Sunday, March 22, 2015

boCHINche - Classy and Elegant Argentinian Fare

As you walk in boCHINche, you are instantly greeted with a sense of class and elegance. There is a grocer near the entrance to entice you with some of the imported produce from the land of Maradona.

There is a cool looking, wood finished look to the place. A bar counter suggests that it is not all posh and watering hole seekers will feel equally at home here.

The chef is Argentinian but was based in the UK for a substantial amount of time. It already has a brunch menu that is buzzing on the social media food circuit.

I have come here for their lunch offerings which features a somewhat different menu. It is best if you come in a group, and the tapas-like offerings will suit a larger group of diners. Almost everything here is put together with care and with very little pretentious air about it. The food is straightforward, but everything is well executed and considered.

Cured Meats Selection

From the cold selections, the cured meats are a must if you come here. In particular, the iberico pork shoulders were a particular highlight and I imagined these are as good as it gets in Singapore.

Paired with in-house pickles, the savoury richness of the proteins had a perfect counter balance with the immaculately well done pickles. Pretty to look at, perfectly sliced and finished off with some well chosen focaccia bread, it is the ideal starter.

Crab On Toast

Another excellent appetiser is this colourful row of crab on toasts. Using humita, which is an Argentinian sweet corn, the flavours of the crab were wonderfully seasoned and it incorporated two different types of crabmeat for that extra depth of flavours. Nothing fancy, but simply delicious in every bite.

Free Range Chicken

Moving on to the mains, my pick of the selections was this rather humble looking free range chicken dish. The chicken was sous vide in beer and garnished with smoked garlic and lightly perfumed with the classic chicken pairing of rosemary.

There was nothing groundbreaking, just a perfect understanding and execution of classic flavour profiles that just left my palate dancing with a gastronomic joy.

Chips Provencal

I hate frozen shoestring fries. It is everywhere, even in "posh" establishments these days. Everyone seems to take the easy way out. So, it was both a relief and pleasure to see the kitchen here taking the time to hand peel and hand cut their potatoes for their own fries/chips.

And I hate truffle fries equally so. Thankfully, common sense prevails here and they use garlic oil instead to infuse their well cooked chops. Every bite had a delightful smoky aroma of garlic, infused nicely into the starchy and crispy textures of the chunky fries. Yes, I can eat these on their own, and it goes well with aforementioned chicken.

Creme Brûlée, Banana Split Ice Cream

I was not expecting much from the desserts, and I was proven so wrong on this point. All the four desserts we had hit the mark, and then some. If I had to pick one, the creme brûlée would be the standout.

Banana split ice cream and a perfect creme brûlée, what more is needed? Nothing actually. The torched sugar bits were crispy and glassy and broke to a nice crackling sound with the tip of the spoon. The rich, luscious ice cream complementing the custard like long last buddies and everything felt new and familiar at the same time.

A Spectacular Menu

I only picked my top 5 dishes, but truthfully, everything on the menu just sings with a culinary operatic high. Yet, food is kept to a modest level in terms of plating and construction. Nothing too high brow and every dish only had just the right amount of components to get the job done.

In a lot of ways, boCHINche gets the philosophy that less is more. If only more eateries can learn from this, gastronomy in Singapore will benefit immensely. In terms of affordability, you kind of expect to pay the norm for a gastrobar in this area and I am not complaining.

For others, the simplicity may put you off and that will be your fatal mistake. Good food does not need to be instragrammable, it just needs to be filtered to its essence and presented with clarity. And of course, it needs to taste delicious and make sense without an overabundance of ideas and confusion.

For me, boCHINche ticks all the right boxes in my cuisine form.

22 Martin Road

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