COMO Cuisine: Healthy Food (That Isn't Boring)
Dining out with foodie friends can be a tough call when you are watching your weight. Order a salad at a steakhouse and you'll risk being called a party pooper. Join the herd and polish off a calorific burger and you face an uphill task in the gym later trying to work off the bloat. So when we heard about COMO Dempsey's latest restaurant addition (which includes Jean-Georges Vongerichten's The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar), COMO Cuisine, we got fairly excited. COMO Cuisine serves a collection of signature dishes from COMO properties across various parts of the world, with one common thread: healthy contemporary food without compromising on flavour.
The first impression we get upon entering the restaurant is how bright and naturally lit the space is. Polka-dotted hanging lanterns and a small landscaped garden outside make the place feel pretty without being overly feminine. We can easily picture ourselves having a leisurely weekend lunch with a few girlfriends while basking in the flattering daylight that filters through the French windows. Beautiful welfies? Check.
The small but adequate menu is put together by executive chef Timothy de Souza and is reflective of his Anglo-Indian heritage. Coupled with COMO philosophy amassed from his time at the group's properties in the Turks and Caicos, Cocoa Island and Maalifushi and it's easy to see how he turns out elegant pan-Asian plates using fresh local and regional ingredients.
The beautifully delicate Kingfish Sashimi ($20) served with ginger flowers and a light buttermilk dressing is perfectly balanced in flavour. So is the rustic-looking Masala Prawns ($24), with shaved fresh coconut and a mint-red chilli dressing to temper the sweetness from the accompanying bed of tropical fruits. Grilled in the coconut charcoal-fired tandoor, the prawns bear that wonderful smoky flavour akin to freshly barbequed seafood, without masking the flavour of the prawns.
We can't decide which one we like better: the Lobster Roll ($34) with succulent lobster meat dressed in a homemade herb-aioli dressing, between soft pillows of brioche, and accompanied by a handful of freshly made chips and salad; or the Snapper Curry ($32), with the heady coconut-tamarind-tomato curry aroma wafting through the air. Yellow saffron rice and brightly-hued okra complete the kaleidoscope of colours for the latter, as the spices deftly work their magic in our mouths. Meat lovers will like the Aged Rump Steak ($36), featuring sublimely juicy beef from Australia’s Hunter Valley, served with the café de Paris butter, fries and sweet shallot confit.
Round off the excellent meal with off-the-beaten-track desserts such as the Sumatra Honey Flan ($12), and Chocolate ( also $12). The latter makes for a cohesive plate with homemade dark chocolate mousse cradling a quenelle of jaggery ice cream, flanked by caramelised bananas, avocado mousse and a hint of basil oil.
It’s easy to find at least one dish on COMO Cuisine's menu that you'll take a fancy too. More importantly, the flavours are light enough not to give you a food coma. We'll certainly make a mental note to return soon. COMO Dempsey, Block 18A Dempsey Road. Tel: 1800 304 6688