Kuvo, a multi-concept restaurant and bar located in the middle of Orchard Road. I was first introduced to this unique restaurant that are well-hidden in the bustle shopping paradise by our friends A&J. It was a memorable one as we had high tea here and celebrating my beloved LD's birthday. The review for high tea at Kuvo is available here.
In welcoming the new year, Kuvo introduced a new menu and new concept to its customers, with food and bespoked cocktail pairings. With head bartender Mr. Yutaka Nakashima as Kuvo chief mixologist, expect to see innovative, novel and at times quirky cocktails with Japanese flair. Please note that due to my medical conditions, I was not able to taste the cocktails, so I enlist Ivan Teh – Running Man for his drinking palate.
The new concept focus on tapas size dishes. We started with Brandy Flambéed Beef Cube ($22) and Grilled Octopus ($16). The chunky beef cube has a good marbling, juicy and succulent. The brandy flambéed gave it a sweet and smokey flavour at the same time. Though there was a huge dried chilli there, it more like a decoration. If you are a fan of garlic, you will love this dish. Coincidentally, I had this dish a few days with our overseas friends for supper and this dish never fails to impress me again.
|Brandy Flambéed Beef Cube|
For seafood lovers, grilled octopus is a must-try. A dish that you can normally found in Mediterranean countries. The octopus leg was sous-vide till so tender it almost melts in your mouth. The smoked paprika helps to accentuate the flavour of the octopus. I do find the slow cooked potato is a bid to soft for my liking.
Calamari Ajilo ($16). The ring shape calamari is cooked with chorizo sausage, which gave the dish a spicy pork flavour to the dish. It works well with the springy calamari. Unfortunately, there was too much oil in the dish. Making it looks like the dish is swimming in oil.
Atlantic Cod Meunière (S$20). So what is Meunière, it is a French style of cooking a fish where at first it was lightly coated in flour, fried in clarified butter and finished off with brown butter and herbs. The double buttering method simply made it so yummy. The cod fish is flaky, juicy topped with subtle flavour from pea crust. The barley fricasse with corn was a little too rich and creamy to be paired with cod fish. I think it will be better if there is a dash of lemon here just to balance the dish.
|Atlantic Cod Meunière|
While we have become used with food and wine, Kuvo introduced a creative food and cocktails pairing.
Kuvo Coffee Hot Wings ($14) & Brewski Yen ($21). The crispy fried chicken wings are coated with 'Hot' coffee sauce. Kuvo version of spicy buffalo wings. The wings are crispy and succulent, while the caramelisation intensified the coffee flavour. Watch out for the spicy kick from the sauce. Although it come with blue cheese dip, it is missing the pungent taste. I decided to forgo my utensils and used my fingers. The Brewski Yen will definitely put out the fire from the wings. The mix include Kirin beer, now with an added tang of Suze, lemon, and ginger ale.
|Kuvo Coffee Hot Wings|
Slipper Lobster (S$15) & Hello Cel’lo (S$21). Slipper Lobster / Crayfish sautéed with habanero, bell peppers, and cilantro. It is nicely presented, using the shell to wrap the dish. However, the taste reminds me of a normal zhi char dish. The meat of the crayfish was overcooked, making it tough to chew. Hello Cel'lo – made with Bankes London dry Gin, limoncello liqueur, celery bitters, and balsamico. Base on the smell, it smell like a herbal drink.
|Slipper Lobster - Up Close|
Wagyu & Camembert Sliders (S$17) & Green Iceland (S$21). The Japanese Wagyu beef sliders was meaty, hearty and succulent. Topped with melted camembert cheese and portobello provide the sliders with creamy mushroom finish to the dish. This dish also come with crispy fried shrimp wanton with wasabi mayonnaise. The wanton is light, crispy and filled with good amount of shrimp, and mayo really packs with punch. The cheese rolls is a bit redundant in the dish, as it look pretty mellow. Probably better if they skip the cheese rolls and stick with fried wanton.
|Wagyu & Camembert Sliders|
|Wagyu & Camembert Sliders - Up Close|
In line with the East meet West theme for this pairing, Green Iceland mix consist of Italian Antica Fratta sparkling wine, Japanese Umeshu, mint leaf and brown sugar. A good refreshing mix to go with this dish.
English Scotch Egg (S$14) & Captain B.R. (S$21). I have been wanting to try English Scotch Egg for a while and what a good opportunity to try one at Kuvo. Whole chicken egg stuffed in giant Wagyu meatball. Perfectly executed, as the yolk was runny when we slice through it. Meaty and hearty like the sliders and topped with edam cheese, who can say no to this. There are some gerkhins on the side to balance the meatiness in the dish.
|English Scotch Egg|
|English Scotch Egg - Check out the yolk|
Captain B.R. (stands for British Rum) consists of Earl Grey infused Rum, fresh lemon, and soda water. You have the aromatic rum, with tea twist and fizzy soda that goes well with the English Scotch Egg.
Kurobuta Yakiniku Donburi (S$16) & Tales of Shu (S$21). Kurobuta pork yakiniku served on a warm bed of Japanese rice, topped with perfectly poached sous-vide egg. Definitely a perfect comfort dish, especially after you break the egg and let it blanket the rice and yakiniku. It can do with much more sauce and thicker flavour to cover the whole dish.
|Kurobuta Yakiniku Donburi|
The cocktail, Tales of Shu is the star of this pairing. Brewed in a glass vacuum coffee maker, the cocktail’s freshly-prepared genmai tea, saké, Lillet Blanc, and fresh orange peel. Yutaka san really go all out for this cocktail. Served in Japanese tea cup it provide a good ending to the meal.
|Tales of Shu|
For those who are unable to consume alcohol, you can try the mocktail concoction of Midsummer Breeze. The mix included Melon Mangosteen Tea, Orange Juice, and Passion fruit. It is fruity, while the melon provide the boldest flavour to the drink, there is subtle tangerines from the passion fruit at the end.
It was a very interesting dining experience, especially looking at the food and cocktail pairing in leveraging on Mr. Yutaka Nakashima's expertise. As most of the cocktails have a light alcohol content and with touch of sweetness, making it easy to consume a few concoctions at one seating. My recommendation for a must try dishes are Brandy Flavfmbéed Beef Cube, Wagyu & Camembert Sliders (S$17) &Green Iceland (S$21); English Scotch Egg (S$14) & Captain B.R. (S$21); and Kurobuta Yakiniku Donburi (S$16) & Tales of Shu (S$21).
|Mr. Yutaka Nakashima's|
Preparing Tales of Shu
On the side note, I was at Kuvo about a week before this tasting event, I also tried their dessert of Croissant Bread Pudding ($14). The bread pudding covered with filo pastry cranberry fillings, salted caramel sauce and vanilla gelato. A perfect combination of sweet and savoury, paired with flaky pasty. Definitely a die die must try dessert here in KUVO.
|Croissant Bread Pudding|
Thank you very much to KUVO & Media Flair Communications for the tasting invitation.
Food & Drink: 8/10
Service: n/a (Tasting Invitation)
Budget per Person: $26 - $50; $51 - $80