While NTUC is our first port of call for groceries, we have a few back-ups for specialty foods. When we require parma ham or special cuts of meat, we make a trip to Dempsey, and hit up Culina and Huber's. Usually, we grab a meal at the restaurants annexed to either grocer's food market. But while we love Culina's offerings, Huber's Bistro was disappointingly lackluster.
There were more misses than hits, food-wise. The concept of western comfort food, like burgers, sausages, and grilled seafood, was crowd-friendly, easy and uncomplicated, but execution was a fail. The cooking was clunky, at best. Just to be safe, I'd say to stick to the cured meats and sausages.
It didn't help that the space at Huber's Bistro was cramped and swelteringly uncomfortable. We couldn't get a table in the limited air-conditioned section, and were stuck in the alfresco deck, bearing through the tropical steam-room that is the Singapore outdoors. In contrast, Culina's dining area is entirely air-conditioned.
The charcuterie platter of Tagliere di Affettati Misti ($14.80) with prosciutto di parma, San Daniele, culatello, salami, and mortadella, with pickled artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, green and purple olives, and mozzarella balls, was a fail-safe. I regularly buy Huber's parma ham for dinner parties at home, so there was no way this could go wrong. What was surprising was the salami, which was silky, wonderfully balanced, and decadently flavoursome. We practically fought over the last sliver of fat-laden deliciousness.
The European Cheese Medley ($11.90), including a French Le Morbier and English Stilton, sided by multigrain crackers, spiced peanuts, dried figs, and fresh grapes was a flop. We just didn't like those cheeses, and didn't finish it.
The Curry Wurst ($9.90), a thick, coarse pork sausage slathered in curried ketchup and loaded with skinny fries, was pretty decent, if a little over-powering on the ginger accents. Nice snap on the casing and juicy texture on the meat.
The Huber's Dry-Aged Beef Burger ($18.90) was a towering 200gm patty of Australian chilled beef, dry-aged for 21 days, topped with sun-dried tomato aioli, tomato slice, caramelised onions, and rocket leaves sandwiched between fluffy buttered buns. The beef was grilled to a dried-out medium-well, and so gamey it'd adopted an odious stench. The only edible thing on the plate was the shoestring fries, which were really quite scrumptious. And the scraps of arugula. Me love arugula.
A seasonal special, the White Asparagus & Pan-Fried Barramundi ($24.50) crusted in chopped hazelnut & swiss bacon nubbins, was awfully forgettable. The skin on the fish was far from crisp, but I liked the mostarda sauce, a lovely complement to the delicate flesh. The asparagus, blanketed in Hollandaise sauce, was middling, and the new potatoes with butter and parsley was slightly undercooked.
Huber's Butchery & Bistro
22 Dempsey Road
Tel: 6737 1488
Open Tuesdays to Fridays from 11am to 10pm;
weekends from 9.30am to 10pm;
Closed on Mondays