COMO Cuisine review: A restaurant in Dempsey offering the best dishes from Como properties around the world
All in one
We know COMO as a homegrown brand that's committed to bringing out the best in a holiday — indulgent spas, mindful wellness sessions, and stunning properties that nod to the particular city or province which they're in. That includes the food we put in our bodies as well. Driven by in-season fresh produce and a deft approach to handcrafted recipes, the fare stays true to the locale — a pleasant surprise when you frequently travel within the various COMO properties worldwide.
But here at COMO Cuisine in Singapore, all the differing cuisines come together (just like our city's melting pot) in one stunning place lifted with a glowy façade and sophisticated fixtures of suspended air plants. Bhutanese native, chef Tshering Lhaden helms the kitchen — with an eloquent culinary portfolio from the Himayalan kingdom of her homeground to the Maldives, the Caribbean and now, Singapore.
At breakfast, typical brunch staples like eggs benedict would fare better elsewhere. Whereas COMO Cuisine brings forth an edge like masala dosa (a breakfast classic that hails from COMO Cocca Islands) — plated with thin crisp pancakes encasing spiced potatoes. If you're not feeling up for it, there's also the vanilla French toast that the hotel does immaculately across the properties.
Dishes like tandoor cauliflower embodies what's great about the vision here — taking the humble floret and simply roasting it in a tandoor oven till perfectly charred, before it joins a medley of curry leaves, pomegranate, almonds and nigella yoghurt. Also another veg standout: Golden heirloom beets seasoned with oil and vinegar, and dabbled with the midas touch of feta cheese and a poppy seed dressing. The acidity marries perfectly with the sharp hit of the cheese — as we found ourselves almost addicted to the combination.
The main highlight though, had to fall on the lobster briyani. An obvious choice, if you think about it. Especially since it's a labour of love that starts from basmati rice plied with lobster broth. Essential spices come through, forming a punchy tomato masala sauce that's embroiled with sustainably farmed Canadian lobsters. When the rice meets the aromatic mix in a huge baking dish, it's covered with a piece of naan to contain the flavours within before steam-baked. On the side of this hearty and generous serving (potentially feeding up to four ravenous pax), comes a raita and a delightful guava and pomegranate salad.
Come dinner and your meal should start with the spicy coconut chili relish, comprising of tiger prawns and grilled corn. The blend is best savoured with housemade rice crackers and crudites that offer a juicy fresh bite that most starters can't exactly deliver.
If you have a serious case for Italian (no prizes for guessing which hotel this transpired from), the duck ragout pappardelle will hit all the right spots. No frills, just a piquant mix involving red wine, black olives, and rosemary. You can't ever go wrong when the pasta's housemade. The lamb shank massaman curry would have been ideal, but we do wish it spiked up on the heat level. You know, the kind that makes you sniffle. What you do get is a lamb braised to a soft gentle pull — that easily separates from the bone.
Desserts, like the savouries, are well-panned out. You've got pickings like a warm ginger jackfruit pudding that comes with a scoop of jaggery ice cream. And if there's more stomach room to implore further, split their salted caramel chocolate tart. It's COMO's take on a chocolate Florentine, branded with drunken cherries, mascarpone, vanilla bean and a coffee caramel drizzle. A sweet dish that's served in COMO in Tuscany, here it's minus the air travel in exchange of driving up to Dempsey instead. Now that's a promising proposition.
18A Dempsey Rd
Opening hours: (Sun-Thurs) 8am-10pm, (Fri-Sat) 8am-10.30pm