[SG] boCHINche | brand new interior and menu living up to its philosophyMonday, March 23, 2015
After our last visit at boCHINche, it has now revamped the entire setting of the restaurant, from sleek and modern touches previously to a loosened up casual, fun and approachable surroundings with a unique grocer market and a brand new menu at a more relaxed price point. What caught my eyes were interesting words like "Don't Cry for Meat Argentina", "Like a Virgin Olive Oil" printed on cotton calico fabric sleeved on wooden chairs and sofa seats. The rustic interior gave a welcoming and homely feel which would accommodate family crowds and groups of friends, allowing them to gather and share their passion for food comfortably.
Guests are welcomed by the gourmet market once they enter the restaurant. With a goal for boCHINche's customers to be able to enjoy Argentine products and flavours in their own home everyday, the new gourmet market, carefully curated by Chef Diego, features nearly 100 specialty products and 80 types of wine.
Products available are not limited to grass-fed Argentinean beef in various cuts such as fillets, ribeye, sirloin, and burgers as well as house-made chorizo alongside 15 types of charcuterie including Italian salumi and Spanish hams. Pantry basics include a variety of olive oils, vinegars, condiments and spices. There are also boCHINche’s signature Provoleta cheese and French cheeses available. Sweets on offer are the addictive dulce de leche, alfajores, organic jam and honey.
Photo Credit: boCHINche
Cold BarCrab on toast, humita, pickled turnips & chopped coriander | S$19/++
An unassuming dish that featured two types of crab meat 'white and brown', I liked the sharp contrast between the creamy texture on top and the crispness derived from the toast. It was well complemented by the humita which is a specialty from Argentina made of masa harina and corn.
Sea bream ceviche, tiger's milk and sweet potato | S$15/++
Ceviche is a popular seafood dish in South America that marinate fresh raw fish in lemon or lime juice and spiced with chilli. Don't be mistaken that tiger's milk (from the menu) was added to the dish, as it's the South American name for the flavourful and sour liquid extract from the ingredients (i.e. the liquid at the bottom of this bowl). The flavour of whole dish was refreshing and well-balanced, the sweet potato crisps were added to give a crunch to the delicate sea bream.
Salami rustico & finocchiona* | S$11/++
Iberico lomo & chorizo* | S$15/++ (Middle) | Iberico shoulder, 30 months* | S$19/++ (Front)
The meats were cured to the right level of salinity, served with the sour house pickles and fresh fluffy focaccia bread, certainly a starter to stimulate one's appetite.
*As mentioned above, 15 types of cured meat are sold at the boCHINche grocer and all their cured meats are 50g.
From Our GrillGreen asparagus, baked Brie and grated granola | S$19/++
A vegetarian option with sliced asparagus, brie and homemade granola, it's one of the best sellers since the launch of new menu. It packed a good combination of soft, crunchy textures together with a balance of sweet and salty flavours.
Bife de chorizo Sirloin Steak 300g | S$49/++
Good quality of ingredients were used to showcase their robust grill skill set. Sirloin steak was one of the highlights here as the high quality grass-fed beef was exclusively imported from the plains of Argentina. Grass-fed beef is widely acknowledged to be more healthy and flavourful and it was beautifully grilled to my liking with Cornish sea salt, the pinkish, succulent and beefy meat which left me yearning for more. It was flavoursome enough to have it on its own without the accompanied sauce. This cut is also available at boCHINche grocer!
Lemon sole with tarragon & lemon butter | S$39/++
A fan of creamy dishes, it was no wonder that this dish appealed to my palate. The fresh ocean catch was grilled to perfection, but it may come a bit salty for some, perhaps the sea salt was not removed completely after grilled. Loved the tangy, refreshing made-in-house sauce which carried a hint of herby aroma and the robust flavours paired flawlessly with the beautiful crisp layer of skin.
1⁄2 Free range chicken, rosemary and smoked garlic | S$29/++
The free range chicken was cooked sous-vide style in a beer marinade for 30 minutes and finished on the grill. I always love the sous-vide style of cooking as it can retain the flesh's moisture. However, this one was a tad overcooked, it could be the reason that the chicken had stayed too long on the grill or should have taken lesser time in water bath so that it has sufficient time to be grilled to caramelisation. Nonetheless, I liked how the dish was presented with the diced condiments to pair with.
SidesChips “Provenzal” | S$10/++
Hard to believe a fried dish requires 8 hours of preparation - hand peeled and cut indeed demands much longer time than those processed ones. Of course, the quality of fries justified the amount of time spent, this award-winning crisp chips were burst with fresh potato and herbs fragrance.
Creamed spinach | S$9/++
Below the baked cream was the mellow spinach, it's a simple side to go along with mains.
Tomato and chopped basil salad | S$10/++
Another vegetarian option to choose from, a honest salad packed with onions, chopped basil and cherry tomatoes, as well as sliced large tomatoes as big as a hand!
DessertCrème caramel, "dulce de leche" & chocolate crumble | S$13/++
I was amazed by all the desserts tried that I could simply drop by just to have them! I loved its strong eggy flavour and silky smooth yet firm texture. It was also not overly sweet when enjoyed with the dulce de leche spread.
Milk cake, passion fruit sorbet & toasted almonds | S$14/++
Compared to the same dessert we had at last tasting, the milk cake was seemingly larger in size and passion fruit sorbet relatively became smaller. It is quite a smart move to overcome our last verdict that the sorbet was too overwhelming and dominated rather than complemented the milk cake. With this rendition, you could taste more of the moist, sweet milk cake and a smaller portion of robust, acidic passion fruit sorbet.
“Dulce de leche” crème brûlée & banana split ice-cream | S$17/++
Tried this for the second time and it was still as heavenly good! Caramelised, hard crust on top to crack open to the soft, rich custard underneath, and complete with a scoop of ice cream that consists of all the banana split ingredients.
Chocolate pudding, salted caramel, berries & brioche croutons | S$16/++
As a chocolate lover, I have to give this glass of goodness a round of applause! Chocolate mousse topped with layers of salted caramel, berries and brioche croutons, can't say no to the rich and creamy chocolate, and the acidity of berries and crunchy croutons were set to help clean our palate.
After the makeover of its setting and menu, I'm glad that the concept and philosophy of boCHINche remain status quo. It's to bring together the authentic Argentine bold flavours with quality products to Singaporeans, at the same time dispelling the notion that Argentinian cuisine is only about meat. With their exceptional customer service and quality food served, boCHINche will only attract more and more of its frequent diners to their restaurants.
22 Martin Road, #02-01
Tel: (+65) 6235 4990
P.S. All photos were taken with D4S, with thanks to Nikon Singapore!
P.P.S. Special thanks to Tessa for the invitation and boCHINche for having us!