The Place I checked out an exciting new space in Buona Vista recently, which is Les Bouchons at Rochester Commons (‘Les Bouchons Rochester’). Located in Rochester Park at the junction of Rochester Park and Vista Exchange Green, right opposite Star Vista, the restaurant is housed in a beautiful two-storey bungalow, a rare setting in Singapore’s context. The first thing I noticed is the pétanque court at the restaurant’s backyard, and I also learnt that this is created for guests to indulge in the French boules sport.
From the entrance, there is a beautiful al fresco dining sections which is lovely in the evening when the weather is cooler. The interior of level one is mainly deuces in hues of red, and I spotted French-style posters and artefacts within the space, including the stairway to level two.
The level two space has its walls decorated with as many as 2000 wine bottles reminiscent of a wine cellar, where there is also an outdoor sheltered corridor seating.
The Food While I associate steak frites with the Les Bouchons brand (having been to the Robertson Quay outlet previously), the menu at the Rochester outlet offers more variety.
I started with some of the dishes exclusive to Les Bouchons Rochester – French Ceps Soup with Truffle Oil (S$16), a really rich and flavourful soup from beef stock and white wine in addition to mushrooms and truffle oil. I like it, though it might be too cloying for some due to the rich and buttery flavour.
The Terrine de Foie-gras “Maison” – Foie-gras Terrine served with Onion Chutney and Toast (S$26) is another enjoyable starter to share as the foie gras portion is generous along with four slices of toast.
I am glad I also had the French Heirloom Beetroot Salad (S$17), a refreshing starter to help balance my palate after the rich soup and foie gras dishes. You get crunchy bits of beetroot here.
For mains, there is a good range of beef cuts to choose from and I have my eyes on the Grilled Sirloin Wagyu – Japanese Hokkaido Black Wagyu MB +6/7 (S$78). Some diners might find Japanese Wagyu overly rich, but I do enjoy a well-marbled Wagyu beef.
This sirloin done medium-rare is succulent and fatty, which I enjoyed. It is served with sauces like béarnaise and mustard sauces, along with some salt.
The meats orders also come with complimentary Mixed Salad and free-flow of Homemade French Fries. The fries are addictive and I love the freshness of the homemade fries!
Other than steak, the Rochester outlet is also trying to showcase options other than beef such as seafood, where I tried the Catch of the Day 800g-1kg featuring the Atlantic Seabass from Canary Islands (S$88). This selection will change according to the season’s best.
The seabass is huge and the portion is good to share for 3-4 persons. Lovely texture of the fish here, which spots a fresh flavour.
Desserts wise, the Chef’s Crème Brûlée (S$13) would not go very wrong though I am personally not a big fan of this dessert. Instead, I very much enjoyed the homemade Double Chocolate Lava Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream (S$15). Perfect lava cake with a nice lava ooze which is not too sweet, and that vanilla ice cream is a lovely balance to the chocolate.
Wine lovers will also like the list of approximately 100 labels here which include old and new world, rare and vintage selections, with 80% from France. Highlights include a selection of ready-to-drink Bordeaux Grand Crus Classés such as Margaux 1982, Saint-Julien 1990, Saint-Émilion 2000, an organic rosé from Chêne Bleu ($78), and the Couvent des Jacobins Le Menut des Jacobins Saint Émilion 2013 at a launch price of S$108 (U.P. S$138), among others.
Rants The kitchen and team are quite overwhelmed over the weekend, and it took awhile for the food to be served. That said, I could see that the service team tried hard in their service and granted it was a full house that day. If you are driving, there are very limited parking lots within the restaurant’s compound
Will I Return Again? Les Bouchons Rochester is lovely. The spacious setting in a colonial-style bungalow is charming, and most importantly, the food is good. From the starters to the mains and the desserts, the standard is consistently good. This is a restaurant worth a trip to the west.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Make your reservations instantly at Les Bouchons Rochester here.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Les Bouchons Rochester
10 Rochester Park
Tel: +65 6904 8972 / +65 8860 8769 (WhatsApp)
Tuesday to Sunday (Closed on Monday)
10am to 11.45am (coming soon)
Tuesday to Friday: 12pm to 2pm
Saturday and Sunday: 12pm to 3pm
2pm to 5pm (coming soon)
Tuesday to Thursday: 6pm to 10 pm (Last order: 9.30pm)
Friday and Saturday: 6pm to 10.30pm (Last order: 10pm)
Sunday: 5pm to 9pm (Last order: 8.30pm)
Ranted by The Ranter