I don’t have many cousins, but am particularly close to 2 of them (sisters). Almost everyone that knows me ‘in real life’, especially those that also live in Singapore, know them or are friends with them too. It’s a small world, I guess 😛
After much deliberation, we decided on Culina at Dempsey Hill. I’m a big fan of the area because it reminds me of Sydney, with restaurants stand-alone style (ie. not in a shopping mall) and lots of el fresco casual dining. Culina has lovely high ceilings and open spaces, with a relaxed vibe. Perfect for a long lunch. They do have outdoor seating but as it was a bit of a dreary day (not to mention humid), we decided to sit in their enclosed balcony area that’s air-conditioned.
The food at Culina is good but not blow-me-away IMHO, especially at the prices they charge. I was expecting mains to be around the $20 mark and was surprised that it was more towards the $30 area, considering the place is so casual and nowhere near fine-dining.
We kicked off with cheese. A LOT of cheese. The Cheese platter (with cheeses you select yourself at their Deli) came with 4 lovely cheeses, all of which I’ve forgotten the names of, since it was Mervyn the expert that chose them for us. I did adore the one in the middle, which looked like Brie, but was creamier yet firmer and was absolutely delicious.
Not satisfied, we decided MORE cheese was appropriate. This time, it was a whole slab of Burrata drizzled with olive oil. “Make sure you scoop up the Burrata with the olive oil”, suggested our French deli/cheese expert. True. The smooth slip of the olive oil really complimented the mild, almost sponge-y texture of the cheese. It was lovely and a lot lighter than it appears in the photo.
I was really keen to try their Crabmeat pasta, but unfortunately it wasn’t available, so I settled on the Fresh made pasta with wagyu beef instead. The rich gravy that the pasta was served with was superb, full of flavour of the wagyu. The pasta was cooked el dente style, and there was a surprising amount of wagyu beef. The beef was soft but quite a few pieces had rind still attached to it, which I’d have preferred to be removed.
I thought the best main was the Braised beef short ribs, which came as big meaty chunks of meat that were meltingly tender from being braised for hours. It was perfect as-is and not too salty, and would have been superb too shredded in pasta.