Three to try: A vegetable-forward restaurant, brunch-perfect cafe, and brilliant tasting menu that wouldn't break the bank
There're plenty of dining options along Keong Saik Road, but not all of them manage to hit the sweet spot the way Cure does. The restaurant opened last year with tasting menus only, but chef-owner Andrew Walsh has since introduced an à la carte option for those who prefer to chart their own course. Whichever path you choose to take, know that the culinary stars are always well aligned here. With Walsh at the helm, the dishes here are quite simply, pitch-perfect. The ability of Walsh and his team to turn out consistently good food has followed him from his time at Esquina. The food here verges on fine-dining fare, but without the buttoned-up bells and whistles. With a four-course tasting menu — it comes with snacks and petit fours, too — priced at $88, you can easily treat yourself to a brilliant meal without trading in your firstborn.
With an open kitchen, charcoal grey walls, and tables illuminated with strategically tuned spotlights, the Rothko-esque vibe here sets the stage for masterpieces of the edible kind. There's foie gras mousse, topped with cinnamon sugar, and devilishly torched to resemble crème brûlée — albeit an infinitely richer rendition. It's also tempting to reach for multiple slices of sourdough bread which comes sided with bacon (yes, dreams do come true) butter played down with an acidic touch of fermented cabbage. Beef short rib, cooked for 72 hours till tender, gets a Middle Eastern makeover with dukkah crumbs and smoked aubergine.
Dessert's no mere afterthought either. Flavour combinations move beyond the safe territories of chocolate or salted caramel. Textural creations include milk sorbet layered with lavender milk mousse, milk meringue, lavender granita and bursts of sweet honeycomb. The herbaceous basil sorbet crowned with black olive meringue is a pure work of art, too.
21 Keong Saik Road. Tel: 6221 2189
Unlike the Dempsey Hill precinct, the Rochester Park enclave is all green and quiet. Some might argue it's a little too quiet, but we welcome the prospect of brunching without having to out-shout screaming children or waiting an hour before food finally hits the table. Looking for a spot to enjoy a languid wekeend brunch? Consider Noshery by Nosh. The all-day dining cafe at Rochester Park takes full advantage of the colonial building it occupies. Botanically inspired wallpapers, stately wooden tables, and curious knick-knacks line this light-filled space. It's a handsome space, no doubt, and one matched with moreish grub. Call for the well-spiced Shakshouka, which comes with a showering of goat cheese and eggplant fritters atop all the standard trimmings. The crab benedict takes a playful twist on the classic eggs benedict, and includes crab cakes paired with a coconut curry hollandaise. While the wine list here falls short with only two options, there's plenty of beer to choose from. Staying off alcohol? Opt for their slow-pressed juices, coffee, or tea.
9 Rochester Park. Tel: 6779 4644
Angela May Food Chapters
Some chefs open restaurants with Michelin stars in mind, but for international culinary host and TV presenter Angela May, her eponymous restaurant at Robinsons The Heeren mirrors the way she eats. Think vegetable-forward dishes that echo the brilliance of Yotam Ottolenghi, well exemplified in a salad of arugula and mint given a punchy lift with the addition of wasabi lettuce. A slow-cooked egg sits atop it all, pairing perfectly with the earthy crunch of shaved asparagus. The handsome restaurant — boasting bespoke oak and sycamore furniture — puts its prized Josper oven to good use, turning out beautifully charred vegetables and meats such as Kurobuta pork collar judiciously sided with a mint and pomelo salad.
Here, Asian herbs and spices give the dishes a unique, flavourful spin. There's impossibly smooth homemade tofu dressed in chili oil and ginger, and red mullet sitting in an aromatic lemongrass tinged coconut broth. Choux pastries here shine as versatile treats that run both sweet and curiously savoury (think tomato ricotta or prawns in spiced sesame) territories. Wash it all down with killer juice combinations — our favourite being The Green, a medley of cucumber, kale, basil, ginger, and pineapple.
#02-02 Robinsons The Heeren. 260 Orchard Road. Tel: 6681 7440