Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Cuppage Terrace Revamped!
Cuppage Terrace is finally looking hip and pretty after a much-needed S$15 million dollar revamp! Tucked behind Cuppage Road away from Orchard Road frontage, this row of restaurants suffered obscurity and lack of strong branding. But now with the al fresco areas jazzed up, it looks ready for prime time. The commercial strip of 14 restaurants, bars and spas relaunched tonight with a media and blogger party.
Here's a quick tour of the F&B outlets, starting from the front (near Centrepoint) to the back (near Starhub Centre):
Kohi Ten, or "coffee shop" in Japanese, offers siphon-brewed coffee imported from Japan. Brought to you by the folks who own Sakae Sushi.
Hibiki has an outdoor sumiyaki grill and a wide range of other Japanese fare (they also have a branch at the Singapore Flyer). Full review coming up later, and I have a S$10 voucher to give away in that post.
Sorry for blur and ill-composed photo. Viva Mexico didn't seem to participate much in the launch. I didn't see any food offered for photography so I don't know what their purported Mexican executive chef has devised for their menu.
Bobby's was also having its own separate/joint launch party. I managed a shot of the interior while everyone was outside watching the lion dance. It got incredibly crowded later on.
They were doling out baby back ribs like there was no tomorrow. Yes, these were meaty, moist, fall-off-the-bone tender, but the seasoning is rather muted. It's not easy preparing tubs and tubs of ribs en masse, I'm sure.
Bobby's also had various appetisers, snacks and desserts. Here's a cube of codfish with fruit caviar - fancy pairing but didn't knock my socks off. Their cheesecake and tiramisu are good at first bite, but too rich thereafter.
I remember Saxophone, the old jazz bar at Cuppage Terrace, had a pretty lively atmosphere. Now filling the jazz bar slot is Harry's. Yes, another one. If more outlets start sprouting, I'm going to start calling them McHarry's.
Moving along, we have Kazbar, a Middle-Eastern joint complete with Arabic mosaic tiles, exotic lanterns, daybed style seating (al fresco area), cushions and bolsters. Chef's from Dubai, I hear.
Looks like Cross Straits didn't make it to opening night. I thought this was a new restaurant, but no, it's been at Cuppage Terrace for more than two decades! For some reason, I never noticed it. I think the old Cuppage Terrace made it difficult for restaurants to really stand out.
OK, this one I vaguely knew existed but never visited. The Orchard Maharajah North Indian restaurant. This one does not seem to have changed that much but it is more prominent, with the expansion of al fresco area. Media friends that night said the food's not bad.
Wine Connection is next door, offering booze at at wholesale prices. Really? Well, makes no difference to me. I rarely touch alcohol. Unless I need to cook!
This is the "Italian" representative at Cuppage Terrace.
Ah, I heard raves about Tamaya from the PR agency. This little izakaya has also been at Cuppage Terrace for a while (10 years?). More detailed review on this in another post. Next door is Cable Car, a bar also operated by Tamaya's owners, offering more than 350 drinks.
With its rejuvenation, it does look like Cuppage Terrace is worth checking out. It's nice that they have kept most of the 1920s Peranakan shophouse facade. It adds some character. Only thing is, warm nights may make al fresco dining uncomfortable. But air-conditioned quarters are just a few steps away.
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