Bruges has produced some of Belgium’s best chefs: Geert van Hecke, Gert de Mangeleer, and Dominique Persoone all come from this Belgian city. One name that rarely gets the attention he deserves is Gunther Hubrechsen. His restaurant in Singapore however, is one of the best in town.
The reason why few associate Gunther’s name with Belgium is probably due to the fact that he built most of his career in Singapore. After having spent several years at L’Arpege in Paris, he became the head chef of Les Amis. After his time there, he decided to move on and create his own restaurant. Named Gunther’s French Cuisine, it is one of the more classical fine dining restaurants in town.
Gunther’s cuisine is a fairly simple affair. At the beginning of each meal, the products are shown to the guest. This gives you an idea of what will come your way. The beautiful beef, cepes, carabineros and other produce are at the heart of Gunther’s cuisine. The dishes served here very much focus on a main ingredient, a sauce and a garnish. This means that this is not only a great place for people who appreciate produce and/or wines, as it doesn’t get much more product-focused or minimalist than that in Singapore (with the exception of Waku Ghin).
Among the signature dishes that never leave the menu is cold angel hair pasta with caviar and truffle. Having served this dish already during his time at Les Amis, Gunther has tweaked it a little over the years. Whilst Les Amis serves a similar version of the dish, Gunther’s is cleaner and less rich. The former also incorporates king crab and has more caviar, whilst the latter is really just focused on the pasta and caviar. As it is served chilled and is relatively light, it opens the menu beautifully.
Equally simple are cepes with an intense chicken jus. Raw and pan-fried, these mushrooms are full of flavour and bring that beautiful, earthy goodness to the table. Under the cepes, a thin crisp is placed, which absorbs the cooking juices and adds a bit of crunch. Such simple, and technically well-done food, really speaks to gourmands.
On the more substantial and richer side of things is beef tenderloin with a vast chunk of bone marrow, corn and red wine jus. This dish features an intense and complex jus, sweet, grilled corn and the richness of the bone marrow. Whilst the corn is not really needed in the dish, the other elements are in perfect harmony. The beef’s firm, yet tender texture shows the quality of the meat and the cooking, resulting one of the most convincing beef dishes in Singapore.
The service at Gunther’s is on par with the food. Creating a comfortable atmosphere, the contrast with Andre for instance could not be greater. Here, the team adapts to your needs and does so in a natural way.
Gunther’s can be accused of not cooking very inventive food. At the same time, however, that would be misplaced criticism, as the cooking here is centred on products and never claims to be innovative. Combine this with the friendly, warm service and you can imagine why this is a pretty popular restaurant in Singapore.