It had been quite a few years since we’d ventured down to Purvis Street, a couple of blocks from the famed Raffles Hotel, for an evening at Gunther’s. On our first visit, we were blown away by Belgian chef Gunther Hubrechsen’s take on classic, elegant food. Simply, it was all about the world’s finest ingredients, put together to make very tasty plates.

Greedy Girl can still remember several of the dishes from that night – a hokkaido scallop served on the shell with fresh sliced truffle, Alaskan king crab claws with a pernod sauce, a mushroom ragout and an amazing thin apple tart. It was all hoovered up with gusto. We decided to book again on our next trip to Singapore.

And that’s where the love affair almost ended. On what must have been an off night, the restaurant was hot, the food unremarkable and the service downright perfunctory. We ate, we drank, we left and remarked that Gunther’s was a restaurant that could now be fully ticked off the list.

But never say never. Again, Gunther’s continues to rate solidly in the list of Asia’s 50 best restaurants and the chef himself has an extremely loyal following. Greedy Girl persuaded gluttonous husband we should give it another go.

It wasn’t without a little trepidation that we walked into the very dark and moodily-lit dining room. Offered a warm welcome, we opted to choose some of the lighter dishes, having spent over a week in Singapore on this trip absolutely gorging ourselves.

We effectively ordered two starters each (including the restaurant’s signature dish, pictured above) and, for the first time this trip, indulged in glasses of red. A pinot noir Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Cuvee Alexis’ from Burgundy for Greedy Girl and a Chateauneuf-du-Pape Clos Saint Jean for gluttonous husband. Greedy Girl thoroughly enjoyed her glass until she tried the Clos Saint Jean. Red nectar.

But back to the food. As is the restaurant’s custom, it presents the day’s specials on a tray, describing the various dishes on offer. Greedy Girl, although sorely tempted by the blue lobster, opted for the carabinero gambas (Spanish prawns) as well as a Waygu beef carpaccio. Gluttonous husband opted for two standard menu dishes, Scottish smoked salmon and the aforementioned Angel Hair pasta. Also on offer was an incredibly fragrant white truffle from Alba, presented to us under a glass dome. Greedy Girl enquired as to whether she could add some slices to her carpaccio. Without doubt, our delightful waiter responded, although the minimum serving was five grams – at S$15 per gram. Greedy Girl couldn’t quite get her head around adding $75 (and of course, being in Singapore there’s the ‘++’) to one plate of food, given the previous day at Au Jardin Les Amis the entire menu cost that amount. She demurred.

Gunther's Singapore

The daily specials

So, out came the first courses. Gluttonous husband’s smoked salmon was served with chives, lemon, a small salad and onion tempura. The light orangey pink of the salmon was very appetising. It had been cut thinly in one large slice by a chef who obviously knew how to wield an exceedingly sharp knife. The salmon was perfect – not too strong, although gluttonous husband commented he thought it didn’t need the onion tempura.

Gunther's Singapore

Golden smoked salmon

Greedy Girl’s Wagyu beef carpaccio was done ‘tartare’ style. A traditional steak tartare sees the meat combined with spices, gherkins and topped with an egg. This version had the first two in a delightful mix over the top of the beef. It was served on top of a very thin potato crisp and a lovely slurp of jus. It was again, delightful, but Greedy Girl preferred to eat the potato crisp separately.

Gunther’s Singapore

Beef carpaccio tartare

On to ‘mains’. Gluttonous husband had before him the cold Angel Hair pasta with oscietra caviar (pictured at the top of this blog). This amazingly simple and tasty dish was finished with truffle oil and, despite being a ‘starter’ size was incredibly filling and utterly delicious. Greedy Girl was very happy to share her dish so that she could take on half of this. There’s a reason chefs have a signature dish and Greedy Girl is happy to report this is a plate of food worth getting on a plane for. Worthy of an OMG.

Greedy Girl had her carabinero gambas, butterflied and barbecued, served with tomato rice. An exceedingly attractive-looking dish, it was also delicious – although the flavours did tend to pale alongside the pasta. Greedy Girl was well pleased with it.

Gunther's Singapore

Carabinero gambas

We opted to share a dessert. The restaurant offers a number of different souffles each night. Tempted for a nanosecond by the Grand Marnier flavour, Greedy Girl opted for chocolate.

Gunther's Singapore

Mmmm, soufflé

This stunning dark chocolate beauty (with a few chunks thrown on top for good measure) was served with a quenelle of ice-cream and a cup of a light custard. Both the latter elements were served on separate plates. Greedy Girl immediately dispatched the ice-cream across the table to gluttonous husband which led to much mirth from a passing waiter who exclaimed aloud that it was not a fair trade – Greedy Girl chowing down on the souffle while proclaiming ‘Let them eat ice-cream’ in her most imperious of Marie Antoinette impressions. She did relent – the souffle is a rather large size and shared it.

Gunther's Singapore

Petits fours

It was almost time to go – after a petits fours plate. From left to right (above) we had a delicious crusty Canele de Bordeaux, macarons, a peanutty toffee and two squares of divine dark Valrhona chocolate. Yum. In a sugar haze we asked for the bill and prepared to depart.

This was an excellent experience with some dishes you won’t find anywhere else. The love affair is back on.


36 Purvis Street, Singapore

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