Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: Kulto, Dolce Vita at Mandarin Oriental, Nespresso's gourmet collab at VUE, and more
Where we dined this week...
Within the saturated stretch that is Amoy Street, sits Kulto, a Spanish restaurant that has already been garnering traction since its opening in early March. Its success isn't exactly confumbling, especially with a straight-off-the-bat menu, that albeit small, comprises of the typical favourites served by chef-owner Jose Alonso. Frankly, that's all you need in a hearty, enjoyable meal. Also incorporated are a few local nuances in the form of chili crab croquettes and a paella churned by a sambal base. Of course, these are all alternative options, alongside traditional flavours. As much as we adored finding a familiar aroma of chili infused in the fresh chunks of crab meat in the croquettes, there was the heat that was sorely missing. Going down the traditional route here might be preferred, especially with the artisan and heritage that goes behind every dish, each embodying chef Alonso's penchant for fresh produce and intricate prep-work. Paellas here are made from scratch, stemmed from bomba rice cooked in a sofrito base then bathed in a master broth (either chicken or lobster). Robust flavours get to shine, without laying on too much salt. The squid ink option is by far our favourite, with the likes of fresh seafood and dollops of garlic aioli served on a huge pan. They do a mean gambas, with grilled prawns sizzled in garlic and a splash of sherry wine. Best savoured with toasted slices of bread and housemade sambal. Everybody loves a good roasted cauliflower, and Kulto perfects their rendition with some time in the josper oven as well as charcoal oil and housemade tahini. And just when you think your appetite for basque burnt cheesecake has run its course, their version omits blue cheese and uses Manchego cheese ( known for its zesty profile), resulting in a lighter, airier take on the cult-favourite Spanish dessert. —JS
87 Amoy Street, Tel: 9620 5626
Opening hours: (Mon-Sat) 12pm-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm
Vue x Nespresso
In light of the Nespresso World Exploration collection launch, the brand has collaborated with six different chefs to offer a uniquely created menu inspired by each of the cities from the range. Chef Sam Chin from VUE has put together a delightful five-course meal inspired by the Stockholm Fortissio Lungo. To start this mouth-watering meal is the first course, pan seared langoustine with freeze-dried arabica cream and herb oil. But coming in with a seafood allergy, VUE kindly replaced the langoustine with foie gras. Keeping in line with the coffee theme, the arabica cream complemented the juicy goose liver with ease. Next up, Cream Of Jerusalem Artichoke with porcini mushroom, crispy eringi mushroom, and arabica oil. An indulgent, nutty concoction to open our palate up for the next dish, the oven roasted pigeon with pickled shimeji mushroom and radish, topped with arabica-ponzu sauce. Balancing the perfect balance of sour from the radish and savoury from the pigeon, this course surely made a fond impression. On that savoury note, followed the coffee-salt crusted lamb saddle with mashed butternut squash, miso eggplant, and rosemary lamb jus. We opted for medium-well, and we were definitely not disappointed. Coated with crushed coffee on the side and cooked in salt, we couldn't think of a better combination to mesh with the cut of the lamb. To end off, the pavé de chocolat with coffee whipped ganache, 72% Araguani chocolate sorbet, salted brown butter ice cream, and caramel popcorn. Quite a good mix of bittersweet, as you make your way through milk chocolate then the chocolate sorbet and dark chocolate. Of course, best relished with a hot cuppa of the new Nespresso Stockholm Fortissio Lungo. — JT
Available from the 18th of February to the 18th of April.
OUE Bayfront, 50 Collyer Quay Rooftop Level 19, Tel: 8879 0923
Opening hours: (Mon-Sun)12pm-10.30pm
Indulge in a culinary voyage to Italy with new creations at Dolce Vita, by the good hands of chef de Cuisine, Giorgio Maggioni. Made with the finest ingredients, only expect a more refined menu from Mandarin Oriental's longstanding Italian restaurant. For starters, marinated blanched white asparagus — mixed with frisee salad, feta cheese and orange, and topped with aged balsamic vinegar. There was the sweetness from the orange, the nutty and crunchy asparagus, and the tart from the vinegar, all to make up a wonderful appetiser. An unimssable highlight: the Spaghetti Chittara. A bowl of handmade, neither round nor squarish spaghetti lathered with yellow datterino tomato coulis sauce, and lavished with tangy luganega ragout churned from a mixture of herbs and red wine. Just by sheer looks, this was one pasta that was hard to beat. Another option for the main meal is the Ricciola dish, poached amberjack with sauteed broccolini and candied onion, doused in spicy arrabbiata broth. In the case of a seafood allergy, we made the swap to a soft, tender (to the point of molten) slab of beef topped with savoury veal jus. Word of advice, never leave without the cannoli. This classic Italian dish features a thin and crispy shell filled with a delicious mix of ricotta cheese and yuzu parfait, earl grey lemon infusion and orange granite. The yuzu parfait gives a sweet touch to the thick and creamy cheese, while the orange granite grants a nice hit of sour and icy touch to the dessert. Savour the full line-up while nursing a glass of wine from their intensive selection of wine available, all while drinking in the beauty of our city's skyline. —JT
Mandarin Oriental, 5 Raffles Ave,Tel: 6885 3500
Opening hours: (Thur-Sun)12pm-2:30pm, 6:30pm-10:30pm
Where we're looking to dine...
We love a good rooftop bar, and this new addition, Levant is perched right in the heart of Tanjong Pagar. At this Mediterranean drinking hole, you can find tipples like Greek Forest, a blend of maglini lemon, honeycomb-infused tsipouro and mountain pine liqueur, set to mimick Greece's sun-bleached shores. And Athena's Olive Branch, a mix of Gin Mare, Madeira and olive air to remind you of Spain.
32 Tras Street Level 4,Tel: 6304 3298
Opening hours: (Mon-Sun) 4pm-10:30pm
Capital Kitchen by Zouk's omakase pop-up
Most of us are no strangers to Zouk's Capital Kitchen since the club had to reform their business when the pandemic struck. Now to the end of April, the buzzy kitchen has launched an authentic Edomae Omakase pop-up on the second floor of their famed club. Enjoy a 12-course meal made with the freshest and high-quality ingredients flown in from Japan three times a week. Included in the 12-course meal is one of Chef Nakatani's speciality, monk fish liver, made in red wine and Isobe-Yaki and served with charcoal-grilled scallop, sea urchin and caviar on the side.
3C River Valley Road, The Cannery #02-05, Tel: 9006 8793
Opening hours: (Weds-Sat) 6pm-8:30pm, 8:30pm-11pm