Rochester Park has a new addition to the collection of fine, escapist restaurants which are set in a world of their own. This time, b @ rochester, a contemporary restaurant and alfresco bar featuring clean cut modern Japanese cuisine with elements of Western and Chinese touches in it is set to attract guests looking for a comfortable personal restaurant to wind down the day in cool lush comfort.
Elegant, clean contemporary setting with a semblance of warmth and peacefulness
Set in an exquisite bungalow and surrounded by peaceful greenery, b @ rochester offers a laidback setting with a mix of nostalgia, and a certain element of elegance the moment one steps in.
b @ rochester’s head chef is Executive Chef Joseph Chee. His culinary career began at a tender age of 16 at the popular Ikoi restaurant in Hotel Miramar. Since then, he has moved on to a Goodwood Park Hotel, Meritus Mandarin Hotel and the Majestic Restaurant in New Majestic Hotel. To further hone his culinary skills, he even went to Japan to study under the Japanese chef masters themselves.
The dinner started off with a simple serving of Momotaro ‘Japanese tomato’ salad. Fresh Japanese tomato infused with shoyu and mirin, served on mesclun lettuce, anchovies, bacon, and a dressing of balsamic vinaigrette and mayonnaise. Pretty much clean tasting with a good combination of flavour balanced between the sweet and sour. The cut of tomato is nicely chilled for that refreshing burst in juices.
The range of cocktails for the night was created by Dominic who is heading for Poland to take part in the World Cocktail Championship, representing Singapore. First up, there is the Unusual Mixology featuring premium tequila, kiwi liqueur, lime, pineapple and dragonfruit. Fruity freshness at its best, the balance of sweetness and alcohol is done just about right for me, making this a perfect starter.
The second course of Bonito Broth with Seafood and Shimeji Mushroom is probably one of the sweetest clear soups I’ve had in a while. Made with homemade dashi of kombu (seaweed) and katsuobushi (smoked skipjack tuna), the broth comes with chunks of scallops and fresh crisp prawns. Squeeze in the portion of calamansi for a tinge of acidity, though once that’s done, it really hints a bit like a pale tasting tom yum. Still preferred the intense sweet variant.
Then the main course came. Entree in b @ rochester is a trio combination of saikyuo miso codfish, baked diver scallop with fish roe and mozzarella cheese and French duck breast au just accompanied with Chinese snow pear.
The portion of Saikyo Miso Codfish was a beautiful combination of slightly sweet and intensely salty miso paste which tickles the tongue and opens the flavours of the oily smooth codfish even better. Its marriage of ingredients in wonderful semblance is impressive, and one of the best tasting memorable miso codfish yet for me.
The indulgence of Baked Diver Scallop with Fish Roe and Mozzarella cheese is almost like your typical aburied scallop, but one done right. I adored the cheese (no denying there) for its surprisingly light nutty flavour. Couple that with the salty sweet fish roe and the crunchy smooth sea rich scallop, what you get is a trio combination of flavours all at one go. Enjoy each cut slowly, or if you really want to, pop the whole thing in the mouth and savour the complex flavours.
The Duck Breast Au Just accompanied with Chinese Snow Pear was rather ordinary for me. I did like the tender duck meat with the package of natural flavours and juices seeped within, but that was about it. Nothing as impressive as the twin portions to served along.
The next cocktail inspired for the night – Black Tea Martini. Made with black tea, gin infusion, lime and rose syrup, this portion was strong, robustly flavoured and a kick to the senses.
Second main for the night was b @ rochester’s Signature Scampi Somen – Stewed Japanese rice noodles served with langoustine chives and seeped in a lobster rich broth.
Heavy savoury flavours brimming with clear sea richness, the somen was delicately flavoured. The scampi prawns carried itself well with its meat tasting like a gentle blend of creamy umaminess tugging at each other to let the sweetness develop.
Refreshingly, as an accompaniment to the Signature Scampi Somen, Dominic served up the Healthy Indulgence of earlgrey infusion, pear vodka, soursop, rockmelon and fibre jelly. Clear and light tasting, it was almost a dessert drink by itself because of the fibre jelly mixed within for a textural contrast.
Finally, as an end to the entire meal, the Umeshu sorbet was probably one of the most unique dessert creations I’ve seen. Homemade sorbet infused with the wonderful intoxicating Japanese plum liquor, topped with passionfruit puree, blueberries, pomegranate and pomelo, the entire dessert was brimming with youthful dispositions. Take note of the passionfruit puree whose vibrant colour and sweet tangy flavours lend a subtle touch to the umeshu sweet sorbet. And for this sorbet, it acted well like a palate cleanser as a finish to the night.
Private Dining Room at b @ rochester
The 2nd Floor Private Bar
For the night : Dominic, William, Chef Joseph, Johnson, Me, and Eunice
b @ rochester sets itself apart as one of the modern Japanese restaurants in Singapore with an excellent combination of a warm soothing ambience, interesting culinary creations and located amidst the lush greenery as an escape from the city and square offices. After a long day’s work, it seems like the perfect place to visit to indulge in some fine cocktail creations and perhaps even the fresh creations of the day from Chef Joseph’s kitchen. Though it is a restaurant, it will just be like an experience of going home.
Thank you b @ rochester and AsiaPRWerks for the invitation.
|b @ rochester
8 Rochester Park
Lunch except Sundays 12pm – 3pm (11 November onwards)
Dinner except Sundays 6pm – 11pm
Monday to Thursday 5pm – 1am
Friday, Saturday and eve of Public Holiday 5pm – 2am
Dress Code : Smart Casual