My first encounter with Argentinean cuisine was quite sometime back at Salta, and the main impression was of the heartily portioned slabs and slabs of barbequed meat. But Argentinean food isn't just about that, as seen in Bochinche, an Argentinean restaurant opened since August last year. Located above the popular coffee joint Common Man Coffee Roasters at Martin Road, Bochinche's focus is on showcasing more on the diverse produce of Argentina and presenting a refined twist on traditional ingredients and cooking methods. Diners get to enjoy food that are mostly served tapas-style in small plates, perfect for sharing and fully enjoying the bouquet of variety it has to offer.
Bochinche could very well be another successful F&B venture together with House, Tippling Club, Open Door Policy, and Tiong Bahru Bakery, all of which are owned by Cynthia Chua of the Spa Esprit Group. This time, the eagle-eyed entrepreneur teams up with Diego Jacquet, a young and talented Argentine chef also owns Casa Malevo and Zoilo, two highly-raved restaurants in London.
What we can expect are quality dishes specially crafted by Chef Diego, as he brings us the best of flavors from his homeland, while basking in the spacious, sophisticated environment that Bochinche has to offer.
How would local palates take to the novelty of modern Argentinean cuisine?
I was at Bochinche for a tasting of their newly launched Weekday Set Lunch menu to get an inkling. Differing from the dinner concept of small plates for sharing, lunch is presented in individual portions with a selection of either a 2-course ($28++) or 3-course ($35++) meal.
With a menu of starters, mains and desserts that changes weekly, nothing gets boring and excitement is likely to remain even for returning customers.
We started off with the suspiciously sandwich-looking Pork Terrine with celeriac, mustard & apple chutney, followed by Cod Brandade with sweet potato chips & capers. Both were light and not too bad in taste, but the mains were the ones which wowed me.
The Mushroom Risotto with crispy cauliflower & truffle oil was bursting of lovely earthly notes in every mouthful. With grains that were perfectly cooked al dente and being adequately creamy yet not heavily so, it was easy to finish the whole plate without the dreaded surfeit feel. If only my pictures can better capture its addictive deliciousness!
The Pappardelle with ossobuco ragout & walnuts was equally yummy. Braised to tenderness and intensely flavored, the richness of the beef ragout matched brilliantly with the broad strands of pasta.
When we were told that Bochinche's Mango Panna Cotta is "the best panna cotta ever", expectations naturally ran high. Wobbly soft, smooth and paired with chocolate granita by the side, it is indeed one of the better ones I had.
But if I were to choose between the two desserts, the Baked Raspberry Tart would be my choice. Served warm with a drizzle of dulce de leche crème fraiche, it was thoroughly enjoyable. Wonderful end to a worthy meal which was satisfactory in portions, and yet did not leave me in a food coma.
Lunch should always be like this.
Thanks to Bochinche for the hospitality.
Address: 22 Martin Road, #02-02, Singapore 239058
Contact: +65 62354990
Dinner: Tue-Sun 5.30pm-10.30pm (last order 10pm, Bar closes at 12mn Tue-Thu & Sun / 1am Fri & Sat)
Lunch: Tue-Fri 12pm-3pm (last order 2.15pm)
Brunch: Sat & Sun 11am-3.30pm (last order 3pm)