I was a young chicky when I visited Scotland, about 20 years ago. Hopped into Edinburgh from London, and had a mighty good time walking the streets, exploring quaint bookstores and being enchanted by the sight of the magnificent Edinburgh castle, perched up in the hills, looming over the city.
I wasn’t quite the foodie then, so didn’t have many memories of Scottish cuisine, but then again, that was 20 years ago, and clearly Scottish cuisine has now gone beyond its deep-fried Mars bars days. These days, you’ll hear about the “Michelin Mile” in Edinburgh and appreciate the bounty that the lands and seas of Scotland has to offer.
And that’s exactly what newly-opened UsQuBa at One Fullerton hopes to showcase – beautiful food using Scotland’s finest.
In case you’re thinking haggis (sheep’s offal) and oat porridge, don’t. Think robust Aberdeen Angus, plump Scottish Lobster and tender Lamb from the Scottish Highlands, instead. Now add in classic French elements like jus and soufflé, throw in modern creations like horseradish snow and compressed cucumbers, and you start to get the picture.
Seeing as how this is a first-of-its-kind in Singapore, a Scottish fine dining restaurant, I was keen to check it out, so an impromptu date with my hubby ensued last Friday night. I made sure to request a window-side table, an absolute must-do because the views of the glitzy Marina Bay never get tired, and you’ll occasionally be treated to the light show from Marina Bay Sands, across the water.
We walked past a long bar, where I’m sure the whisky lovers were living it up, making merry with wee drams of rare single cask malts. Small batch artisanal gins and craft beers also sit pretty alongside the many cocktails that the head bartender, formerly from La Maison Du Whisky, gleefully serves up.
I myself, am not a whisky drinker, so was glad to see a rather extensive range of wines by the bottles. By the glass selection is somewhat limited but let’s just say that you won’t be hard-pressed to pick a wine to go with your meal.
Hubby started off with the rather unctuous sounding Ravioli of Pork Cheeks with Porcini Sauce ($21). A heavy start but it was a Friday, we had a robust red by the side, so why not. The earthy porcini emulsion with the rich port wine reduction was simply delicious and provided that heavy base necessary for the equally rich pork cheek filling of the two pieces of ravioli. Very tasty dish, only gripe was that one more ravioli would have been nice.
I, too, went for a heavy starter – the Seared Foie Gras ($21). Interestingly, this came with a waffle, to replace the bread that it is normally served with foie gras. There was a good sear on the foie gras, and the bits of pickled apple that accompanied it added a nice lift to the dish.
We continued our meaty meal with our mains – selecting the Red Wine Marinated Venison ($34) and Duet of Angus Beef ($56).
The venison came on a plate of poached wild berries (I started playing a silly game of which berry I liked the venison most with, the answer is blackberry, by the way) and a mound of the smoothest purple potato puree you will ever taste.
Now, I love my lean meat, and at UsQuBa, happily the venison was not tough or dry, but instead, moist and flavourful. I think the copious amount of red wine reduction and beetroot also helped ensure a dewy dish.
And for the star dish of the night, the Aberdeen Angus beef. I don’t know what Michelin-starred Chef, Guven Uyanik (who has trained under the likes of Thomas Keller and Scotsman, Gordon Ramsay), did to make it so amazingly tender, but maybe I will have to believe him when he says, “that’s just how good the produce is”.
The flavour is robust but the tenderloin is ridiculously tender – you don’t have to exert any effort at all when slicing through the meat. There’s a good char outside, thanks to the Josper grill, and a nice pink leading to a deeper red core. Yum.
The duet comprises the tenderloin and the braised short ribs, and I loved the sweet, succulent strands of beefy goodness from the short ribs that came apart with each pull of my fork. Perfect!
We had enough room to share a dessert, and wanted something light after our intense meal, so Coconut Panna Cotta ($11) it was. The refreshing lemongrass jelly with the smooth white chocolate ice cream and the light panna cotta made it a joy to dip the fluffy doughnut sticks it came with, and a lovely ending to a lovely night.
Their set lunches (2-course for $38, 3-course for $48) are a good way to try some of these dishes. Right now, the foie gras and beef feature on the lunch menu, and also a Lobster Ravioli that everyone seems to be raving about.
It’s a good start, and I definitely will be visiting UsQuBa again!
Address: #02-03B, One Fullerton Singapore 049213
Contact: +65 8723 6378 or Reserve.OneFullerton@UsQuBa.com
Monday – Thursday: 11:30 AM to Midnight
Friday & Saturday: 11:30 AM to 1 AM
Sunday: 11:30 AM – 10 PM