Tag Archives: Japanese tomato

Gunther’s Modern French Cuisine

Cold angel hair pasta with oscietra caviar 

We all have favourite restaurants that we’d be happy to go to every week, and others that hold a special place in our hearts (and tastebuds and tummies).

Gunther’s on Purvis Street is one of them for me. And for one dish in particular, and that’s chef Gunther Hubrechsen’s signature dish of cold angel hair pasta with oscietra caviar. It’s a dish that I have not tasted in maybe two years, yet the very mention of it puts a smile on my face.

And so we ended up at Gunther’s Modern French Cuisine last Saturday. I always wonder how accurate my memory of food is and thankfully Gunther’s lived up to all my great expectations.

Japanese tomato with Iberico ham

We were shown the tray of specials for the evening, full of wonderful produce like fresh sea urchin, Maine lobster, French artichokes, wild mushrooms, Grade 9 wagyu beef and Japanese tomatoes.

I had had Japanese tomatoes before, and was blown away by the sweetness and intense flavour of it.  Here it was served (we ordered it as an appetiser) with thinly sliced Iberico ham and a balsamic reduction, and the intense saltiness of the ham seemed to bring out the sweetness of the tomato even more.  Divine pairing.

Then came the angel hair pasta. I don’t even know how to give this dish justice. From the moment it is served to you, the smell of truffles fills your nose. the pasta is served delicately chilled, tossed with chives and truffle jus and with a generous dollop of oscietra caviar on top. Perfectly seasoned, the flavour that hits your palate when you take that first bite is almost indescribable – I wish I had taken a photo of my friends’ faces instead. And I think the firm texture of the oscietra caviar, making them burst like flavour bombs in your mouth, just add the final touch to a truly magical dish.

Baked egg with Iberico ham and mushrooms

We also had what I consider to be posh ham and eggs and mushrooms, but served this way, I would be happy to eat them for breakfast every day !

Roast black pig with compote of apple and crispy potatoes

For mains I ordered black pig with compote of apple and crispy potatoes. It would be so difficult to make such a thin cut of pork not be too dry, yet Gunther nailed it and the meat was roasted to tender and succulent perfection.

Fine apple tart a la dragées with Havana rum raisin ice-cream

I finished the meal with the signature fine apple tart a la dragées with Havana rum raisin ice-cream. Certainly not what I expected, this tart came out literally wafer thin and of wafer texture, so you get a crispy mouthful of sweet apples and nuts. Lovely and light, especially after all that rich food we had consumed. I was excited about tasting the Havana rum raisin ice-cream but I found the flavour sadly lacking the punchy taste of the rum.

Gunther’s is not the sort of place you would go to every week, but this visit will keep me smiling for a few years or at least till the next time we visit.

Gunther’s Modern French Cuisine
36 Purvis Street #01-03
Tel: (65) 6338 8955

Open from Monday to Saturday
Closed on Sunday
Noon – 2.30pm
6:30pm -10:30pm

Kuriya Dining – Spring season kaiseki

Sushi course – toro, scallops with umi, mackerel and tamagoyaki

Ah…great Japanese food. Nothing beats it.

Except enjoying great Japanese food with a good friend.

My friend K and I spent many hours at the counter of Kuriya Dining last night. It being the first time we had been there, we were disappointed that the counter is positioned in front of the chefs, but much lower, so you cannot see the action that goes on behind the counter.

This mattered little on the night as we were distracted from the lack of a view, by the many dishes that we sampled from the Spring kaiseki menu – seasonal produce, served with such delicate flair that it is (as with most Japanese food) a feast for all the senses.

Always going to be ordered in future – Japanese tomato served with Japanese mayonnaise and salt

As I was running late, K had already started with a single Japanese tomato, served simply sliced with Japanese mayonnaise and salt to dip. My first Japanese tomato eaten like this, this experience was like eating musk melon for the first time – it’s almost as if the piece of tomato that you popped into your mouth simply could not contain that much flavour.  And the teeniest amount of salt seemed to enhance these flavours exponentially.  Again testimony to how good food needs to start with amazing produce.

Our appetiser

Our kaiseki started with bracken, Mozuko seaweed in a vinegared sauce, wagyu steak rolled in fresh beancurd skin, pickled cucumber and simmered octopus.  The bite-sized portions were all so delicious that it left you wanting more more more of everything on the plate – a total tease of what was to follow.

Second course was three types of sashimi, followed by grilled mackerel and broad beans, and alaskan crab in a spicy roe sauce.

Braised bamboo shoot, sakura ebi tempura, tofu and wakame sauce

Next up was freshwater shrimp tempura with braised bamboo shoot and tofu, over which was ladeled a rich wakame seaweed sauce. The balance and contrast in flavours and textures made it my clear favourite of the evening.

This was followed by assorted sushi: toro – tuna belly, scallops topped with one succulent tongue of umi – sea urchin roe, and mackerel.  Each one almost melted on your tongue with that wonderfully fresh taste of the sea.

We finished the evening with a creme brulee served with an assortment of fruit and creamy vanilla ice-cream.

By this stage we had only got through half of the enormous bottle of sake we had ordered.  Guess our eyes are much bigger than our drinking legs 🙂  so we promptly made another reservation to bring our other halves back to finish it, and sample more of the wonderful creations from Chef Tsuzuki.

Kuriya Dining
1 Kim Seng Promenade
#01-28 Great World City (Office Tower)
11.30am to 2.15pm (last order), 6.30pm to 10pm (last order)
Tel: 67360888