Opened in 2019, Swiss restaurant Coucou on Craig Road offers a delectable and authentic inside look at the rich Alpine cuisine of Switzerland.
I know nothing of Swiss cuisine, I remember chiding myself as I dug into the rösti at Coucou.
One of the very few Swiss culinary bastions here in Singapore, a glance at Coucou’s menu was a stark reminder of how very little I know of the landlocked mountainous country, aside from its international standing as a global finance hub and its reputation for making really good watches, army knives, and chocolate.
And I know my rösti, thanks to childhood visits to Marché Mövenpick. But very little else.
Coucou is French for hello, but you’d be forgiven if it referred to cuckoo clocks, which happens to liberally serve as decor pieces all around the cosy, intimate Craig Road restaurant. The whole eatery is dedicated to all things Swiss; its food menu, wine and spirits programme, everything.
All except the music, which was thankfully piping the popular hits of today instead of the expected traditional Swiss folk music.
Back to the food. There was Malakoff, the traditional deep-fried croquettes of gruyére cheese you eat with mustard, or the Tartare de Truite, a Valais specialty featuring finely diced trout but here spiced up with some heat from green chillis. There’s also the Salade Coucou, which looks like boring coleslaw but turns out to be very moreish thanks to the special housemade dressing Coucou chef and co-owner Yves Schmidt inherited as a recipe from his grandfather.
There’s also fondue, but of course. Coucou’s Fondue Moitie-Moitie features a bubbling cauldron with a blend of half Gruyére and half Vacherin cheeses in which you dip cubes of bread or potatoes. You’ll want a few shakes of the accompanying nutmeg curry powder to spice things up, though.
And the rösti, which is served as Rosti Saucisse de Saint-Gall with a sizable veal sausage smothered in a sauce rendered from caramelised onions. Other meat courses include the Filet Mignon de Porc aux Morilles, a slab of pork tenderloin served in a most delectable morel sauce, or Tagliata De Boeuf featuring premium aged grass-fed striploin of beef drenched in a garlic butter sauce. The sauce game at Coucou is strong.
As previously mentioned, the wine list at Coucou is entirely Swiss. Which makes it tightly curated and small, but extremely commendable. This is an exploration of Swiss winemaking country – rather unique in Singapore’s wine scene – so you can expect Switzerland’s signature Chasselas or the rarer Petite Arvine expressed in various white wines from regions like Vaud and Valais, or a Merlot from Ticino near the Italian border.
Otherwise there’s pear brandy or various Swiss gins if you fancy a stronger digestif at the end of your meal.
Now I personally don’t see the rich Alpine cuisine of Switzerland ever becoming as popular as those of its European cousins such as Italy or Spain (no thanks to our oppressively humid tropical climate), but as a bastion of Swiss culinary prowess Coucou is beyond reproach.
Address 9 Craig Rd, Singapore 089669 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 12pm to 2.30pm and 6pm to 11pm Sundays to Thursdays; 12pm to 2.30pm and 6pm to 12am Fridays and Saturdays
Tel (65) 6226 0060