This is my first visit to Rochester Park, while out of the way, has been famed for its quality F&B outlets amidst the charming greenery. I arrived at B@Rochester, a contemporary Japanese restaurant set in an old-style bungalow with a huge bar serving sakes, shochu, and special cocktails.
I spotted an old university mate there, who could be one of the owners as I hear B@Rochester is started by a group of young entrepreneurs. As to why “B”, the restaurant wants you to ‘Be’ there, and it does fit in suitably with its numeric address of 8.
On one side is the cocktail bar with a sashimi counter, while Executive Chef Joseph could be right there creating a gastronomic delight. The ambience is quite stunning really, which balances being Japanese themed while modern, dimly-lit and suitable for a romantic dinner with the one you love.
There are many female fans who are at B@Rochester for its cocktails who dares to be experimental. You can have a Frosty Edamame, Calpis Fizz, Black Tea Martini ($12 – $22) and Unusual Mixology – a combination of kiwi liqueur, lime, pineapple, dragonfruit and premium tequila. While it looks deceivingly ‘weak’, the very fruity mixture can be alcholically potent.
The experimental streak of Chef appears in most of the dinners – unusual combinations which work for me (I do think some may view the dishes as ‘unorthodox’.) For starters, I had a Momotaro Japanese Tomato Salad ($14) served on a bed of mesclun lettuce with a touch of anchovies, balsamic vinaigrette and mayonnaise. The Japanese elements comes from the infusion of shoyu and mirin, adding that slight nuance which makes the salad both refreshing and appetizing.
Another light dish is the Bonito broth with seafood and shimeiji mushroom ($12). I liked that the soup reeked of seafood flavours yet not being overpowering, while being warm and satisfying.
I must say though, that there are some dishes that I would remember for a long long time because of their unbelievable taste – and this would be their Signature Scampi Somen ($28). While you may be wondering how this simple noodle dish would warrant its price tag, its huge fresh prawns would already impress. But it’s the smooth thin slippery stewed Japanese rice noodles that slides down your throat in bursting flavours that demonstrates simplicity can have its beauty.
B@Rochester Restaurant & Bar
8 Rochester Park, Singapore, Tel: +65 6778 1788
Opening Hours: Mon–Sat: 12pm–2.30pm, 6pm–11pm; Mon–Thu:[Bar]: 6pm–1am; Fri–Sat & PH Eve:[Bar]: 6pm–2am (Closed on Sun)