Believe it or not, Gourmet Plus has been around for nearly a decade now. I’m ashamed to only find out about this establishment that serves European fare now. Regardless, I’m happy that this gem is hidden but found now.
Situated amidst the Frankel Estate, it is no wonder I did not have those moments where you happen to chance upon a restaurant. As a Westie, Frankel Estate is a total stranger to me, and well, way too atas for me. The facade of the eatery is deceiving. It’s slightly run-down, not flamboyant, nor eye-catching. But once inside, you’ll find that it possesses a homely atmosphere, probably also because it’s a matrimonial asset of Suhardi Huang and Carin Tay.
Skewer of Marinated Olive, Chili, Antxoas & Baby Onion ($10++) :: Here’s how you should eat it. Take a small sip of the Classic Gazpacho Soup before popping the entire skewer in. Antxoas is a kind of anchovy. With the skewer removed into my mouth, it burst with dominantly saltiness, sourness and spiciness. Very much a successful palate-opening appetizer. The dish comes in three.
Boiled Octopus with Potato and Fish Roe ($16++) :: Easily my favorite dish of the night. The slices of octopus were consistent in thickness and bite. While it was easy to cut through, the bite and chewiness remained. Simple and perfectly executed. A must order.
Haloumi & Green Olive Salad ($18++) :: My palate ignored everything else but the grilled haloumi cheese. The savory ingredient added much flavors to the otherwise mundane salad. Olive, rocket, frisse, Japanese cucumber, pine nuts, red onion and light mustard dressing make up the salad. I like the presence of red onion as well, having the occasional spiciness was delightful.
Squid-ink Coated Calamari ($16++) :: It is just about the fugliest dish amongst most restaurants in Singapore, and the people behind it agree. However, taste it before you start judging, I like that it was well-done in its exterior crispiness, while retaining its soft core. It alone was fine, but a lot better when eaten with the homemade garlic aioli. The condiment complemented impeccably.
Spanish Ham & Rocket Pizza ($28++) :: ‘Coca’ is Spanish for Pizza. The pizza crust and dough fell short in my opinion. It was nothing to yell for, and a little too dry and flavorless in itself for me. However, the Jamón Ibérico, a premium Spanish ham, can never go too far wrong. It pulled the pizza back a little.
Corn-fed Chicken ($30++) :: Roasted with shiitake mushroom, roasted potato and essence of chicken demi, this healthy corn-fed chicken was well-flavored. I was pleasantly surprised, as not many people can pull off a tender whole chicken with all parts of the meat still keeping its marination. My favorite amongst the 4 main courses I’ve had.
Spanish-style Spicy Oxtail Stew ($28++) :: The oxtail stew was extensively soft, making me felt as if the oxtail was part of the soft toasted bread. Save for that, it wasn’t especially memorable a course. European spiciness, as you should know, is nothing compared to that of Asian’s, so.
Crispy Wagyu Beef Cheek ($35++) :: I held high expectations for this course, with the promise of melt-in-your-mouth beef cheek. Though it sure was pretty soft, it was quite a let down because somehow, it was sticky. The mashed potato, on the other hand, was delectable. Mixed with parmesan cheese, the Chef made the french potato the authentic French way by not mashing it too much so as to retain the bite and presence of ingredients. Served with red wine shallot gravy.
Bermuda Triangle of Chocolate ($15++) :: Chocolate lava cake, white chocolate panna cotta and nutella parfait makes up this bermuda triangle. It’s easily one of my favorite dishes for the night as well. The chocolate lava cake did not fail, and is an #instavideo material. Rich and thick. White chocolate panna cotta was surprisingly good. It has the ice-cream texture and taste, although we know it isn’t ice cream, we insisted it was. Very addictive and not too sweet. And come on, who doesn’t love some nutella. The parfait is of smooth, tau huay texture with hints of nutella.
Nutty Chocolate Peppermint Ravioli ($14++) :: Never seen before dessert, I thought it has an acquired taste, really. I did not quite grasp it though. Parts of it taste like muah chee with the coated sugar bread crumb, and then there were coconut which was fine, but not really the peppermint for me. I’ve never been a peppermint fan. This can be too heavy for an after-meal.
Except for the Squid-ink coated calamari, Spanish pizza and Oxtail stew, the rest are new items on the menu.
I am wildly impressed by their appetizers and desserts, but more averages and misses for their mains. Nevertheless, I still like the modesty and unpretentious-ness of the veteran space. Next time I’m there, I’ll have a go at their Iberico Pork Loin, coupled with the appetizers and desserts I know have shot a bull’s eye.
Special gratitude to Calvin and the OpenRice team, and Suhardi, Carin and the Gourmet Plus team for the hospitality and hosting the invited tasting session.
Address: 117 Frankel Avenue
Telephone: 6441 1120
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 11.30pm (Mon – Fri); 9am – 10.30pm (Sat – Sun)