I hate Orchard Road. I avoid Orchard Road the way I avoid men who take more selfies than I do – the rush, the noise, the crowds – far from my favourite place in Singapore. Kuvo, a new multi-concept space is located in bustle of the area, however, being at Orchard Shopping Centre, there is a lovely little break in the chaos of it all – because no one rushes to go there; which makes it a plus in my books.
The TCC team took a space that had, apparently, been empty for five years and turn it into something elegant and sophisticated. Kuvo spans over 9,000 sq ft and the interiors incorporate the traditional style of Japan and modern contemporary style to create a warm and welcoming environment.
If you’re looking for a breather from the hole-in-the-wall restaurants and open secret speakeasies that have sprung up like wild mushroom after a tropical thunderstorm, Kuvo, while it can get a little confusing for first-timers is the place to go.
I am never a fan of having too much eggs in one basket and with 5 areas, Ambrosia I & II, Gazebo, Vine Lounge and Elixir bar, Kuvo makes sure such is not the case. Think of it this way – Ambrosia is the main eating area, Vine Lounge (pictured) is where oenophiles would squeal delight as this part of Kuvo contains over 140 wine labels and lastly, Elixir bar where one can get their drink on.
While Ambrosia I & II and Gazebo offers delicious, unpretentious comfort food, it feels like they’re trying to squeeze everything into one space. They offer quite a range; ranging from all-day breakfast Western- and Chinese-style to hearty main courses such as the KUVO Atlantic Cod Meunière ($38++) of sweet pea-crusted fresh cod medallion with pearl barley fricassee, potato gratin and citrus nutty-brown butter, Portobello & Cheese Wagyu Burger ($36++) and Asian selections including Slipper Lobster Laksa Lemak ($22++) and King Prawn Noodle Soup ($20++) with King prawns, pork slices, fish cake and yellow noodles.
Must-tries from the menu include the KUVO Coffee Chicken Wings, the Duck Foie Gras Duo (the foie gras terrine on this is the bomb) and their lamb ribs.
The Elixir bar is probably my favourite space within Kuvo, this 40-seater bar is headed by Japanese mixologist Yutaka-san (don’t mistakenly address him as Yukata-san). Formerly from Coffee Bar K, Yutaka-san is no stranger to the Singapore scene having been here for several. As with every great bartender, aside from dispensing addictive cocktails that you can select from the menu, Yutaka-san also offers bespoke creations, and on the side comes great banter and funnier facial expressions to accompany the stories he shares.
Kuvo is certainly one of the cooler places that’s sprung up this year and definitely worth checking out. The vibe may not be exactly right; the place is too confusing – it has multiple spaces, nooks and corners doing and serving different things all at the same time. I mean, you’re a restaurant, not a Murakami novel. But if somehow you’ve managed to find the perfect corner with the right company, the food and drinks more than makes up for it.
KUVO, #02-01 Orchard Shopping Centre, 321 Orchard Road, Singapore