Kuvo Singapore Tasting Session

January 12, 2016 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Kuvo Singapore Tasting Session
321 Orchard Road
#02-01 Orchard Shopping Centre


Opening Hours:
Daily: 12pm - 1am



http://kuvo.com.sg/

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session, but I did pay the standard price during subsequent visits.
Attended with representatives from Chubby Botak Koala, Fiona Seah, Ms Hannah Chia, Hazel Diary, Seth Lui, Epicurious Caniggia, Dan & Esther's Food Haven, and Fundamentally Flawed.



Wagyu & Camembert Sliders (SGD $17)



Bespoke Fusion Cocktails, Modern Tapas Dining

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 7
Value for Money: 6
Budget about SGD $80 ++ per person.


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Founded in November 2014 and operated under the umbrella of The Connoisseur Concerto (TCC) group, Kuvo Singapore is a multi-concept restaurant and bar located on the 2nd floor of Orchard Shopping Centre, which is directly beside 313@Somerset mall. Offering 4 different dining concepts in a 9,500 sq ft place, Kuvo Singapore, whose name is derived from the French word 'cuvee', which means 'to blend', serves a variety of modern fusion dishes in a plush yet casual setting.

Kuvo Singapore Hallway


Kuvo Singapore Gift Shop



Ambience at Kuvo Singapore differs depending on which of the 4 concepts you're at. The Kuvo Singapore Gift Shop primarily caters for takeaway, but also doubles as a patisserie and dessert counter, with its brightly lit, attractive glass display case, and shelves of the sweet stuff. The Ambrosia I and II is a brightly lit, casual, 88-seat, all-day dining restaurant, with modern cushioned wooden furniture and plush couches, a comfortable, modern setting. The Elixir Bar is a bespoke cocktail and tapas area, with high bar tables and stools, set in a dark ambient atmosphere, with a live band on weekends. The Vine Lounge is a 32-seat wine lounge with rows upon rows of bottles, over 140 wine labels, and a wine dispenser! Overall, very good ambience no matter which of the 4 dining concepts you choose!

Elixir Bar


Ambrosia I


Ambrosia I


Ambrosia II


Ambrosia II


Ambrosia II


Vine Lounge



Service at Kuvo Singapore is professional, efficient, and courteous. Befitting of bistro quality sevice, the staff speak quietly, and carry out requests quickly. They're rather knowledgable on the menu, able to make astute recommendations, and can even inform you about off-menu selections, of which Kuvo Singapore has a few! I also like that they offer to change plates between courses, something usually done only at fine dining restaurants. However, I do feel there isn't much memorable engagement from the junior staff, the level of service provided is good, but not outstanding. The more senior staff however, are very engaging, seemingly enthusiastic about their work, and can even describe the various dining concepts and history of the place!

Bottles Of Good Stuff


Wine Dispenser & Glasses


Light & Pattern


Live Band



Food at Kuvo Singapore is modern fusion, a combination of Western presentation and ingredients with Asian flavours. The kitchen produces dishes of generally average quality in taste, though some are above average. Rather decent, consistent execution, which is good. The sharing portions are nicely sized for sharing between 2 - 4 people, though it's possible for an individual to finish it all by themselves. Menu options at Kuvo Singapore are extensive, and prices are pegged to bistro standards; higher than a cafe but lower than a restaurant. Budget about SGD $14 - $22 per tapas dish, and SGD $21 per cocktail. Generally, a small meal with 2 drinks here will set you back about SGD $80 per person, I personally feel it's rather expensive.

Head Bartender of Kuvo Singapore, Mr. Yutaka Nakashima, has over 16 years of experience in mixology, with several international accolades under his belt. On top of this, he's also a licensed chef in Japan! His bespoke cocktails suit the theme of modern fusion at Kuvo Singapore, intriguing and unique beverages that blend East and West, teasing and exciting the palate with each sip!

Head Bartender Mr. Yutaka Nakashima



Exclusive to Kuvo Singapore, the Antica Fratta Franciacorta Brut (SGD $17 Glass, SGD $98 Bottle) is a sparkling Chardonnay white wine, produced in Brescia, in the Lombardy region of Italy. Widely regarded as the country's finest sparkling wine, it has an elegant freshness, with a lively, vivacious body, a pleasing fruity citrus taste, and a floral aroma. Great for pairing with a wide variety of dishes!

Antica Fratta Franciacorta Brut (SGD $17 Glass, SGD $98 Bottle)



Among the best dishes we had here, the Brandy Flambéed Beef Cube (SGD $22) features tender, savoury chunks of beef, flash seared and flambéed with brandy, glazed with an earthy red wine sauce, and served with sauteed, smoky garlic cloves and chili. Love how the little bit of heat tickles the palate, and each beef cube has a meaty, satisfiying chew. Excellent!

Brandy Flambéed Beef Cube (SGD $22)


Brandy Flambéed Beef Cube



The Grilled Octopus (SGD $16) was well executed, with tender, clean tasting, sous vide octopus leg, served with smoky slow roasted potates and smoked paprika. The earthy, roast flavours of the potato and paprika spice blend harmoniously with the chewy octopus. While I wish for a more generous portion, this was a very pleasing dish. Good!

Grilled Octopus (SGD $16)


Grilled Octopus



Felt the Calamari Ajillo (SGD $16) was the most disappointing dish of the evening. While the squid rings were fresh with a nice, bouncy texture, serving it with savoury spicy pork chorizo sausage, garlic, and olive oil did little to add to the flavour, it didn't harmonise, seeming like disparate elements. Furthermore, the dish ended up being too oily for my liking.

Calamari Ajillo (SGD $16)


Calamari Ajillo



The Kuvo Atlantic Cod Meuniere (SGD $20) was nice. Featuring a tender, flaky, fresh cod fish medallion, coated in a crisp, savoury sweet pea crust, along with soft boiled carrots and asparagus, on a bed of earthy, chewy pearl barley fricassee, with a zesty, citrus nutty brown butter. Deliciously light and tasty!

Kuvo Atlantic Cod Meuniere (SGD $20)


Kuvo Atlantic Cod Meuniere



The Cocktail Brewski Yen (SGD $21) is made with Kirin Ichiban beer, Suze bitters, lemon juice, and ginger ale. A light, refreshing, zesty, easy to drink beverage, meant for pairing with the Kuvo Coffee Hot Wings (SGD $14). I did feel the amount of ginger ale used was too much though, resulting in its taste being very prominent.

Cocktail Brewski Yen (SGD $21)



The Kuvo Coffee Hot Wings (SGD $14) with baby carrot crudites and blue cheese dip was pretty good! The chicken wings have moist, tender meat which comes off easily, and the thick sauce glaze is savoury, with hints of roast coffee, and a good kick of spicy heat! Cool off with the Cocktail Brewski Yen (SGD $21) pairing, or the tender baby carrots and blue cheese dip, which is surprisingly mellow and pleasant, lacking the characteristic sharp pungent taste of typical blue cheese.

Kuvo Coffee Hot Wings (SGD $14)


Kuvo Coffee Hot Wings



The Cocktail Hello Cel'lo (SGD $21) is made with Bankes London dry gin, limoncello liqueur, celery bitters, and balsamico. This beverage has a unique, zesty citrus and earthy, bitter grassy flavour, making it surprising to drink, rather like healthy vegetable juice, only more palatable and likable. Meant for pairing with the Slipper Lobster (SGD $15), which enhances its sweetness. Like a garden in a cup!

Cocktail Hello Cel'lo (SGD $21)



The Slipper Lobster (SGD $15) features a crayfish (slipper lobster), sauteed with bell peppers (capsicum), habanero peppers, and cilantro. The fresh crayfish meat is deshelled, cooked, then stuffed back in the shell for presentation, looking absolutely stunning. Tastes rather like a Chinese Zi Char style stir-fry, which by itself, tastes pretty good, savoury and slightly spicy. However, the rendition we got was slightly overcooked, making the crayfish meat too firm. Personally didn't like this that much. Pair it with the Cocktail Hello Cel'lo (SGD $21), which helps give it a fresh sweetness.

Slipper Lobster (SGD $15)


Slipper Lobster



The Cocktail Green Iceland (SGD $21) is made with Antica Fratta Franciacorta Brut sparkling Chardonnay white wine, umeshu, lime juice, brown sugar, and mint leaves. A very refreshing, minty fresh, floral beverage with sweet sour notes, the ice within tends to dilute this drink towards the end. Works as a thirst quencher when paired with the Wagyu & Camembert Sliders (SGD $17), washing down the heavy meat in this dish!

Cocktail Green Iceland (SGD $21)



The Wagyu & Camembert Sliders (SGD $17) actually consists of a trio of items, firstly, a juicy medium grilled wagyu beef patty, topped with camembert cheese, and sandwiched with lettuce between 2 fluffy slider burger buns. Tastes great, with savoury, salty, meaty, cheesy, and fresh notes. Secondly, several deep fried shrimp wontons, crispy on the outside, with succulent fresh prawn bits within, coated in a sharp wasabi mayonnaise. Loved it! Thirdly, several deep fried cheese rolls, with a light truffle cream sauce. The taste of cheese is somewhat lost in the earthy truffle cream though. Overall, this platter is worth ordering, among the most value for money dishes on the menu!

Wagyu & Camembert Sliders (SGD $17)


Wagyu & Camembert Sliders



The United Kingdom gets a nod with this pinic pairing. The Cocktail Captain B.R. (SGD $21), whose acronym stands for 'British Rum', is made with rum, earl grey tea, lemon juice, and soda water. The earthy, floral, citrus, spicy, fizzy notes is best paired with the equally British English Scotch Egg (SGD $14), and is just brilliant!

Cocktail Captain B.R. (SGD $21)



The English Scotch Egg (SGD $14) has a nicely done egg with firm white and runny yolk, wrapped in a warm, savoury, juicy, wagyu beef and veal mince meats, coated with melted edam cheese. Like a warm blanket! Garnished with sharp sour gherkins and bright pearl onions, and served in an earthy sweet red wine and onion au jus, the beautiful yolk just oozes out from the middle when cut. Great when paired with the Cocktail Captain B.R. (SGD $21), which complements the flavours of the dish. Highly recommended!

English Scotch Egg (SGD $14)


English Scotch Egg


English Scotch Egg



The lovely Cocktail Tales Of Shu (SGD $21) is made with sake, Lillet Blanc aromatised wine, orange peel, and home made genmaicha (green tea and roasted brown rice) syrup. I hear it's brewed in a glass vacuum coffee maker! Absolutely loved the earthy, sweet sour, floral tones of this warm beverage. Meant for pairing with the equally Japanese Kurobuta Yakiniku Donburi (SGD $16), which lends a floral earthy layer to the savoury dish.

Cocktail Tales Of Shu (SGD $21)



The Kurobuta Yakiniku Donburi (SGD $16) has tender, savoury salty strips of thinly sliced kurobuta pork loin, grilled perfectly. Served over a bowl of sticky Japanese white rice, and topped with a delicious slow cooked egg, this is best paired with the Cocktail Tales Of Shu (SGD $21), which lifts some of the heavyness of the dish. Mix the egg into the bowl to coat everything in silky goodness! I enjoyed this, it may be simple, but it's well executed and tasty!

Kurobuta Yakiniku Donburi (SGD $16)


Kurobuta Yakiniku Donburi



They offer a variety of mocktails at Kuvo Singapore, but only as off-menu items, which you have to ask the staff about. The Mocktail Midsummer Breeze (SGD $12) is made with melon mangosteen tea, orange juice, and passionfruit. This tropical, fruity sweet beverage is refreshing and light, I think it would be great to have on a beach!

Mocktail Midsummer Breeze (SGD $12)



The Cocktail Peridori (SGD $21) is made with Mount Gay Barbados rum, Midori muskmelon liqueur, Pernod Anise liqueur, lime juice, and grapefruit juice. The result is a vibrant green beverage, sweet and fruity, with hints of sour and spice notes, light and refreshing on the palate, with low bitterness. I enjoyed this!

Cocktail Peridori (SGD $21)



Loved the Hokkaido Scallops (SGD $16), which has 2 large, flash seared scallops, tender with a slightly bouncy, chewy texture, incredibly fresh and sweet! Coated in a floral earthy cauliflower puree, and fragrant garlic bacon soil, with shavings of crunchy carrots, this was so satisfiying and delightful. Highly recommended!

Hokkaido Scallops (SGD $16)


Hokkaido Scallops



The Cocktail P & L (SGD $21), named for the corporate business financial term of 'profit and loss', is made with Bankes London dry gin, house made apple and cinnamon syrup, peanut butter, coconut cream, and laksa leaves. Unique and creative, this rich, creamy beverage is earthy, sweet, and nutty, with hints of spice notes. Highly recommended!

Cocktail P & L (SGD $21)



The excellent Croissant Bread Pudding (SGD $14) is a great dessert! This innovative sweet treat has a crisp, flaky, filo pastry exterior, with a soft, doughy, chewy interior studded with dried cranberries. Cut into it, and the pastry gives way with a pleasing crunch, revealing the not overly sweet pudding within. I only wish the salted caramel sauce was less intense, as it was overwhelmingly salty on its own, though when paired with the milky sweet vanilla gelato, it balances out. The portion is large, and is best shared!

Croissant Bread Pudding (SGD $14)


Croissant Bread Pudding


Croissant Bread Pudding



The Hazelnut Chocolate Strudel (SGD $11) was pretty good. This sweet dessert treat features a crisp, flaky filo pasty shell that is nicely buttery, filled with a rich, decadent hazelnut and chocolate paste. Creamy sweet and deep in flavour, the paste just oozes out when bit. Served with rum infused morello cherries that are pleasantly sour, and a vanilla gelato. Good!

Hazelnut Chocolate Strudel (SGD $11)


Hazelnut Chocolate Strudel



Overall, Kuvo Singapore has some tasty modern fusion food, mostly decently executed, with professional service and a variety of ambience. Price may be slightly high for everyday dining, but Kuvo Singapore is worth visiting for social occasions and outings, particularly on weekends when the live band performs. Plus point, it's rarely ever crowded due to its rather hidden location, making Kuvo Singapore a good choice if you don't wish to jostle with people!


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Reserve a table now @ Kuvo Singapore









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