Fresh seafood, fusion fare featuring French and Asian elements, unique fish and chip,s and fine drams of Scotch whisky come together in this new Scottish restaurant in the CBD
Singapore’s culinary offerings may run the gamut of cuisines from American to Argentinian, and Turkish to Taiwanese. But Scottish cuisine remains rather unrepresented, save for the party pad and live music hangout that is Highlander. On a less boisterous note, taking over Butter Factory’s space in One Fullerton is this new Scottish restaurant that’s set to introduce Singaporean diners to Scotland’s rich culinary heritage. But expect a twist; Executive Chef Guven Uyanik tends to blend French techniques and Asian influences in his modern renditions of Scottish dishes. So purists, be warned.
Our first taste of Highland cuisine presented itself in the form of the Orkney Islands scallop ceviche, served with compressed cucumber and apple. Complementing the sweet, tender scallops, and adding an Asian element to the dish, was uni (sea urchin) as well as powdered horseradish ‘snow’ for a potent kick reminiscent of wasabi.
These culinary twists go beyond playing with Asian influences. For instance, we were presented with the seared foie gras, uncharacteristically paired with a crisp, fluffy waffle; the unconventional textures worked splendidly, with the rich, tender foie gras complementing the slight sweetness of the waffle.
UsQuBa’s rendition of fish & chips looked nothing like any fish & chips I’ve had before. Instead, I was served a tender, plump piece of cod, cooked sous vide style without batter, served with mushy peas and a creamy, white beer-infused sauce. The ‘chips’ came in the form of ‘pommes maxim’, thinly sliced potatoes baked to a crisp.
The restaurant returns to more conventional fare in its duet of Aberdeen Angus beef – a medallion of grilled tenderloin (served medium-rare, of course) and braised beef short ribs. The latter, served drizzled with tart plum jus, fell apart easily at the touch of my fork.
Despite its rich culinary heritage, Scotland is better known for its whiskies and ales, so it comes as no surprise at all that the bar’s whisky menu is an expansive one. If you’re intimidated by the offerings, or can’t figure out where to start, pick from a curated selection of whisky flights that offer samples of three expressions of each label. Scotland’s “water of life” not your thing? If you prefer your beers and ales, sip rarities like the Clan Brewing Company Spruce ale. The robust, amber coloured ale was quite unlike anything else I’ve tried, thanks to an intense smokiness from finishing in an Islay Whisky Cask. A must-try for beer lovers.
It’s easy to imagine that this Scottish restaurant would take cues from the dark, woody bars ubiquitous amongst the Scottish Highlands. Instead, UsQuBa favours a bright, modern design, taking advantage of the ocean front views while inviting diners to linger with a lager. Or perhaps, a dram of Scotch?
UsQuBa, 1 Fullerton Road, Singapore 049213. p. 8723 6378.