(2016 update: Bochinche has moved to 115 Amoy Street) Other than Maradona, Messi and Evita, most of us do not know much about Argentina, let alone Argentinian food. So when we decided to have lunch at Bochinche, we really did not know what to expect. According to their website, “Bochinche celebrates that great passion for food and the social custom of gathering to dine, at the same time dispelling the notion that Argentinean cuisine is only about meat.”
Upon entering the restaurant, you face two parallel rows of counter-seating where you can either watch the chef or the bartender work their magic. Walking further inside, there are some small tables, a private room and an outdoor area. With lots of dark furniture and marble topped tables, the decor was serious and masculine. We were greeted by friendly waiters who sat us at one of the small tables. Apparently the place is quiet during lunch but livens up in the evenings. On the day we were there, there were only a handful of other patrons besides us.
Hoping to gain a better knowledge about Argentinian cuisine, we ordered two items from the menu and a three course set lunch of creamy pea soup with grilled scallops, grilled chicken with spicy humita and creme caramel ($35).
The unusual pairing of thick pea soup and delicately grilled scallops resulted in a surprisingly pleasing combination of flavours. Most importantly, the scallops were really fresh and their taste was not drowned out by the creamy soup. The grilled chicken was served with a spicy ‘humita’ sauce. It was more spicy than expected at a ‘Western’ restaurant but was well within out local tastes, much like a mild laksa level of spiciness. The caramel desert was presented very beautifully and tasted as good as it looks, enuff said.
We ordered a couple of their small items of braised beef and chicken at $16 for two. When they arrived they look like curry puffs which tasted quite nice but at $8 each, were a bit pricey.
The grilled octopus dish reminded us of Greece. It was tender and well cooked and at $23 is highly recommended.
It was an interesting meal. The set lunch is definitely a bargain, considering the quality of the ingredients and cooking, plus you get the whole place to yourself. Did we gain a better understanding of what constitutes Argentinian cuisine? Well if we tried defining it based on our experience that day it seemed like a cuisine that has Mediterranean and French influence with an unusual combination of ingredients.
(2015 Update): Bochinche has undergone some changes. Read about the brighter, more informal Bochinche here.
22 Martin Road #02-01
Tel : +65 6235 4990
Food : 4
Service : 4
Value : 3
Atmosphere : 4
Average price per person for lunch – $35.
Tue – Thu: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, 5:30 pm – 12:00 am
Fri: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, 5:30 pm – 1:00 am
Sat: 11:00 am – 1:00 am
Sun: 11:00 am – 12:00 am