Are you still looking for a restaurant to hold your reunion dinner or annual Chinese New Year family gathering at next week? Or have you been tasked with short-listing restaurants for the company Chinese New Year Lo Hei?
Maybe you’re also concurrently planning a romantic evening on Valentine’s Day, which happens to be just one night before CNY Eve, with your partner. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that we might have found just the right spot for you, Kuvo.
This contemporary Chinese restaurant is conveniently located just a stone’s throw away from Somerset MRT and occupies an impressive 9,000 sq ft. It does not have the typical setup of a traditional Chinese restaurant, instead, the area is divided into three sections, which consist of the Vine Lounge for wine lovers, the Elixir Bar for cocktail fans and a dining room.
The interior is elegantly designed with a nice and quiet ambience, so unlike a typical bustling Chinese restaurant. In the past, Kuvo was known for its Chinese ala-carte buffet spread and contemporary Chinese tapas menu. While the dishes still retain the essence of traditional Chinese cuisine they do come with a contemporary twist.
The Man Behind The Dishes:
We tasted select dishes from Kuvo’s CNY menu and were pleasantly surprised by most of them. This would not have come as a surprise to me if I had known that Chef Wong Hong Loong was behind the exquisite cuisine.
Chef Wong began his career in the 1990’s at Hai Tien Lo (Pan Pacific Hotel) working under renowned celebrity Chef Chan Chen Hei (陈赞禧). I had the privilege of dining at Chef Chan’s Restaurant (better known as 神厨三绝) years ago and it was an unforgettable experience. Judging by the way the dishes tasted during the media launch, Chef Wong has done his mentor proud. It is also little wonder that one of KUVO’s signature dishes is the Crispy Roasted Chicken, which incidentally is also one of Chef Chan’s signature dishes.
Braised Shark’s Fin with Crab Meat Soup. This was one of my favourite dishes that night. A rich, hearty broth, slow cooked for eight hours forms the heart of the dish. As well as crabmeat and crab roe the soup is also traditionally topped with shark’s fin – but the great news is that for those who are against eating shark’s fin, you can simply ask to be served without it. In fact shark’s fin imparts little to no flavour to the soup, so doing away with it would not affect the taste in any way. Take a moment instead to savour the morsels of sweet and succulent crab in the soup. This dish is only available as part of the set menu.
Sautéed Tiger Prawn with Salted Egg Yolk ($32 for 6 pieces) We enjoyed this dish but it paled in comparison with the other outstanding dishes served that night. The prawns were crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, but flavour-wise the dish may have fared better if it was served with a creamy salted-egg dip on the side.
Norwegian Salmon “Yu Sheng” ($48.80 for small/$68.80 for large) The tangy-sweet sauce was pleasant without being too sweet. Dried yam strips added a delightful crunch to the refreshing mix of salmon sashimi, strips of candied citrus peel, pickled ginger and fresh vegetables. I personally loved the well-marinated jellyfish and I actually think that it could totally replace the salmon slices as the star ingredient if eating raw fish is not your thing.
Kuvo’s Signature Crispy Roasted Chicken $38 Cooked with great care and skill, the meat was extra tender and juicy, complete with a paper-thin crispy skin. I was told that it is a laborious process to make this signature dish. First, the chicken has to be “bathed” with hot water and then pat dry. Salt is then used to season the chicken’s stomach. The chef will then brush a special sauce on the chicken and leave it to dry for at least four hours. The chicken is not deep fried, but instead “bathed” in hot oil. It is constantly drizzled with boiling oil until golden brown and is served with a salt-pepper powder dip and a vinegar dip.
Crispy Suckling Pig with prawn paste (6 pcs for $32) The thin crispy crackling was the dream of every crispy suckling pig lover. The meat beneath the crispy skin was tender and juicy. Though the accompanying bread helped to soak up all the sauce, it did little to add further value to the dish.
Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage wrapped in Lotus Leaf ($18) This dish received a mixed response from my dining companions. I personally liked it as it was not greasy and every grain had soaked up the flavour of the sauce and richness of the Chinese sausage. The lotus leaf also imparted a light fragrance to the rice.
Deep-Fried New Year Cake (4 pcs for $8) Kuvo’s niangao (glutinous rice cake) is less sweet, chewy and sticky than the conventional stuff. The batter is light and crispy. It was so yummy, we all went for seconds.
Chilled Calamansi Jelly ($6) Powdered preserved tangerine peel Chenpi is sprinkled on top of this citrusy tangy jelly dessert to add depth and complexity to the taste. This refreshing dessert left my dining companions wanting more, even after having already consumed 2 jars each.
Kuvo also provides complimentary Valet parking for its diners. While you may be tempted to join in the festivities by having a glass or two – if you drive, please don’t drink. If you are the designated driver for the day, you will be delighted to know that the restaurant also retails wines and spirits so you can bring home a bottle or two to enjoy after the meal, only after first sending everybody home of course.
CNY Festive Set and A la Carte Menu:
The CNY set menus at Kuvo start at $388 for 4 pax. All A la Carte items are priced between $6 for a dessert to $88 for a Double-boiled Mini “Buddha Jumps over the Wall”.
The festive set and A la Carte menu are available from 26th January to 2nd March, for lunch and dinner (except 16th February – the first day of CNY)
Only the Chinese New Year Festive menus are available on 15th February. A deposit of 50% (non-refundable) is required for confirmed reservations. Prices are subject to 10% service charge and prevailing government taxes.
Lunch: 11.30am – 3.00pm (last order 2.15pm) Dinner: 6.00pm – 10.00pm (last order 9.15pm)
Reunion dinner timings on 15th February 2018 is as follows: 1st Round: 5.30pm – 7.15pm
2nd Round: 7.45pm – 9.30pm
Click here for more information. For reservations, call: 6733 8272.