I may be late to the party but dining at Cook & Brew is one surreal experience worth the recommendation. Perched at Level 33 of The Westin Singapore, the hotel’s in-house gastro-bar is an exemplification of coziness set within a casual and homely environment. Helmed by Executive Chef Aaron Foster, Cook & Brew offers an eclectic mix of dishes on the menu, with a little something from everything that is possibly familiar yet different. I thoroughly enjoyed specialties like the Whipped Buffalo Milk Ricotta and The Montreal Burger, and was also left suitably impressed with the extensive range of beers. This is one gastrobar that has gotten my attention, and will be a worthy choice to hang out with colleagues after work.
I started off dinner with the Whipped Buffalo Milk Ricotta ($12++), a marvel of a starter that is fragrant, decadent and easy on the palate. Runny ricotta cheese is served with truffle honey; an aromatic delight as the lid of the bottle is raised upon serve. Spread a generous amount of the cheese on slices of warm, toasted sourdough bread and simply, indulge. I was well taken with this starter that it is set to be my must order when I’m next back at Cook & Brew.
The next dish of Heirloom Tomatoes & Plums ($17++) comes served with a buttermillk and gorgonzola cheese dressing, and topped with bits of candied pecan brittle. With tomatoes this colourful, and a side of plum, artfully cut into a flower, this was a visual feast to behold. The bits of gorgonzola cheese scattered about were pungent and delectable, easily contrasted with the sweeter and crisp pecan brittle. Overall, an enjoyable portion though it might have been better if the dressing was a little tighter in bringing the ingredients together.
I marveled at the main of Polenta & Dutch Veal Brisket ($42++). The veal was fork tender, and each layer gave way to a stuffing of shredded spiced meat, onions and chilli. Accompanying the veal was a base of creamy polenta, flavoured with a full body savouriness. The topping of fried kale contrasts the experience with a touch of bitterness, and the side of glazed turnips were sweet and tender – a marvelous addition.
The Montreal Burger; Broccoli & Bacon Cheese Burger; Hawker Burger (Tasting portions depicted)
The highlight of the meal, was however, the trio of burgers that are new to the menu. Available in both lunch and dinner menus, the burgers are made with US beef and each topped with an assortment of complementary ingredients that make each burger unique.
Different dips for the burgers and fries: Dijon Mustard, Canadian Mustard, Pickled Green Chillies
The Montreal Burger ($34++) was my favourite of the lot. This is where Chef Foster takes inspiration from his Canadian roots with the inclusion of house-smoked Montreal meat – a delicacy made by curing beef brisket with cracked peppercorns, coriander, garlic and mustard seed for over 3 weeks. A smoky and slightly salty delight whose spices contrasts the beef patty and sweet red onions well. The accompanying fries tossed with Rosemary and shaved Parmesan, served along with some hot Canadian mustard is a winner for me.
I was a little indifferent about the Broccoli & Bacon Cheese Burger ($29++). While the idea of creamed broccoli sounds fascinating, its crisp green flavours were clearly overwhelmed by the stronger tasting maple-glazed bacon and American cheddar.
For a local inspiration, Chef has also created the curiously named Hawker Burger ($32++) whose closest references are the char siew-style pork jowl and the crispy pork belly which is served with the juicy beef patty. I was struck by the sambal mayonnaise which seemed like a good attempt, but it could definitely do with a stronger spice for the added kick. The side of fries tossed in chilli powder and sliced pickled green chillies are an interesting combination, but not particularly striking in flavour.
To accompany my meal, I had the Borealis Rare Iceberg Beer. This delightfully crisp lager was light and icy, with its mild flavours accompanying the dishes in no overt accents. Enjoyable.
Dining with a view
Sit by the bar…
or sink yourself within the comfy seats
When I’m back the next time for drinks, I might just be as tempted to lounge at the lobby bar. For that night, I managed to catch the pianist work his magic over the ivories.
I’m impressed with what Cook & Brew has to offer. While it could have been a regular restaurant, the choice of making the venue a gastrobar adds an element of variety and flexibility to the overall menu and ambience. I loved the Montreal burger and was mesmerised with the whipped buffalo ricotta cheese with truffle honey. It is a beautiful experience. And once the sun sets across the horizon, the restaurant’s dim lighting slowly sets the atmosphere for a intimate night’s out.
Thank you The Westin Singapore for the invitation.
|Cook & Brew|
|The Westin Singapore
12 Marina View, Asia Square Tower 2
Reservations: 6922 6948
Mon to Fri 6pm onwards
Weekends All Day long