The Place Located in Rochester Park beside Les Bouchons, I checked out Gary’s restaurant, a relatively new contemporary Italian concept situated within the heritage bungalow. Gary’s is helmed by Chef Gary Wu who has cooked for the Royal Family of Brunei and has over 30 years of culinary experience under his belt. The two-storey restaurant has an alfresco dining ambience, where the best seats in my opinion are on the air-conditioned balcony space on level two which boasts ample natural light in the day.
The Food I started with the Red Prawn Tartare (S$26) which is made up of botan ebi, gambero rosso prawns, uni and caviar. Love the fresh flavours of the prawns here, and am always up for some luxurious and fresh uni as well.
The Iconic Gary’s Garden Salad (S$26) comes with seasonal vegetables, US asparagus, mashed potatoes and mushrooms. I am not that big on salad, so this dish is not a must try for me.
For pasta, I tried the Signature Seafood Pasta (S$28) which spots a delicious housemade seafood stock of lobster and prawns slow-cooked for over two hours with the homemade Tagliolini. You get generous portions of seafood such as mussels, clams, lobster and baby cuttlefish. The Tagliolini is quite al dente in texture and the seafood stock boasts a rich flavour profile.
The other pasta I had was the Scottish Bamboo Clam (S$36), where the squid ink pasta is tossed with garlic, chilli and bottarga powder. I definitely prefer the Signature Seafood Pasta over this, as this squid ink pasta came across as too bland for me.
For mains, there is the Iberico Pork Jowl (S$38) which is marinated for 24 hours with herbs and garlic, served with carrot purée and pistachio crush. The pork jowl is thinly sliced, and is relatively tender and flavourful.
Alternatively, there is also the Grass-fed Tenderloin (S$42) if you are a beef lover, where the 150 days grass-fed Australian beef is served with potato cake, roasted mushroom along with veal juice reduced with red wine. Expect a succulent and flavourful beef here.
For desserts, I had a Dessert Platter consisting of Nougat Parfait (S$14), Gary’s Chocolate Lava cake (S$16) and Gary’s Apple Tart (S$16). You can request your dessert to be served in this platter, which is especially suitable if you want to celebrate an occasion at the end of your meal.
My top pick is the chocolate lava cake which is intense and rich from the 70% dark chocolate with an oozy, molten core and topped with vanilla ice cream.
Rants The entrance of the restaurant with fairy’s lights come across as too tacky for me.
Will I Return Again? The colonial bungalow in Rochester Park is one of the main draws of dining in this area. This is considered a mid-range restaurant if you are looking for a more intimate dining option in Buona Vista, though there are some hits and misses for me in terms of the dishes.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
41 Rochester Drive
Tel: +65 8920 0200
Tuesday to Sunday: 11:30am to 3pm; 6pm to 11pm
Closed on Mondays
Ranted by The Ranter