After almost half a year of face-lift procedures, Roast @ One Rochester, now known as UNA, reopens its doors to the public earlier this year in mid-April, presenting a restaurant and bar concept offering cuisines from Spain, Italy and France (individually, not fusion).
UNA Dining sits on the ground floor of the One Rochester space, refurbished to an elegant and cosy dining ambience with the signature surrounding lush gardens. Alternatively, an indoor-dining area is available too – a dimmer, quieter and calmer environment. Here at UNA Dining, a full menu is offered to diners, with appetisers, salads, soups, main courses, desserts – the full works.
Moving up to the upper deck of the bungalow, the UNA Tapas Bar. Housed on this level are some seats, both high and low, suitable for tapas-style small dishes, and wind down with some wines, premium spirits, and some artisanal cocktails specially crafted for this venue, in collaboration with Proof & Co., the winner of World Gourmet Summit’s Bar of the Year. You always have the option of having your dinner proper downstairs, before adjourning up to this tapas bar, one that is even more a locality away from the hustle and bustle than its level one counterpart.
Jamón Ibérico ($48++) :: This Spanish / Portuguese cured iberian ham is one of my favourite tapas possible. The ham is from pigs that are only grain-fed, and then later painstakingly cured for 24 months, which explains its vivid flavour. If you are a fan of such cured ham, you will love this. If you haven’t tried it, don’t wait no longer.
Scallop Ceviche ($19++) :: Marinated scallop, lime, avocado puree and crispy onions – there is nothing not to love about that raw, slightly tangy touch to counterpoise, and the smooth and crisp texture in one mouthful. Objectively, I thought the dish was composed beautifully. But I realised that ceviche (marinated raw seafood) of scallop isn’t necessarily my thing, and thus perceived as pricey for me.
Slow-cooked Octopus ($21++) :: I was skeptical when I first saw it on the menu, as it states that it comes with sweet tomato fondue. Tomato, not for me. Sweet, on the octopus? Not for me either. But I was grateful that it turned out to be a pleasant misrepresentation. Though the octopus isn’t the kind that I’d prefer – very smoky and chewy, this slow-cooked one was still great in its own way; good retention of the octopus taste and smell. You are also free to smear however much of that sweet tomato you want. I love the smoked paprika dusted on the sea creature.
Fillet of John Dory ($45++) :: Though the Mediterranean John Dory cooked with white butter was firm and thus, has a good bite to it, I did not think that it was worth the hefty price tag. Further, my personal preference is one that is more melt-in-your-mouth than firm and tough. The dish comes with a side of prawn croquette.
Wet Squid Ink Paella ($28++) :: This course is certainly not the most photogenic. There is no doubt that the squid ink was rich and thick, I thought though, that it was overly so, causing it to be very heavy on the palate. It got cloying really quickly, almost after three or so mouthful of it. Good flavour but unfortunately hard for me to finish. The accompanying crispy baby squid helped in the situation but wasn’t sufficient. The batter was light, thankfully, and squid still moist. Just not something I would order for myself; for sharing, maybe.
I also had its Slow-cooked Iberico Pork Belly ($32++) which I thought was excellent. For the price, it was worth the firm yet tender Spanish pork belly with smoked chorizo mash. It is quite a sizable portion too – good value, good taste. A main I would order again.
My dining partner and I had a couple of desserts for a sweet ending. First up was the all so interesting Pedro Ximénez Panna Cotta, Popcorn ($14++). While I like the smooth texture and sweet flavour of the panna cotta, and of course, the interesting addition of the popcorn bits, I don’t see myself ordering this again due to ‘lao hong‘ popcorn bits. I thought it lowered the enjoyment of an entire mouth of the dessert.
We then had two chocolatey desserts. First the Bitter Chocolate, Olive Oil, Salted Rosemary Soil ($16++). I was blown away by the seemingly messy and overdone concoction of the bowl of bitter chocolate. Texture was spot on with well balanced smoothness and crunchiness, and I realised that the saltiness from the salted rosemary soil goes so much better with bitter rather than sweet chocolate. An awesome treat; a must order. The Churros with Chocolate & Honey Ice Cream ($16++) wasn’t too bad either. It’s just that I’d rather my churros pair with sweeter chocolate sauce. Churros itself was thick and on the airy side; fine for me.
After the revamp, though the ambience has changed, it isn’t necessarily for the better or the worse. It still looked as romantic as before, just more modern, brighter and more modern than before. Food, some hits, some misses. Just be sure to place the right order and you’ll be fine.
What’s worth paying for:
Slow-cooked Ibérico Pork Belly.
Bitter Chocolate, Olive Oil, Salted Rosemary Soil.
Address: 1 Rochester Park
Telephone: 6773 0070 / email@example.com (takes reservations)
Opening Hours: 6pm – 1am (Mon – Sat, with the dinner menu ending at 11pm)
This was a media session.