Cure restaurant on Keong Saik road has somehow managed to fly below my radar, which to be frank is pretty hard for a) someone so obsessed with food and b) in a small country where it’s not too difficult to keep abreast of all the hot restaurants. And yet somehow it had not cropped up much in our various conversations about favourite restaurants or places to try. Well, no more! I fully intend to wax lyrical about this place following a pretty much faultless evening there last weekend.
It was our 1st year anniversary of living in Singapore, and this coinciding with having a VIP guest in town (my mum), what better excuse than to try out a new and applauded food joint. I’d checked the menu and after a hard day on the golf course (my mum won, much to the son in law’s embarrassment) we couldn’t wait to get stuck into the tasting menu. They offer a 5 or 7 of course, and given the occasion we went for the 7, obviously.
Before I go into the detail of the food, let me just set the scene. Cure is a fairly small place, whitewashed outside with a dark and buzzing interior, where your eye is immediately drawn to the open kitchen at the back. A friendly server showed us to our table and we were thrilled to get the best seats in the house, being right next to the pass watching Head Chef and co-owner Andrew Walsh check every plate as it went out for service. Calm, seamless, efficient.
We ordered a bottle of crisp white wine and waited for the feast to commence. First up was the bread. And yes it does deserve a mention of its own; it was beautifully served in a rustic basket, warm, chewy sourdough accompanied by whipped bacon butter, and alongside some cabbage with just a touch of acidity to cut through the rich salty butter. Any intended restraint faced with 7 courses ahead went out the window. We were also served gorgeous little snacks, the highlight of which was a crispy croquette square which popped in the mouth to ooze into a creamy cheesy centre.
The first ‘proper’ course was the hamachi ceviche. It was accompanied by various different manifestations of carrot, with a lovely warmth from ginger and a little textured crunch from some toasted quinoa.
After this fresh, crisp start was a complete contrast, since next up was probably our favourite dish of the night. A little pot with a beautifully ‘Cure’ branded wooden spoon, inside which was a foie gras brulée. It was exactly as a brulée should be with the crisp, tap-able top which once broken through, sinks into creamy, smooth & soft. The sweetness of the sugar with just a hint of cinnamon went perfectly with the salty rich foie gras mousse, not too strong and lighter than expected. Delicious.
Next up was the close contender for top dish, another rich number of pasta (but so small it was almost like a risotto) flavoured with pea and truffle and a garlicky milk foam, on top of which oozed a soft egg. Again, Chef Walsh hit the right texture notes by topping the plate with crisped wild rice. He actually served this dish himself, and we had a little chat about his vision for Cure; fine dining but in a more relaxed environment. A table-side chat with the head chef is certainly in line with this, and it adds to the warmth and atmosphere of this place.
Course 4 and it was time for fish; a piece of John Dory glazed and dressed with orange, a kale puree and asparagus. On the side was an almond ‘porridge’. Interesting, but not my favourite. A short pause, a switch of wine to a tasty red, and out came the meat course, a 72 hour beef short rib. You would think that this would be the pièce de resistance, but in fact the wagyu beef was almost too slow cooked, the texture too soft and the fat content a bit too high meaning it felt slightly gelatinous in the mouth. The best part of this plate was actually the hot crispy beef croquette.
By this point we were pretty full (the courses are generous, much to our greedy delight) but then the cheese came out. What might have been the least interesting of the 7 stages was elevated by an amazing pepper & rosemary honey drizzle over the Savarin and some toasted fruit bread. Again, restraint failed me despite the dessert ahead.
The dessert was the intriguing Guinness ice cream sandwich. A bitter sweet filling between two chocolate biscuits. What’s not to like?
Just as I thought I was about to pop, the petits fours came out. I can’t resist a petit four, and this was no different. “Take them home for tomorrow?!!” I scoffed as I popped another in my mouth.
It really was time to go home after that, as tempting as it was to go to one of the many bars along Keong Saik, we would have had to roll there. Another quick chat with the chef as we left (he was outside enjoying a well deserved post-service drink with some friends) and we fell into the nearest cab, exclaiming about our favourite dishes all the way home. This is a place I will keep coming back to, for it’s amazing food, laid-back yet buzzing vibe and great service. As I said, pretty much faultless.
Cure, 21 Keong Saik Road, Singapore.