Rochester Drive near Buona Vista is an area I have yet to venture thorough enough.
There are many hidden dining gems to be discovered, located within black and white colonial bungalows surrounded by lush greenery to have a possible out-of-country experience.
Gary’s is a culinary destination for those who enjoy contemporary Italian dining and that bit of romance, occupying a gorgeous whitewashed two-storey heritage bungalow.
Despite the grand entrance, elegant interior, and fine dining finesses, prices are considered surprisingly wallet-friendly.
No second guesses at what’s the name of the chef.
Multi-award-winning Chef Gary Wu’s helms the kitchen.
The Taiwan-born Singaporean chef has a culinary career spanning over 30 years, and he cooked for prime ministers, cabinet ministers, international celebrities, and the Royal Family of Brunei.
Having a penchant for modern Italian fine cooking, Chef Gary was previously the Senior Sous Chef at Buona Terra – the 1-Michelin starred Italian restaurant in Singapore.
The restaurant impresses diners first with its serene and naturally luxuriant environment with both indoor and alfresco fine dining, making it a favourite for romantic escapades and special occasions.
Come weekday lunch time, and you can enjoy a three-course set lunch at Gary’s which starts from just $38++.
The menu consisting of Italian recipes with modern touch, Japanese elements and seasonal produce, takes centre stage. Here’s more at what you can discover at Gary’s:
Red Prawn Tartare ($26)
The Red Prawn Tartare uses every possible element to elevate its complexity.
The kitchen team uses a combination of finely diced Botan Ebi (known for sweet flavours) and Italian specialty Gambero Rosso prawns (intense with sweet, smoky notes) making the tartare a flavour-packed yet refreshing start.
The Tartare get a burst of umami from the ikura, with the lemon dressing and citrus fruits adding some tanginess.
Iconic Gary’s Garden Salad ($26)
If you find the appearance of this salad looking strangely familiar, that is because Gary’s signature salad takes inspiration from Singapore’s skyline, in particular MBS.
Accordingly, Chef Gary was inspired to create this dish during his quarantine days.
What arrives on the table is a culinary garden. Substituting Singapore’s constructions are seasonal vegetables, baby corn, asparagus, mushrooms, and heirloom carrots.
A bed of smooth mashed potatoes replicates the ground, whereas charcoal powder and breadcrumbs give the salad that earthy texture and taste.
Seasons often define a city’s character, and the Iconic Gary’s Garden Salad is no different. A scattering of Olive Oil Caviar and truffle shavings (black or white depending on availability) act as ‘flowers’ that livens up the dish with a nutty taste and aroma.
Signature Seafood Pasta ($28)
At the centre of this Mediterranean-style Seafood pasta is a house-made lobster and prawn stock, simmered for over two hours.
Flambéed with brandy, the sauce envelopes the homemade Tagliolini, covering the pasta with its bright red colour and rich flavours.
Fresh clams, mussels, baby cuttlefish, and lobster give the dish that much-loved oceanic meatiness. Chef first sautés and then flambés the seafood before adding it to the pasta. The process helps extract the innate sweetness of the seafood.
Order this if you are a fan of robust-tasting seafood pastas.
Scottish Bamboo Clam ($36)
A special 10-12-inch juicy saltwater clams known for their sleek shape and sweet meat to construct this Scottish Bamboo Clam Pasta.
The preparation of the clams includes flambéing them with white wine and adding lemon dressing and coriander as garnish.
Elevating the dish further is Italian imported squid-ink pasta, tossed in a rustic garlicky sauce that brings the many tastes of land and sea together.
The Bottarga powder is an exciting addition and the final touch. Its prominent salty and lightly fishy temperament allows the palate to enjoy the seafood flavour for a little longer. One of my favourite dishes of this meal.
Iberico Pork Jowl ($38)
For this Iberico Pork Jowl, the meat is marinated in a blend of herbs and garlic for over 24 hours.
As the redolent fresh flavours seep in, the meat is then grilled till a delicious brown searing of its skin.
Balancing the heartiness of the jowl are a bright red carrot purée, and crumbled pistachios.
Loved that the jowl wasn’t particularly fatty, and was tender with a light crisp on the outside.
Grass-fed Tenderloin ($42)
Chargrilled to an inviting deep brown shade, the succulent steak – the Australian tenderloin, grass-fed for 150-days, comes with classic accompaniments.
A potato cake, roasted mushrooms, and endives leave a hint of bitterness that works in tandem with the punch of the onion purée and Pommery mustard.
Of course, no meat dish is complete without a serving of sauce – a rich veal stock reduced with red wine.
Theatrics with oodles of fun, Gary’s Dessert Platter is a decadent indulgence of sweet treats.
Wait, there is even a sparkler candle accompanying the desserts for that celebration, be it a birthday, anniversary, promotion, or even a wedding proposal.
Served on a large glass plate, this trio of sweetness comprises a classic Tiramisu, Gary’s Chocolate Lava Cake, and Gary’s Apple Tart (or you can order the desserts ala carte).
The Tiramisu ($16 for ala carte order) is Italian to the core with savoiardi, Kahlua coffee liqueur, and mascarpone seduces with its smooth and crunchy texture.
For more alcohol, fill the Tiramisu with an “injection” filled with Glenfiddich 18-Year-Old whisky or Baileys to your liking.
The restaurant’s Chocolate Lava Cake ($16 for ala carte order) uses slightly bitter 70% dark chocolate and pairing it with vanilla ice cream.
Enjoy the cake’s hot oozing centre which contrasts the ice cream’s cold.
Completing the trio is the Apple Tart featuring luscious apple slices inside a flaky buttery crust, served with an additional scoop of ice cream.
DFD X Gary’s Exclusive Promo, Till End Aug 2022
Receive a complimentary Tiramisu or Pistachio Parfait by flashing this article and quoting “DFD” when ordering.
– Valid from 22 July 2022 – 31 August 2022.
– Limited to 01 redemption per table per visit.
– Reservations recommended at https://www.garys.sg/reservation/ (quote “DFD” in “Special Requests” column)
– While stocks last; desserts subject to change depending on availability.
41 Rochester Drive Singapore 138582
Tel: +65 8920 0200
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm (Tues – Sun) Last orders 2:15pm and 10:15pm, Closed Mon
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Gary’s.