In the past few months, I was lucky enough to check out some of the best restaurants in Singapore, especially those along Purvis Street. But work commitments and sheer laziness ensured that I merely ate and wrote nothing and I now hang my head in shame (because I have on a break for more than a week). As the year draws to a close, I shall recount my experiences at these places, all of which I hope I would have the chance to dine at again in the near future.
Light and simple. That’s how the food at Gunther’s is.
If I had to cast my vote on the best restaurant that I have ever been to, it would definitely go to Gunther’s, part of the Garibaldi Group. Helmed by the former Les Amis chef Gunther Hubrechsen, the modern French eatery along Purvis Street is dimly lit amid the low murmurs of conversations. Yes, this is not a restaurant where Mr Beng Businessman can shout into his mobile phone. The setting is quiet and intimate enough while the service staff were helpful, polite and friendly. It seemed rather tiny on first sight, until we walked past an enclave where more tables were hidden away.
This was a working lunch so no pictures but believe me when I say that the food was fabulous. We started off our lunch with bread sticks paired with oh-so-delectable butter that was elegantly and lightly salted. J couldn’t get enough of the butter and frankly, neither could I.
We chose not to order from the set lunch (which, at $38, is a great deal) since it was a free lunch for all of us (courtesy of J’s entertainment expenses). As it was a grey and drizzly day, we opted for the onion soup served in a bread pot for starters. For mains, I had the grilled bamboo clams while J and K selected the cod.
The onion soup was a perfect choice for the weather. The crusty pastry broke delicately and the soup was musky with a touch of saltiness that made all of us feel warm and toasty inside.
As for the mains, J and K couldn’t stop gushing about their cod main – which looked deceptively tiny but left them at the right level of fullness. As for my clams, any worries I had about filling my stomach were assuaged. The clams were sweet and complemented the mushrooms and tangy tomatoes perfectly.
For desserts, we decided to share the apple tart and molten chocolate cake. Instead of a chunk of apple tart topped with vanilla ice-cream as we had all been expecting, out came a thin sliver of pastry that tasted of sweet apple and aromatic cinnamon.
The lunch ended with petit fours – which was a nice touch except for the canele (none of us liked it very much). Another personal touch was seeing the chef out of his kitchen and going from table to table to speak with the patrons. When I told him that my meal was really perfect, thank you very much, he smiled and gave me a little wink. Sweet.
Don’t ask me how much we had spent in all but I reckon J’s company is at least $250 poorer after feeding the three of us (and that’s without any wine or liquor). If I had the chance to go back to Gunther’s, I would definitely try the six-course $128 tasting menu. Oh, and the $38 set lunch is apparently available on weekends too. Go try it now!
After the meal, I gave J a hug and told him it was a lucky thing for us that he had changed his mind and chose Gunther’s instead of Wild Rocket.
36 Purvis Street, #01-03