Restaurant review: Cure Singapore pop-up dinner at TEST KITCHEN, Hong Kong
Trying a pop-up Dinner at Sai Ying Pun’s TEST KITCHEN
We have a group of food and wine loving couple friends that we get together with once a month or so to eat, drink, and catch up. One of the couples had tried Cure, a 40-seater modern European restaurant, on their last trip to Singapore. During their meal, they found out Cure was coming to Hong Kong to do a few pop-up dinners with TEST KITCHEN - a three-storey, industrial chic space for showcasing up-and-coming chefs - in Sai Ying Pun and immediately messaged the group chat to ask if we wanted to go. We did. And then I think tickets were booked mere minutes later. Super efficient.
Cure was founded in 2015 and is located on Keong Saik Road. Keong Saik and its surrounding streets make up one of my favourite parts of Singapore; gorgeous, long winding streets lined with shophouses home to amazing restaurants such as the Michelin-starred Burnt Ends, the whimsical Potatohead Folk, and casual brunch spots like The Lokal (and formerly my favourite casual Mexican spot Muchachos, though they’ve since relocated to the CBD). The restaurant’s Chef-Owner is Andrew Walsh who worked with top British chefs such as Jason Atherton and Tom Aikens before launching Cure.
I hear the vibe at the Singapore restaurant is much like the one given off at the pop-up dinner in Hong Kong. The food might resemble fine dining but the experience is supposed to be relaxed and unpretentious. Unsurprising then that the restaurant’s name is based on the Latin word curare which means ‘to take care of’ and that providing good service is a priority. And how was the food?
The pop-up dinner had a set menu which included a number of snacks and larger plates.
Linzer Biscuit: Parmesan Sable, Chicken Liver Parfait, Raspberry Jam
Burrata Soft Serve: Burrata, Black Winter Truffle
Tuna Tartare Tart: Tuna, Bonito
Cured Salmon: Beetroot-cured Salmon, Irish Potato Flatbread, Crème Fraîche
Singapore Laksa: Squid Noodles, Laksa Broth, Lime Leaf
Foie Gras Custard: Foie Gras, Plum, Almond
Beef Short Rib Pastrami: Sour Cream, Red Cabbage Purée
Chocolate: Pandan, Coconut
Guinness Ice Cream Sandwich with Irish Cream
I had many ‘stop and savour’ moments with my favourite bites being the linzer biscuit (the most decadent melt-in-your-hand savoury cookie), burrata soft serve (a fragrant dish where the truffle really did add a punch of flavour rather than being an aside), cured salmon (had perfect texture for the salmon and the flatbread was amazingly chewy), the laksa (how cool are noodles made of squid!), and the pandan and coconut pudding (adults should really eat more pudding). For me, the only slight disappointment was that I wasn’t super full at the end… I’m guessing this varies by menu because the last time I went to a meal at TEST KITCHEN, I was happily rolling out of the restaurant.
The food at Cure is very good and clearly cooked with a lot of passion. Sounds like it would be a great date night spot for those that want a fancier experience without the stuffiness, stress of potentially snobby service, etc. Likewise, TEST KITCHEN is a great venue for a date or for a large group as I think most people would find it fun to try creative cooking from up-and-coming chefs. The latter run pop-up dinners every month or so, and prices usually run $1,000-$1,500 per person for a multi-course set menu.
TEST KITCHEN: Shop 3 Kwan Yick Building Phase 3, 158A Connaught Rd W, Sai Ying Pun
Cure Singapore: 21 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089128, +65 6221 2189