Sunday, January 29, 2012

Singapore - Gunther's Modern French Cuisine

It has withstood the test of time and the financial tsunami, it appears.  Still packing in a healthy crowd on a Thursday night (albeit it is Chinese New Year week), there's something to be said about resilience.  It fell off my radar screen despite a  decent introduction, but only because it's been hard to keep up with Singapore openings, especially since I don't live here anymore.

Since it had been a while, I decided on the Degustation menu, as did the rest of the party.

Since SP brought his own wine, which wasn't bad at all, we just had that all night.  *smiles.  Forget wine pairing.

Amuse Bouche
A warm mini baguette and shrimp tempura to keep us occupied over wine and convo while the menu was set into motion in the kitchen.  Bread and shrimp weren't too amusing so thank goodness for alcohol.

Cold Angel Hair Pasta, Oscietra Caviar
Still Gunther's best and signature dish of all time.  Easily the best of the evening.  Too bad it was a degustation portion only.  So good thing for bread, to help mop the stray caviar which didn't cling to the well chilled and very al dente angel hair.  Stock and truffle bits were very complementary also.

Poached egg, carpaccio of celeriac, Spanish ham
Egg was perfect, and broke into a runny golden hue.  Spanish ham a little too thin to make any impact.  So I didn't really get the use of the celeriac, which seemed to overwhelm, even the great egg.  Perfectly executed dish, but again, perhaps I would have substituted the celeriac, and re-ratio-ed the ham against the celeriac.  But maybe it's just me..

Roasted Carabinero Gambas, Tomato Rice
While not a huge fan of shrimp, I enjoyed this course a lot.  The essence of this imported shrimp from Spain was reduced to an umami-filled stock contained in the shell.  Some of this was used to cook the short grained rice resulting in a slightly sweet, slightly tart, but robustly shrimpy sauce which covered but did not soak each grain.  Flesh of the shrimp was bouncy but not tough and had a sweet finish.  Very good.

US Tenderloin, mash croquette, artichoke, onion tempura
This was probably the most unexciting for me.  The cut was a good one, but I personally enjoy something a lot more "beefy" and most tenderloins fail to deliver on that count.  Accompaniments were competent, but not much more.  So perhaps my least favorite course of the evening.

Plateau of French farm cheeses
Since B brought her own birthday cake, I chose the cheese plate over Gunther's signature apple tart with Havana rum ice cream.  From the foreground of a soft and creamy Brie Savarin to a hard Cheddar taste-alike, and a slightly spicy but creamy cheese, they were all enjoyable.  The only one I couldn't stomach was the Goat at the end.  Not my thang.

Petit Fours
Gunther's petit fours are a happy ending to the tale.  Loved his Canele the most, so well made with a firm crust exterior, and a moist and spongy interior.  Perhaps next time, I will pack the untouched ones.

My overall take:  professional service even if the younger server was a little hard-sell with the champagne and wines.  But otherwise, very pleasant and adequately attentive.  Food was perhaps a 7 (out of 10), not a wow, but decent cozy place to have a small intimate party with close ones, or a business meal with clients.  Acoustics are not bad but can be a tad above the range if it gets busy.

36 Purvis Street
Singapore 188613
Tel: +852-63388955

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