40 Duxton Hill
Date dined: 31/07/08
Although the term “Australian cuisine” suggests something between a tribal cook-out and a white suburban barbecue, there’s a lot more to eating down-under than grilled meats. Roast beef, for one. Many ‘traditional’ Australian favorites have their roots in English recipes, a warning sign if ever there was one, but these days – as Australia’s cultural identity is being transformed by her migrant populations – one is as likely to find a Roghan Josh as a Sunday roast.
Uluru, a fairly new restaurant in Singapore’s KTV-happy Duxton Hill area, seems to embrace the cosmopolitan face of Australian cuisine a little too readily, as there is nothing on its menu that stands out as being definitively Australian. Items run the gamut from grilled salmon steaks and Japanese-seasoned scallop salads, to fish & chips and cuts of prime Wagyu beef. International cuisine it is then, although Victoria Bitter (VB) and other Aussie beers put in some effort.
The French Onion soup was above average, but the Cream of Tomato soup was even better. It tasted as if it were made from ripe tomatoes grown in a field of bacon, if one could do such a thing. The two flavors were perfectly twinned, leaving a rich result that was possibly the best part of dinner.
My burger ($30) was ordered medium-rare but turned up very close to well done. It lacked the beetroot that one would expect to find in an Australian burger, but by the time it arrived I was hungry enough not to care about the beetroot. Honestly, who likes the stuff? The slices of jalapeno pepper in its place, however, were a matter of gross misjudgement. The accompanying potato wedges could have used some salting, or even ketchup, but this was not provided. Ho hum.
I’ll probably be skipping dessert on my second visit, as the Granny Smith Apple Tart was soft in the crust and very hot inside, suggesting the use of a microwave oven, and for $16 including the wee littlest scoop of ice-cream in the world, represented pretty poor value. Top marks for the inclusion of fresh berries on the side, though.
The braised beef cheek, ribeye steak, and baby back ribs ordered by others at the table fared much better, so it is possible that some Australian heritage is at work here after all.
* * * ½