The new Portuguese restaurant in Singapore, Tuga, opened at Dempsey Hill earlier this year but could only serve takeaway food. Now that we are in Phase 2, dine in has resumed and we were there for a Portuguese lunch.
There are few Portuguese restaurants in Singapore. The last one we visited was BOCA Restaurant in Keong Saik but I believe it is no longer there. The new Portuguese restaurant in Dempsey has an unusual restaurant layout. The dining areas are sectioned into small dining areas. They are separated by shelves stacked full of Portuguese wines.
Safe distancing is easily achieved at this Portuguese restaurant in Singapore. Diners are spread out in small pockets of dining spaces. The exception is the dining hall which has a long table for communal dining. It is not in use under present circumstances.
We had mixed feelings about the decor. I suppose it depends on which section we get seated at. Some areas have bottles nicely displayed so that it would feel like dining in a wine cellar. Other areas looked less attractive and one might feel like being in a warehouse instead. But either way, the new Portuguese restaurant is like no other restaurant in Singapore.
Tuga Portuguese Restaurant Dempsey Menu
Here are pictures of some pages from the Tuga Dempsey restaurant menu. The list of Portuguese wines is long (even with the small font used). A sample portion of the list is provided below.
With Portuguese wines being prominently featured in the menu and in the restaurant, we had to have some with our lunch. Being unfamiliar with everything on the list, we selected a bottle of white wine from the Douro region: 2016 Monte Cascas Reserva ($51). According to the Casca Wines website, it is described as having “… creamy texture with hints of pineapple in a lovely balancing acidity”. We could not taste all that but it was a pleasant wine that went well with our mostly seafood meal. For some information about the Douro wine region, here is an interesting article: Is the Douro Europe’s most underrated wine region?
We selected two starters and two mains. For starters we tried the garlic tiger shrimps ($20, picture above) and scrambled eggs with asparagus and chorizo ($18, picture below). The garlic flavour was quite weak in the former and we could hardly detect asparagus in the latter. Nonetheless, they were simple, easy going dishes.
For the main courses we had the octopus ($65, picture above) and the pork meat and clams ($33, picture below). Both were large hearty dishes with generous portions of potatoes. We were not very fond of the octopus as it was soft and bland in taste. The pork and clams dish pleasantly surprised us with its curry flavours. The clams were heavily outnumbered by the pork and potatoes. It seemed to us like a pot of pork and potato curry. But I must say the taste was very good. We used some of the sauce to go with the octopus.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
TUGA Portuguese Restaurant Singapore
Dempsey Hill, Block 8 #01-15
Tel: +65 8129 9122
Opening Hours: 11 am – 11 pm
TUGA Singapore Facebook
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog