Last Updated: August 3, 2020
The one aspect I missed about dining out was having intimate date nights with my fiance.
Sure, we could attempt to re-create it at home, but I was having withdrawals of sitting in a dimly-lit booth seat with just me and my partner, mellow music playing in the background, distant chatter from other tables, and leaving well-fed and aptly inebriated.
Now, I’m so glad that Phase 2 allows us to do that again, and even happier that I’d discovered a new date night restaurant to visit—LUMO.
Situated at the corner of South Bridge Road and Carpenter Street, this cosy nook is the perfect place for a first date or somewhere to bring your love of many years to.
You can opt to saddle up to the bar for a pre-dinner drink before shimmying into your seat at a booth or at the adjacent room, where you can view an up-close presentation of the chefs at work. Either way, I’m confident that LUMO will leave you with an unforgettable evening.
If you’re looking for a refreshing start to the evening, I’d recommend the Devil’s Breeze (S$20). Contrary to its intimidating name, it’s actually pretty light on the palate, despite the inclusion of Plantation Original Dark Rum.
The watermelon blend, Campari liqueur, and lime juice made it effortless to down, which might not be the best thing to do when you’re drinking this on an empty stomach—so remember to pace yourself.
While you’re enjoying a tipple or two by the bar, I highly suggest the Aged Chicken Wings, Aigre Doux (S$18). You may think they’re just regular grilled chicken wings, but these bites have been brined with saltwater and ginger for a day, before being aged for three days.
The wings are hot-smoked with applewood on the grill and finished with a glaze made with housemade aigre doux (essentially meaning sweet and sour), a sweet and tangy housemade BBQ sauce.
Not only were the wings satisfyingly tender, making it easy to pull off the bone, but it had a sweet, smoky flavour that was absolutely lip-smacking. Most BBQ sauces carry an off-putting sour note, which I detest, but this was very palatable and enjoyable.
You may think scallop dishes aren’t the best items on the menu simply due to their size and minuscule portion. But here, the ingredients truly are the hero and you’ll be rewarded with amazing tastes from Hokkaido Scallops, Burnt Leek, Spinach Velouté (S$30).
These tiny pucks of springy scallops wade in a puddle of spinach velouté (a savoury sauce, made from a roux and a light stock), which gave them a mild herbaceousness. The burnt leeks and pickled lingonberries provided a balance of acid and smokiness to complement the scallops’ richness.
Meat-lovers won’t be disappointed at LUMO either; the Westholme Wagyu Intercoastal, Pickled Kohlrabi, Shallot Confit, Veal Jus (S$32) is a plate you’ll almost be tempted to not share. The plate is served simply, so as not to distract you from the main show.
The shallot confit surprisingly stood out, elevating the meat with a caramelised sweetness that made the wagyu that much more delicious. For the curious, the meat is sous vide for a day at 50°C, before being grilled until medium-rare.
Don’t forget to have a few slices with the pickled kohlrabi, which added just the right amount of zest to balance the luxurious mouthfeel of the wagyu.
I’d initially intended to end my dinner at this juncture, but I’d seen the kitchen grill a giant cauliflower steak that I knew I had to try. I haven’t had cauliflower steak in over a year, but I know they’re a rarity and can taste amazing.
LUMO’s Roasted Cauliflower Steak, Togarashi Aioli, Lemon Zest (S$15) is a hunky slice of vegetable that’ll make you fall in love with this modest and underrated vegetable all over again. The cauliflower is first blanched, seasoned, then pan-seared and finally oven-baked. If its crumbly texture and heady smokiness don’t win you over, the togarashi aioli certainly will.
The enjoyment I experienced eating this dish was unparalleled. There were multiple textures and flavours from one humble vegetable dish that it’s hard to explain, but I’ll try—there’s the crunchy exterior that gives way to a soft centre, and then the smokiness hit right before it mellowed to a slightly spicy, sweet, and salty. There was even a creamy finish, all thanks to the aioli.
Of course, with all good date nights, dessert is a must. The Coco Maria, Hazelnut Mousse, Feuilletine Crunch, Apple Mint Celery Sorbet (S$16) is perfect for sharing and has a “ying-yang” quality about it, in my opinion. Cut through the chocolate sphere to reveal a multi-layered hazelnut feuilletine, much like a Ferrero Rocher.
The decadence of the chocolate sphere is well-balanced by the apple mint celery sorbet—an unlikely composition for a sorbet, but spectacularly invigorating and an ideal palate cleanser.
Alternatively, LUMO’s down-to-earth Apple Pie Pillow, Vanilla Gelato, Rum Raisin, Butterscotch Sauce (S$16) will evoke your nostalgic side. The puff pastry was beautifully buttery and flaky, with a shell that was generously dusted with sugar and cinnamon (making it taste like churros!).
The Granny Smith apple bits were tart and sweet without being cloying, while the rum raisins certainly packed a nice punch to this wholesome dessert. I don’t mean to downplay the complexity of this dessert, but if I had to describe it simply, it would be likened to a very “extra” and over-the-top McDonald’s Apple Pie.
I almost didn’t want my night at LUMO to end, and I’d only wish I had room to taste the entire menu. However, I know I will be back again very soon—perhaps with more people so we can attempt to order the entire menu.
You’ll want to come for its laidback vibe and the friendly staff, but I can guarantee you’ll stay for the impeccably prepared food and memorable drinks.
Expected Damage: S$40 – S$60 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 5 / 5
50 South Bridge Road, #01-00, Singapore 058682
50 South Bridge Road, #01-00, Singapore 058682