Although we are not fond of the new ‘canteen’ look of Culina Bistro at Dempsey. They have one major attraction that keeps us going back – its concept of a fresh market restaurant in Singapore. Having the restaurant located adjacent to their grocery store (which has now expanded considerably) is a big advantage. You can pick your choice of fish, meat, cheese etc from the market and have it served at the bistro for a small fee. That was how we had our lunch there recently.
Culina Market Menu
The dining menu includes a page listing possible selections from the Culina market. Of course it is best to pop over to the market itself to see what produce are specifically available on that day and the prevailing market prices. The preparation fee is $6 for cheese, $15 to $25 for fish and meat. I think the price ranges according to size.
There is also a regular menu which looks boring by comparison to all the fresh food items on display at the market section.
Fresh market restaurant in Singapore
We proceeded first to the meat and fish sections of the market and selected a piece of steak and a fish. The steak we chose was a 350 g piece of Margaret River Angus cube roll from Australia ($8.80 per 100g). It was a low to mid range cut of beef.
As for fish, the range of choices was not as wide. We were attracted by the freshness of what looked like some sort of mackerel from France. They had bright clear bright eyes and shiny scales and were reasonably priced at $4 per 100g. We chose one of the largest which weighed almost 500g.
The next stop was the wine section of the market. I think the selection is wide enough to cater to all kinds of tastes and budgets. Ordinary patrons like us can look for the lesser known labels such as this bottle of Schieferkopf German riesling ($43). The wines are priced for retail. A corkage fee of $15 was charged for having it served at the bistro.
After our ‘shopping’ at the market, we waited for the fun part to begin – when all the things we selected got prepared and served at our table. First the wine. Followed by the meat and the fish.
To make our meal complete – we also ordered a side dish of baby spinach sauteed with garlic chips. This style of eating and the combination of dishes minded us of dining at a tze char, but in a posher setting. The beef was the not the pricest cut, but it was a good juicy piece of meat. The highlight was the fish. It was nicely grilled and had firm, clean tasting meat. The food was enough for three people.
The best part of dining at a fresh market restaurant in Singapore is knowing what the product looks like in the raw state and having it expertly prepared for you without the associated hassles of doing it at home. The prep fee was $15 for each of the steak and fish.
After all the serious food was consumed, we walked over to the cheese section and picked a mixed selection of cheeses. We felt like kids in a candy shop as there were so many to choose from. The cheeses were attractively served to us.
Compared to our last visit when we mostly ordered from the menu, planning our lunch as a way of dining in a fresh market restaurant in Singapore made it a more enjoyable experience.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Culina Bistro at COMO Dempsey
Blk 15 Dempsey Road Singapore 249675
T: +65 6474 7338
Daily: 11am – 11pm (Last order: 10pm)
Weekday: 10am – 10pm
Weekend & PH: 9am – 10pm