Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Kubo Woodfired Kitchen @ The Pier at Robertson - Contemporary Restaurant Offering Woodfired Filipino cuisine



Drawing inspiration from Filipino cuisine, Kubo Woodfired Kitchen at The Pier at Robertson is a contemporary restaurant that redefines familiar and little-known dishes from the northern to the southern regions of the Philippines. Named after the thatched huts commonly seen in the Philippine countryside, diners get to witness and enjoy the full view of Kubo's custom-designed and built open kitchen with a wood-burning oven, cookstove, grill and smoker. Helmed by Chef Kurt Sombero, Chef Kurt welds his Filipino heritage and culinary techniques to create a menu that aims to make Filipino cuisine more accessible.

Cassava Chips with Miso Dip 3.5/5

Honeycomb Tripe 3.8/5

Inasal Mid-Wing 4/5

We started with some Snacks - Cassava Chips with Miso Dip, Honeycomb Tripe and Inasal Mid-Wing ($12). The first two are all about the crunch and creamy dips. Served with savoury hummus, the honeycomb tripe subverts our expectations of a typical tripe dish. Its crunch factor is unbeatable. My favourite is the Inasal Mid-Wing. Tender meat laced with a layer of smokiness from the wood fire, such simplicity embodies the beauty of woodfire cooking.

Grilled Prawns 3.8/5

Next up were dishes from Appertiser, among which Grilled Prawns ($24) have received much-raved reviews since the restaurant opened last year. Served with a punchy coconut sambal, bird's eye chilli and kaffir lime, the prawn boasted a mouthwatering meaty and creamy texture.

Pork Longganissa 3.8/5

Pork Longganissa is new to the menu, a refined version of an all-day Filipino breakfast classic with flavours reminiscent of chorizo. In Kubo, Pork Longganissa is made as a hamonado (pineapple sauce) naked-pork patty marinated in soy before topping with ikura and cured egg and served with toasted bread underneath. Unfortunately, while I appreciate the thoughts that went behind this dish, its saltiness is a bit overwhelming.

Sisig 4.2/5

Sisig ($25) was a memorable dish. Originally served with rice, it is served taco style with flat bread here. There is so much to love about the rustic taste of the soft and fluffy flat bread done over the woodfire. The sizzling minced pork mixture naturally had bits of crunch from some charred bits, making it even more morbid.

Smoked Beef Tongue 4/5

Smoked Beef Tongue may look intimidating, but it tastes similar to beef brisket. It is also one of the highly recommended dishes at Kubo. Its tenderness with nicely seared exterior makes it a rare treat.

House Aged Duck 4.5/5

Turmeric Banana Leaf Rice 4/5

For mains, we had the restaurant's Signature House Aged Duck ($42) served fried and grilled, together with a new side Turmeric Banana Leaf Rice. The fried duck leg is very similar to a Duck confit, beautifully brown with fork-tender meat. The grilled portion had a much firmer texture and showcased an impressive layer of crispy golden-brown skin laced with a yummy layer of fats underneath. The accompanying sauce could do with some zest or acidity to cut the richness of this dish. The fluffy rice was homely and comforting and complemented the meat well.

Halo Halo 4/5

Leche Flan Bon Bon 3/5

For desserts, we had Halo Halo, which features the Philippines' very own Ube Sorbets (ice cream), alongside creamy coconut and torched meringue. While I enjoyed the textural play lent by the various toppings, its sweetness was too much for me. Leche Flan Bon Bon had an interesting smoked blueberry, but the flan seemed lost amongst the ingredients.



There are a couple of non-alcoholic drinks to try, such as Samalamig (coolers) like the Mango Float ($10) done in the Kubo way with roasted biscuits, mangos, smoked coconut cream and topped with a torched meringue and mango creme. Otherwise, Smoked Black Tea with Pandan Foam is an interesting option that taste akin to our local grass jelly drink.

Words by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food. Note: This is an invited tasting.

The Pier at Robertson
80 Mohamed Sultan Road
Singapore 239013
Tel: +65 96458436
Nearest MRT: Fort Canning (DT Line)

Opening Hours:
Tue-Fri: 3pm - 10pm
Sat-Sun: 12pm - 3pm, 530pm - 10pm
(Closed on Mon)

1) Alight at Fort Canning MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to traffic junction of Clemenceau Ave and River Valley. Cross the road. Turn left and walk down Clemenceau Ave. Turn right onto Unity Street. Then left onto Merbau Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 8 minutes. [Map]

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