While chef-owner Andrew Walsh has always expressed bits of his Irish heritage at restaurant Cure, he’s gone all out with his Nua (Gaelic for “new”) Irish menu — presenting dishes inspired by traditional dishes, childhood memories, and produce from Walsh’s hometown.
Thanks for its pastoral, rolling hills and close proximity to the sea, there’s no shortage of excellent produce coming from Ireland – which Walsh showcases deftly with simple-enough dishes that let the ingredients shine. Cleanly-flavoured, melt-in-your-mouth tenderloin from sustainable farm John Stone blankets an umami-rich grain porridge flecked with Cashel Blue cheese and topped with an organic egg yolk. It’s like a teochew yusheng-and-porridge combination in more ways than one, with the cool, mineral tasting raw beef revealing warm, comforting grains and aromatic fried shallots below.
Of course, there’s also seafood. Sweet, briny Irish brown crab come simply dressed in sour cream and served in a crisp tart topped with bitter frisee leaves to provide some contrast; while a Gallagher Speciale oyster is warmed gentry over coals before being served with an umami-amplifying sauce of miso beurre blanc, sea asparagus, and dill oil.
We’re also fond of the Silver Farm duck, here grilled on binchotan to yield crispy skin that clings onto pink and tender flesh. The duck, however, is in danger of being overshadowed by its accompaniments: a “takoyaki” stuffed with flavourful duck leg confit; and an incredibly moreish sauce made by emulsifying duck fat, salted duck eggs, juniper, and thyme.
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Not everything is purely produce driven though. Walsh also gets playful with fine dining expressions of humble, everyday Irish fare: like stout, soda, and treacle bread with a fermented honey glaze — served with a nip of cold stout to drive home the point. There’s also a reinterpretation of an Irish staple/cultural phenomenon: the potato crisp sandwich. Here, crispy potato terrine is topped with fried garlic, shallots, and spring onions for a sour cream and onion-approximation of the snack.
With desserts, Walsh wholly embraces his hometown as the land where Leprechauns are from — presenting a sift-it-yourself pot of edible “soil” that hides a golden chocolate bon bon for pre-dessert; segueing into a lifting, stomach-settling dessert that combines Avonmore buttermilk with lacto-fermented rhubarb and fragrant lemon verbena.
21 Keong Saik Road. Tel: 6221-2189