Gunthers is a very well hidden restaurant – tucked into unadorned traditional shophouses along Purvis street, it’s a 6 to 8 minute walk away from the nearest train station. These shophouses traces its history back to the British colonial days, but once past its black tinted glass doors, you’re greeted with simple furnishing in a high ceiling setting. Some natural light streams through the pleated curtains, and flamboyant paintings on the wall gave a touch of cheer and energy into the space. Riedel black tie decanters line the other side of the room. It’s an environment I did not expect before entering the restaurant.
Chef Gunther greeted me shortly and offered me a special menu – if I would tell him my budget. Gunther is from Belgium. I found out he worked under Chef Alain Passard – the Three Michelin-starred chef of L’Arpege – for five years in Paris and moved to Singapore to start his own label. Coincindentally, I met Chef Alain passard at L’Arpege in Paris two weeks ago before my Singapore trip. Alain’s a very talented chef and I would assume the standards required of his students would be very high.
Gunther, just like his mentor Alain, has many hats to wear being both the owner and chef of the restaurant. One thing that truly surprised me at Gunther’s was the excellence in service. It’s very rare to come across such a professional catering team in Asia. Not even big hotels nor three-starred restaurants could come close to my experience at Gunther’s, and the food was tantalizing. Though I’m yet to visit other renowned fine dining restaurants in Singapore, this could very well be one of the top tables that is worth recommending in Asia.
The ingredients are mostly imported from around the world. I liked his idea of presenting fresh raw ingredients to his guests before serving them on the table. Their seasonal carpaccio artichoke paired with fleshy cepe mushroom and Alaskan Crab served in Coquille pasta were two of my favourite dishes out of the 7-course lunch. I loved how he put the intensely flavoured cepe mushroom with the Carpaccio artichoke, highlighted with a semi-cooked egg yolk and parma ham, finishing it with a touch of balsamic vinegar. A hint of spice was used to bring out flavours in the sauce used for the Alaskan crab pasta.
Prices are very reasonable. Although a degustation menu would set you back S$128, a lunch menu costs only S$38. A great deal for fining dining in Singapore. My 7-course special menu was a twist of the degustation menu with seasonal ingredients, also priced at S$128.
Address: 36 Purvis Street Singapore 188613
Tel: +65 6338 8955
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday Noon – 2:30pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pm
Visited on: 13 September, 2012