Helmed by Chef Gunther Hubrechesen, this 3 year old french fine dining restaurant is a partnership between Chef Roberto Galetti of Garibaldi and Chef Gunther himself. During his 5 years stint working for the Les Amis group, he managed to bring the Les Amis restaurant to the 83rd position in the UK Restaurant Magazine’s list of Best 100 Restaurants in 2007, which is by no means an easy feat.
Having recently been voted at number 84 into the S. Pellegrino World’s Best 100 Restaurants 2010 and Asia’s Top 7th restaurant in the 2009/2010 edition of The Miele Guide, I was very much keen on visiting Gunther’s and to see if the hype around the restaurant is all justified.
(Disclaimer: The information for the previous 2 paragraphs were lifted from the Restaurant’s Media Release.)
It was most fortunate that I was free, one weekday afternoon and decided to have lunch with my Dad. Having walked past Gunther’s and perused the menu when I visited Garibaldi’s not too long ago, the name “Gunther’s” was immediately heard. And so, off to Purvis Street we drove.
I like the setting of the restaurant. It is simple, yet has an air of elegance to it. One thing that gets my thumbs up, is the the way the tables are positioned. They are spread out enough giving enough space to enjoy your food without hearing what your neighbours were planning for dinner and ensuring privacy to share that initimate conversations your partner and you may share.
Fresh Crusty Baguette
I adore the baguettes here. Warm, and crusty (I stand corrected – Extremely crusty) bread paired with creamy butter has got to be the best combination one could savour while persuing the menu.
Going through the menu, my eyes set on the set lunch menu (S$38++) which included an appetizer, main course, dessert and coffee or tea. S$38++ for 3 courses plus coffee/tea for a meal here (an institution for French cuisine, some might say), is in my opinion, more than worth it.
Cold angel hair pasta, Oscietra caviar (S$60++)
(P.S. We ordered this pasta as an ala carte to share as the first appetizer – so the portion that you see above, is really just 1/2 of the actual portion size.)
So many have heard of it, so many have tried and so many have passed nothing but compliments on this particular dish.
A signature of Chef, is the Cold Angel’s Hair Pasta with Oscietra Caviar. Drizzled generously with truffle oil, the aroma permeates quickly through the air, even as the waiter was serving the dish. The caviar lent a nutty flavour to it. This sturgeon is definitely living for a good cause; I’ve watched episodes on Discovery Channel (I think it was Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs) that showed farmers retrieving the eggs from, I believe it was Salmon, and to say it was not an easy task for both farmer and fish, is an understatement.
You know, and this is the selfish me speaking – if it were not for the price, I would have ordered the full portion of the pasta for myself! It was really that good.
Foie gras, consomme
My dad’s starter of the Foie gras in a pork consomme was excellent. He loved the pork consomme – not so the foie gras. But, this was, as he aptly put it, personal preferences, rather than quality of the dish.
I tried a little, and I could be wrong, but the consomme tasted somewhat similar to that of a slow boiled Chinese pork bone soup.
Tiger prawns in Madeira sauce (Port wine reduction sauce)
I went for something less indulgent in the Tiger Prawns in Madeira sauce.
The prawns were fresh and had a firm texture to them – nothing of that over-the-top crunchy texture you get at Chinese establishments. The creamy combination of strong prawn stock and wine sauce lent a slightly sweet taste to the prawns.
Just like the decor of the place, this was a classic example of elegance in simplicity.
Grilled smoked Japanese Wagyu beef, Bordelaise sauce
My Dad, on his doctor’s orders, has been having more beef recently and knew that he would order the grilled wagyu beef .
Although they were sent out as ordered (medium), I thought that they were somewhat chewy. I looked at my Dad and asked if he concurred, he did.
The bordelaise sauce that accompanied the beef was excellent though. The crisp (I’m sorry but I did not write down what it was), was good, and so was the corn – especially the corn. My Dad lusted for more of those yellow gifts from the land.
Roasted Wild Snapper, Provençale style
I was, again, on the lookout for something that’s good for the HDL scale and opted for the Roasted wild snapper.
To be frank, this was my favourite dish. I liked this even more so than the angel hair pasta. First off, the fish was fresh, meat – firm and the duo of sauces combined so well – it could have made any non-fish lover, a convert – I tell you. I wanted to ask Chef what the sauces were, but when he came around to check on our table, we were went about chatting other topics, and I had cleanly forgotten about it.
Gunther’s panna cotta was the dessert of the day. I liked the generous amount of vanilla beans that went into the dessert. What I didn’t quite take to, was the texture of the dessert. It was a tad too soft for my liking.
When Chef came around, I took the opportunity to ask him about it, to which he politely replied, that it was his intention to put in as little gelatin as possible, in order to allow his patrons enjoy the flavours of the dessert, rather than having something that is firmer. I glady accepted his explanation.
Petit Fours – Canelle, Financier, Almond cookie, Valrhona Chocolate
I left the restaurant satisfied. Before I left, I took a look at the dinner menu and I can assure you that I am most definitely paying a visit to Gunther’s very very soon.
That said, the best French Fine Dining Restaurant that I’ve had the pleasure to dine at in Singapore, is up till this point of time, Saint Pierre.
Gunther’s Modern French Cuisine
36 Purvis Street
Tel: (65) 6338 8955