For her birthday dinner, the girlfriend made a seemingly general request: Western with good ambience. Yet she didn't want the usual fish and chips or burgers, or the menu to be just limited to one cuisine. Thankfully, I knew just the place that would fit the bill. Off we cab to The Dunearn!
Complimentary Foccacia Bread, as warm and fragrant as ever.
Located within NUS Bukit Timah Campus, I came earlier in the year for lunch and walked away feeling most impressed. This time, we took the indoor seatings that was more cosy and not too fine-dining imposing, manned by friendly staff who were quick to attend to our needs.
We shared one monthly 5-course Set Dinner ($39.80) and a Mix and Match 3-course Set Dinner($49.00) that allows you to choose any one item of Appetiser, Main and Dessert from the ala-carte menu. Plenty of selections to play with!
Chilled King Prawn with Avocado Salsa, Chickpea Cream Soup
The 5-course set was off to a good start as crunchy prawns were served with a sweet Thai chilli sauce, and a mini stacked salad with creamy avocado and juicy tomato. In a suitably smaller serving, the soup had a smooth, rich flavour that didn't overwhelm as I lap up every drop of it!
Tuna Tartare Tempura
We chose this as appetiser simply because how interesting it sounded, and we were definitely not disappointed! Served with Wasabi Mayo, the light batter coating was still slightly crispy despite the moist content, the tuna itself was perfectly seared on the outer rim with a pink centre. Very nicely done!
Braised Lamb Topped with Cheesy Potatoes
Part of the 5-course set, I liked how the tiny cubes of capsicums added colour to otherwise dull, unappetising look. The lamb meat was finely minced, mixed with cheese and abit of potato gratin, though the gamey taste was still faintly detectable. Not that I mind anyway!
At this point of time, we were also served a shot of Sour Plum Sorbet, refreshing us for the main courses ahead!
Braised Oxtail in Garden Vegetables, Oven Baked Chilean Cod with Almond Rice Ball
I have a soft spot for oxtails, so I was really glad that they served this as part of the monthly menu! Simmered so wonderfully in Red Wine Sauce, I was enjoying every chunk of tender, moist meat with traces of sticky bone marrow. Quite simply, I'm loving it!
The baked cod was so fresh and melting good that in the girlfriend's own words: "It melted my heart". Darn, a fish does it better than I do! The almond rice with raisins didn't exactly come in balls, but it oddly reminded me of Fish and Co's flavoured rice, in a good way.
Poached Apple Melba with Rosemary and Vanilla Gelato, Phyllo Apple with Cinnamon Dust and Vanilla Ice Cream
The first one came with the monthly set. With warm folded crepes, apple slices and gelato, the sweet and sour combination worked alright for me, though it was slightly more on the sour side.
Girlfriend chose the other one from the ala-carte menu after eyeing it from other tables and was most satisfied with it. Flaky pastry with warm apple fillings, it was much like an apple pie done well. On a side note, I really couldn't tell the difference between the ice cream here and the geleto on the other dessert!
Coffee, Tea, or Me?
Bill for two was $104.52 after taxes. As we both thoroughly enjoyed our dinner, The Dunearn had once again proven itself with excellent quality at a really good price. Given our habits, we probably won't be back too soon for another special occasion, but I'm pretty sure any revisit will be a satisfying one!
The Dunearn 1F Cluny Road, Bukit Timah Guild House Tel: 6586 3263 Check their website for monthly menu Open to public, dress code applies