FOOD REVIEW: Lumo - unfussy modern European fare meets familiarity and comfort

·Lifestyle Contributor
·7-min read
(PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
(PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

SINGAPORE – As a new kid on the block, opening right around the time of the Circuit Breaker is simply unfortunate. Especially when I’ve already made plans to visit this much-raved gilded cocktail bar and restaurant that recently set up shop at the corner of Carpenter Street and Southbridge Road.

Thankfully, and after much deliberation from the management, Lumo has rolled out a delivery menu so that you can experience head Chef Martin Wong’s food philosophy from the comfort of home.

In the universal Esperanto language, Lumo means ‘light’, here interpreted as a welcome into Lumo’s social space where positivity and creativity is the order of the day. The cuisine on offer here is Modern European which means you’ll get to see a blend of traditional and modern techniques melded into one using ingredients that are unfussy and a presentation that is, in some ways, familiar.

Lumo being a cocktail bar, there is also a curated menu of cocktails and wines that, though will never replace the physical experience of sipping a tipple by the counter, will suffice for now.

Shoestring fries with mentaiko mayonnaise and bonito flakes (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Shoestring fries with mentaiko mayonnaise and bonito flakes (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

The food is a fusion-esque approach that attempts to combine several elements inspired by cuisines from around the world. It starts with an appetiser of shoestring fries with mentaiko mayonnaise and bonito flakes (S$14+), which, like your favourite McDonald's meal, when delivered tends to arrive less than piping hot and possibly slightly soggy, which is perfect for a huge group of Singaporeans who love their fries succumbed to the effects of condensation.

Lumo is no different although it does come with an extra hit of umami from the Bonito flakes and creamy mentaiko sauce. I would heat this up briefly in the microwave to freshen up these potato treats and to soften it slightly for maximum enjoyment.

Cajun baby octopus (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Cajun baby octopus (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

A serving of baby octopus (S$16+) comes drenched in Cajun spice and bits of char, adding to the depth of flavour. As an ingredient, octopus of this size tends to be very easy to overcook. Here, it has been pan-fried rather quickly so as to still maintain the juiciness of the mollusc, a consideration I do deeply appreciate.

The addition of orange segments and bell-pepper confit lend an added sweetness that balances out the heat from the paprika and black pepper in Cajun. As an appetiser, this checks all the boxes. As a snack, it’s highly addictive. You’ve been warned.

Roasted cauliflower steak (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Roasted cauliflower steak (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

The Roasted Cauliflower Steak (S$15+) is a perfect example of how plating makes a huge difference in its consumption. Upon research, I found out that, in the restaurant, it is served artistically splayed out like an actual steak. But for delivery, it is presented whole—entirely in its element as a cauliflower.

Here, one has to appreciate the flavours on display and look past its aesthetic. The vegetable itself is liberally dusted with Cajun mix and then oven-baked for that handsome dark hue. When eating this, turn it over and start from the base because the beautifully intense bits are collected at the bottom, like a treasure waiting to be discovered.

The cauliflower steak comes with a Togarashi aioli served on the side in a small bowl. It’s a typical aioli save for the addition of shichimi togarashi, a Japanese spice blend of red chilli peppers, Sichuan peppercorns, dried orange peel, black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, ground ginger, poppy seeds, and nori—which in effect makes it bold, potent and not so typical anymore.

Chicken drumlettes with hot sauce (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Chicken drumlettes with hot sauce (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

I’m actually surprised at how well the Chicken Drumlettes with Hot Sauce (S$15+) holds up during delivery, maintaining a satisfying crunch even after one hour in transit to my home. The house-made Louisiana hot sauce comes served separately which means you can douse your chicken parts with as little or as much heat your lips can bear.

It might be a tad too spicy for the less adventurous—it is, after all, hot sauce—but for the spice enthusiast, I say go big or go home. Spice aside, it’s that crunch that keeps me coming back for more. I imagine this would taste even better with a quick pop in the air fryer at 200 degrees Celcius and then squirrelled away for a Netflix movie night.

Sakura Pork Choo (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Sakura Pork Choo (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

When served in the restaurant, from pictures, the Sakura Pork Chop (S$36) is delicately sliced for easy consumption. But for at-home dining, it is served whole, as-is, with no need for prettiness and subtleties—a hulking portion of Duroc Sakura pork the colour of rust from all that intense grilling, festooned with a shiny whisky raisin jus (served separately, of course). Just typing this makes my hair stand.

It is obvious that the meat has been sous vide as there’s really no other explanation for the pork to be this lusciously tender when cut. I went straight for the fatty bits and almost teared up. While the pork on its own is flavourful—it is, after all of the Sakura-Kurobuta breed—when eaten with the whisky-raisin jus, the entire experience is elevated. There’s a sweetness that lingers long enough on the tongue to momentarily temp down the bold flavour of the pork, but not too pervasive so as to overpower. It’s a perfectly poetic food experience just metres from my bed.

Classic Apple Pie (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)
Classic Apple Pie (PHOTO: Zat Astha/Yahoo Lifestyle SEA)

Like any dining-in experience, one must not forget to end on a sweet note. There’s a Burnt Cheese Cake (S$14) that everyone is fawning over on social media like it's an elixir for the desserts-deprived. Like all other iterations, Lumo’s 5-ingredient cheesecake is creamy to a fault, easily giving way when cut and melts immediately in the mouth.

But I’m more partial to the Classic Apple Pie (S$12+), a pretty little thing that all pastry lovers would die for with its fragile, flaky layers of puff pastry, lightly dusted with a cinnamon powder that seems to glitter under the right light. While one should not judge an apple pie by its layers, here, it would be forgiven. Not that it’s any less spectacular inside—there’s a filling of Granny Smith apples that have been aged overnight with cinnamon and rum-infused raisin. Add on a scoop of your favourite vanilla ice-cream, drizzle the included vanilla sauce over, and call it a day.

All orders placed directly with Lumo enjoy an additional 30% discount. To order, WhatsApp to +65 8921 3818 or through their website. Lumo caters for takeaway and island-wide delivery with no minimum order. However, for orders below S$120, a small delivery fee applies. Delivery is free for orders above S$120.

Website | 50 South Bridge Road, #01-00, S058682

Mon - Sun: 11.30am - 9.30pm

Balancing the New Normal:

FOOD REVIEW: Firebake - quality bakehouse with a prawn capellini that is to die for

Where to order affordable food during Circuit Breaker, including free meals for the needy

Coronavirus: How to help children get used to wearing a face mask or covering

This gadget will change your life and how you perform housework forever

Shopping: Products for a happier and healthier furkid

How to avoid post-lockdown burnout

There is an upside to quarantining with your toddler, according to ‘toddler whisperer’ Dr. Tovah Klein

Why family rituals are so important (and 8 ideas for how to incorporate them at home)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting