I’ve always wanted to try Gunther’s. Like seriously. For two years, I tried to come here for my birthday (since it is quite a pricey restaurant, I felt that a special occasion was needed to justify the visit) but things just never worked out. By circumstance, M brought me here for lunch just last week and I finally got to cross this off my list of restaurants to try.
From the many posts that I had read, Gunther’s specialty seems to be in seafood and its most popular dish (as gathered from the numerous instagram posts I saw) is the truffle angel hair pasta with caviar.
As we were there for lunch, it made sense to try their daily lunch menu ($38++) just to get a sense of what the restaurant’s offerings were like. The daily lunch menu did not include the popular truffle angel hair pasta, but I reasoned that if that dish was already a ‘certified hit’, perhaps it would be prudent to see if the restaurant was proficient in other dishes as well, or were they just limited to that very dish? After all, if a restaurant is good and you want to keep coming back, it’s always good to know that variety is available.
The restaurant seems to be very popular among expats and businessmen. Other than us, there was only one other table with Singaporeans. As expected from a fine dining restaurant, service is impeccable – all the waiters were very polite and attentive.
As expected, we had a serving of bread before our meal was served. Perhaps, it was due to my eating adventures at Joël Robuchon Tokyo or even in Hamburg at Se7en Oceans, I actually expected to have a bit more variety of bread, or even different types of butter. Even during my visit to Bread Street Kitchen at MBS, there was more than one type of bread for us to pick from
Regardless, it is a small point, though something I made mental note of when comparing other ‘similar fine dining experiences’. For our entrée, I chose the braised portobello mushroom which was served with sunny side up egg and a small slice of ham. The ingredients were really simple but I thought that it made a nice pairing. The mushroom was full of flavour and I really liked the accompanying sauce that came with it.
Interestingly, the waiters had mixed our entrées up such that I nearly got served the vegetable soup and not my chosen mushroom entrée. I had to indicate to them that the soup was not for me and they rearranged the utensils on the spot. Fine dining faux pas?
M had the clear vegetable soup which gained no points for presentation, but it was not lacking in flavour.
For our main or plat principal, M had Gunther’s creation of the day, which was a seafood pasta. Probably the better main out of the two that we had. However, M commented that she found the dish a little on the oily side.
It had been written on the menu that it was a braised lamb stew, but upon placing my order, I was only then informed that the lamb stew was now a beef stew. Thought it was rather strange that they did not tell me this at the beginning when they were informing me about Gunther’s creation or dessert of the day. Regardless, I went with it. Unfortunately, this was quite a disappointment for me. The meat was tender, no doubt, but I found it to be rather bland and I really wasn’t given enough mustard or jus to dip/coat the beef with. As a result, I ended up not finishing the beef, despite wanting very much to.
For dessert, both of us went with the fine apple tart with havana rum and raisin ice cream (this was an additional $8++). Despite the disappointing main, this was the saving grace of the meal. I’m not usually a desserts person, but I really enjoyed the apple tart, which was perfectly contrasted and paired well with the rum and raisin ice cream. One could really taste the bitterness of the rum which provided a nice contrast to the sweet apple.
We ended with some petit four and tea. A nice way to end the meal.
It’s interesting that I wasn’t as ‘wowed’ as I had expected myself to be. Was it because I did not go for the degustation menu or I had set my expectations too high? Hard to say. Unfortunately, I also can’t say that I’m inclined to come back and try the degustation menu the next time since my lunch experience was not that memorable. Most likely, the next time I step in here will be another special occasion, but definitely not mine.
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