The Como brand is synonymous with healthful living. And yoga retreats. I've never stayed in a Como resort before, the idea of a wellness retreat isn't exactly enticing to us. Yeah, I know we work out during our holidays, but we also eat with wanton abandon on our holidays. We're the kind of people who subscribe to life's motto "live to eat" and often, we find there's nothing more comforting than buttered steak, buttered potatoes and a bottle of red wine. And I'm pretty sure there's no way those would ever be labeled "healthy". So you can see how a hotel that touts its dining options as "food that optimises nutrition while tasting delicious" wouldn't be the most attractive to us.
Also, I much prefer adrenaline-pumping sports to yoga. The last time I went to a yoga class, I fell asleep and NOBODY WOKE ME UP. Seriously, the instructor had told us to lie down, close our eyes, focus on our breathing, in and out, and I was out like a light. Next thing I knew, I woke up to the instructor saying "thank you class". I mean, it was a lovely nap and all, but u know, I could have done that at home. In my own bed. Instead of the hard floor, with my mouth hanging open like a jackass. (ohgawd, I hope to God I didn't drool) Besides, I don't really feel like I've exercised without sweating buckets and wanting to throw up half the time.
But, I thought we'd check out Como Cuisine, and maybe, if I liked it enough, would take a trip to one of its resorts. Disappointingly, the food was a mixed bag of hits and misses. And let's just say, IF I were already disinclined to the idea of "healthy eating", well, Como Cuisine would reinforce that preconception.
I get that Como Cuisine intends for a restrained execution of its dishes, but that might be why its food ended up a little too...bridled. There was no pizazz, the dishes were missing in that well-roundedness, that final jigsaw piece that would pull the disparate flavours together. And I think, the salting needed to be less...reserved. A lot of the dishes here suffered from a lack of salt.
The Masala Prawns ($24), accompanied with cubes of mango, and brightened with mint, coconut chips, and a tangy lime & red chilli dressing, was decent, the smoky char imbued a lovely accent to the plump sweetness of the shellfish.
The Grilled Squid ($18) was great too, and this was tempered with a watermelon dotted romesco sauce. Flecks of minced olives, shallot ringlets, and fried garlic chips lent flavour.
The Tandoor Cauliflower ($12) , sprinkled with chopped almond, pomegranate seeds, fried curry leaves and nigella yoghurt was, despite the copious lashings of spices, flat and lacking in flavour. I'm not sure they'd put any salt at all, which was a pity because it would have really given this some life.
I liked the Chilled Soba Noodles ($32) seasoned with tamari and spotted with raw tuna, seaweed, edamame and avocado; it was clean and clear and refreshing.
The Sauteed Broccolini ($8) with garlic, chilli, lemon and peanuts also suffered from a lack of salt, it was abysmally tasteless.
The Fish Curry ($32) with okra was lovely though, it was creamy, rich and potent, kept light with tomato, fresh coconut, and tamarind. A side of fluffy saffron rice topped with fried shallots rounded off this excellent dish.
The Tandoor Chicken ($28) was a little dry, and the barley "rice" flecked with grape and walnut was insipid. Fresh radicchio, yoghurt and the pumpkin mash were nice though.
The complimentary bread basket with multigrain served with a delicious fruit marmalade and softened butter.
Blk 18 Dempsey Road
Tel: 1800 304 6688
Open weekdays from 12noon to 10.30pm;
weekends from 10.30am to 10.30pm