Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: Lucha Loco's Tulum menu, Potato Head Folk x 2am:dessertbar, and more
Where we dined this week...
Tulum, Mexico. A dreamy town that sings of crystal blue waters and coastal rainforests but for now, a distant destination to bookmark in a post-pandemic scenario. Good thing that on our shores, we have restaurants like Lucha Loco to channel that restless wanderlust in a new menu. Not the Tex-Mex flavours we've sought comfort from, but authentic bites that haven't quite made the mainstream on our to-eat list. At Lucha Loco, the journey starts a little damp — set to reprise a walk through a tropical jungle. A watermelon and heirloom tomato salad joins a smoked dressing of Mexican tarragon, Tajin, and lime. There was a spike of heat but cooled off with the juicy chunks of watermelon. The seafood ceviche that landed next, strung together a medley of plump octopus and prawns, finished off with tomatillo and cilantro cress. A generous portion that straddled the acidic profile — but perhaps a little sugar was needed to balance out the spell-binding tartness of every spoonful. If you thought tacos should only come in threes, Lucha Loco rebels in a single well-endowed Pescado al Pastor Taco – with a star ingredient, buttery sautéed barramundi. Other fillings include grilled pineapple, roasted capsicum, and creamy habanero aioli, which packed more of a punch that we thought. Those who aren't the biggest fans of chili should ready some tissues by the side. What helped soothed the burn? Copious amounts of their nachos and guacamole as the perfect fillers. Delicately thinly crisp that you could devour 20 of these and not ruin your pre-cursor appetite. Of course, you could also wash it all down with one of the few cocktails from the menu. The supposed star, a regional Mexican classic came in the form of a stuffed pepper with spicy shredded chicken and drenched in a nutty mole blanco sauce. It could have been the separate elements that needed more of a flavour boost or a missing binding ingredient within the huge sphere, but we didn't love it as much as we wanted to. In a special collaboration with Tom's Palette, dessert was a Mexican rice pudding gelato, doused in coconut milk, and mango chunks. A sweet treat staged with aromatics and cleverly paired with a taco chip. Forget wafer cones, this combination proved to be life changing. —JS
15 Duxton Hill, Tel: 6226 3938
Opening hours: (Mon-Fri) 11.30am-10.30am, (Sat) 5pm-10.30pm
Potato Head Folk x 2am:dessert bar
When you pair a dessert maestro with an ingeniously creative bar team, you know you're in for an evening of treats. The Studio 1939 bar team at Potato Head, led by new Head Bartender Gavin Teravasan, has teamed up with 2am:dessert bar, helmed by award-winning pastry chef Janice Wong, to craft artisanal dessert-cocktail pairings that are seemingly meant to be. The stellar menu is lined with pairings like the Cassis Plum — an exquisitely crafted Cassis Plum bombe filled with elderflower yoghurt foam mousse, served with plum liqueur granita, rice crispies, blackcurrant pastilles and Kochi yuzu pearls. The fanciable dessert proves to be not just a pretty face, with its sweet tartness contrasting delightfully with the slight bitterness of the plum liqueur. The innovative treat is paired with the refreshing Red Velvet cocktail, which whisks one to a fantasy island with its mixture of vodka, crème de pêche liqueur, raspberry syrup, fresh lemon juice and yuzu syrup. For those unwilling to embark on an escapade, this pairing is a safe one to try. The Chocolate H2O, paired deftly with the Bartender cocktail, makes for an elegantly straightforward dessert that is sure to satisfy the tastebuds of true chocolate lovers. Whilst the dessert was in no way cloying sweet, the light richness came through via the chocolate water mousse, salted caramel, chocolate soil and caramel bavarois, with the refreshing Kochi yuzu sorbet and yuzu calamansi sauce cutting through any overwhelming richness. The taste of decadence is balanced with the smokiness of the no-frills cocktail, a strong blend consisting of sherry, mezcal, vermouth, maraschino and house-made grapefruit brine. Definitely not one for the faint-hearted. The night of harmonious matches continues with matcha making an appearance next with the Jasmine Oasis pairing. With a dessert composed of earthy elements such as a jasmine tea mousse foam, matcha cake, Roku Gin yuzu ice rock, matcha custard and more, the bitter-sweet combination is countervailed with the aptly named Make Her Feel Good cocktail — a blend of gin, melon liqueur, house-made Moscato blanc tea syrup, plus watermelon and lime juice. Wrapping the night up is the final pairing, 6 Tastes, which holds its own against the other couples on the menu. Consisting of miso caramel mousse, banana cheesecake ice cream, mustard crumble, mustard gel and smoked cheese foam, the dessert is delicately sweet and umami — a sublime combination. The Melon Mode cocktail, consisting of elements like dark rum, Cucielo Blanco, watermelon juice and more, elicits a slight citrusy relish that complements the sweet savoury notes of the dessert perfectly. —CL
36 Keong Saik Rd, Tel: 6327 1939
Opening hours: (Mon - Fri, Sun) 11am - 12am, (Sat) 10am - 12am
Where we're looking to dine...
Beauty in the Pot's seventh outlet
The ever-popular Beauty in The Pot is celebrating success with the opening of their seventh outlet, this time located at Nex. Besides the outlet-centric Magical Unicorn Wonderland theme, the outlet is also offering a Drunken Chicken Broth with Moutai for a limited time to commemorate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and China.
23 Serangoon Central, #02-01, Tel: 6805 8172
Opening hours: (Mon - Sun) 11.30am - 3am
Tempura Tendon Tenya
Japan's famous Tendon chain restaurant has landed on our shores with a 68-seator store located at Orchard Central. Tempura Tendon Tenya otherwise known as Tenya, offers affordable value-for-money meals such as donburi bowls with tempura toppings as well as Japanese soba and udon noodles. Sounds like a perfect dining option in town if you're on a budget.
181 Orchard Rd, #B1-01
Opening hours: (Mon - Sun) 11am-10pm