Cure's New Autumn Menu Is A Delicious Mixed Bag Of Influences

A large, stylized painting of Bradd Pitt as Tyler Durden in Fight Club looms over you while you eat Cure. The place is dimly lit, and would be quite menacing if your pop cultural predilections don't slant that way; or more importantly, if you weren't made to feel at home the way they do at the restaurant. It's in the name, Cure being short for "curare", the Latin word for "to take care of".

The name might be Latin, but chef-owner Andrew Walsh draws ideas from anywhere he is, and has been. The Jason Atherton protege puts out precise plates of unfussy, distinctly modern European dishes most of the time. Although there might be references to his Irish heritage in a dish of potatoes and seaweed, or homemade Irish cream that's served as a digestif.

Dishes might even be a spin on Singaporean laksa, from his current country of residence; or make use of what is possibly that technique for tomato essence, from great grand-mentor Raymond Blanc (the chain of mentorship goes: Raymond Blanc > Gordon Ramsay > Jason Atherton).

CURE's beetroot dumplings with housemade ricotta
Beetroot dumplings

A meal at Cure starts with a generous succession of off-menu snacks. Little bites mostly composed of umami and acidity to perk up your appetite. Expect delicate parcels of ricotta, hazelnut praline, and apple-yuzu encased within paper-thin pickled beetroot; and cheeky, savoury "linzer biscuits" that's actually parmesan shortbread sandwiching pate made using liver from locally-farmed chickens.

There is a glassy pane of crispy chicken skin, covered in anchovy mayo, parmesan shavings, and a small terrarium worth of locally-grown herbs. Walsh calls this a "Caesar salad", but that's probably just to assuage your guilt about how good fried chicken skin is.

Somewhat out of place--flavour-wise, and also because you're suddenly urged to use chopsticks rather than your fingers--but greatly appreciated is a take on laksa. Walsh replaces the rice noodles some kind of extruded squid paste, and serves it in a punchy, tangy broth surfeit with spice and coconut milk.

If you've thoroughly perused the menu, you might identify the "creme brulee" that arrives at your table about 4 courses too early as the "foie gras custard".

If you've thoroughly perused the menu, you might still be forgiven if you think you've been given the wrong course--with its burnt sugar crust, preciously-sliced plums, and gingerbread crumble. But break through the caramel, and a fiercely savoury, silky-smooth custard proves all is well.

CURE's Foie gras custard
Foie gras custard

If meat's your thing, one of the mains is a two-part dish of pork, possibly duck, that appears as a yielding, deeply flavourful slice of loin (in the case of pork, which we had) with local Okinawan spinach and dehydrated cauliflower; and skewers of spiced kofta made with pork belly and harissa. That's plenty of meat.

Should your proclivities be a little more meat-less, Cure also has a spanking plant-based menu with items like a beetroot tartare that could again, be mistaken for one of the sweet courses. There's slow-roasted beetroot, beetroot puree fortified with crunchy pieces of potato bread, and a startlingly creamy counterpoint of a burrata ice cream.

Perhaps one of the more theatrical dishes to come to the table is a somewhat innocent-looking cluster of goat cheese tortellini; summery, intense tomatoes; and black olive oil. All that sits in a tomato consomme, itself the result of a highly tedious process involving many tomatoes and a very low yield of brilliantly clarified tomato essence. The icing on this not-cake is a fresh, rustic pesto of locally-grown (again) herbs and pumpkin seeds, prepared tableside. This is in both the plant-based and regular menus, so that meat-eaters might also partake.

After your palate is cleansed with a pre-desert of lemon granite, smoked local (again!) honey, and kiwi; comes the main sweet. The richer option is Irish coffee, broken down, and put back together in an assemblage of meringue, liquid-nitro formed snow (break out the Instagram stories!), and various bits and bobs. A peated Irish whisky, Connemara, lifts what would otherwise be dull, monotonous sweetness into something quite complex and delicious.

The lighter dessert option is layers of strawberry compote and vanilla cream, given levity and depth with basil sorbet. It's all somehow stuffed into a meringue shell. It's all good.

21 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089128. Tel: +65 6221 2189. Website here.