Five years after opening Cure, Irish chef-owner Andrew Walsh goes back to his roots. As they say, better late than never. In this case, what comes late turns out to be a trump card that Walsh has been holding back all these years until he’s had time to reflect on his roots during the Circuit Breaker period.
Apart from incorporating more diverse Irish ingredients and hometown flavours in his contemporary Irish cuisine, now monikered Nua (or new) cuisine, Walsh has worked with his chef de cuisine, Maxsym Chukanov, a native of Austria, to refine each of the courses, leaving no stones unturned in his quest for a tasting menu par excellence.
Now priced at $178++, Cure’s seven-course tasting menu features four snacks including an all-new Irish soda bread glazed with treacle, Guiness and fermented honey served alongside the all-time favourite caramelized onion butter with crispy bacon and burnt onion powder.
The snacks are but a teaser to the parade of the mains that follow, each a snapshot of Ireland’s bounty executed with a flair that has eluded me during my last visit two years ago.
Wild-caught Irish brown crab from the west coast of Northern Ireland is steamed, marinated with lemon juice and served in a sour cream dressing with a light salad of kohlrabi and marigold leaves. To accentuate the crustacean’s umami, its tomalley is reduced, dehydrated and sprinkled over as powder so that you get accents of it as you tuck into the crab salad.
Gallagher Speciale oyster from Donegal, plucked from its farm habitat at 30 months, is also a winner. Itself plump, meaty and mineral, the mollusk is smoked on the bincho with brushes of beef fat and served warm with miso beurre blanc, salty wisps of sea asparagus and avruga roe. It’s no exaggeration to say that this Irish oyster course, which arrives shucked but still intact in its shell, offers a teleporting experience that conveys the “merroir” of Ireland.
The next course, 21 to 28-day aged grass fed Irish beef tenderloin carpaccio glazed with smoked beef fat, hits a homerun not just with its offbeat assortment of flavours, think tangy and creamy Irish Cashel blue cheese, but with its medley of textures from the crisp shallots and garlic, puffed buckwheat, Koji rice and barley “porridge” matched with the custard-like yolk of a slow-cooked organic, free-range egg from New Zealand. Unusual, yes. Also off-the-charts.
Rope-grown Shetland Isle blue mussels course come to the fore in the ensuing course. Between five to six mussels are pickled and filleted, with only the lip of the mollusk harvested and layered to assemble what-looks-like a singular mussel served in a semi-thick cider-based mussel chowder surrounded by cubes of celery, potato and carrot. Almost perfect but my only gripe? The under done-ness of the root vegetables.
The finale main course of Silverhill Farm five days-aged duck is also a success, its gloriousness overshadowed only by a dessert that serves to aid digestion but that delights the senses just as much – fermented rhubarb on a disc of Irish buttermilk mousse drizzled with the invigorating jus of the fermented rhubarb finished with caramelised fennel seeds and lemon verbena leaves.
Without further ado, I would just like to say that Walsh’s evolution to Nua, precisely executed by Chukanov, is a magnum opus.
21 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089 128; +65-221 2189 ; curesingapore.com
© Evelyn Chen 2020
Please note that the reviews published on this blog are sometimes hosted. I am under no obligation to review every restaurant I’ve visited. If I do, the reviews are 100% my own.