm from the kitchen heat. We were one back from there and it wasn’t a bother.
The concept at Cure Singapore is one we’re seeing increasingly often in new restaurants here. A set menu with little choice (other than dietary related changes really). The bar for the food is set high at Cure so minimising the options is a good way of keeping a high level of consistency in the food whilst still offering a reasonably priced meal. Not that it’s cheap, $95++ for 5 courses is not your average week night dinner. However, it’s certainly not an unreasonable price for this level of quality in Singapore’s mid level dining scene. And on our visit we actually were served six courses, I’m not really sure why.
My excitement of being presented with the menu was momentarily dissolved when my eyes fell upon foie gras as a course In some ways that was good because it gave an opportunity to test out how the kitchen would deal with this. And the service staff. A sign of good service is when unplanned requests are treated professionally, and politely. The staff happily offered a substitute and so our meal began.
The bread to start, served with whipped butter and chicken salt, was freshly baked and more-ish, and also arrived with a pleasantly salty mix of capers and olives on the side. I could easily have taken the offer of seconds but I was saving myself. Our first taste from the menu was a croquette of sweetcorn and cheese served with cauliflower puree with a kale crisp. I’m a sucker for the crunchiness of a croquette and this one didn’t disappoint. I did find the cheesiness a bit oily though.
Next up was, what was possibly my favourite, a beetroot smoked salmon with cucumber served in a creamy almond soup and sprinkled with vanilla ‘snow’. I didn’t get the snow at all, it kind of disappeared on your tongue, without leaving much to remember it but the complete dish was a lovely textural and flavourful combination. Next up was the foie gras, or in our case the arancini. These were gorgeous crispy balls of duck and bacon, presented delightfully in a straw lined wooden box, fit for a happy duck, rather than a force fed one.
Then it was time for the main of Iberico pork loin served with six different types of cauliflower. The pork was tender and very nicely cooked and but as regular readers will know, cauliflower is not my favourite so, although I liked the textures the flavour really didn’t do it for me.
One of the downsides of a set menu is the automatic inclusion of dessert, especially if you’re not a fan like me. In this case, the standard menu features two desserts, and in our case we had three.
The first dessert was truly awesome. A layered concoction of yoghurt, curry granola and mint that combined great textures and flavours and meant that I almost had my tongue it the ditty little jar to finish off the best bits! The next dessert was a delightfully chocolatey concoction but, to my horror, when tucking into it I discovered a bed of truffle flavouring underneath nearly the whole plate! The truffle wasn’t mentioned on the menu which is one of my pet peeves in Singapore. For an ingredient that divides the masses like few others, it should always rate a mention in a menu listing.
When our plates were cleared we were asked what was wrong and we explained. Unasked we were then brought another dessert to make up for it. It was a sweet (ha ha get it?) gesture but we didn’t really need another dessert at this stage. That was until we tucked in and discovered this gorgeous concoction of creamy chocolate icecream, real honeycomb, orange and real mandarin pieces. It was like a very posh jaffa.
For drinks we started with a Champagne at $26++ per glass. Our further questions about wine were met with the offer of a sommelier to help our decision making. I can’t say the person who helped us provided much guidance but we did end up with a lovely Chablis at $17++ per glass and a Pinot Noir also at $17++ per glass.
The menu changes monthly and I have no doubt the creativity and overall experience will continue to improve as Mr Walsh finds his feet in his own digs.
21 Keong Saik Road, Singapore, 089128
Opening hours are:
Dinner from Monday to Saturday from 6pm
Lunch on Thursday and Friday from 12pm