Monday, April 28, 2014


UNA @ One Rochester

UNA is a new bar and restaurant in the Rochester area. Completely revamped from its previous look, it now boasts a look which has an elegant cosy dining ambiance with its lush gardens and classic d├ęcor across two dining levels in the black and white bungalow. This complements the authentic and rich flavours of Spanish, Italian and French home-styled cuisines –a concept that UNA has affectionately called ‘South of Latitude 30˚’(SOL30˚). Although we know that it would be a tapas menu, the serving sizes were quite decent and larger than most other tapas offerings.

UNA is the culmination of Chef Jean-Philippe Patruno. He had 12 years of experience with 3 Michelin Star Chef Nico Landenis and was also the head chef of Quo Vadis.

First on the tasting was the Iberico Ham with warm bread. It was a generous portion and had a good mix of fats and meat. Having them with the bread and olive oil gives the entire tasting palate a good balance.

On of the 2 starters we had was the Scottish Scallops a la Plancha, Veal Cheeks, Iberico Ham Crisps was well complemented with the sauces. The scallops were perfectly seared leaving the inside soft and tender. The veal meat was also well braised and juicy. Those who like Surf and Turf dishes, this would be a nice difference from the usual.

The Slow cooked Octopus is highly recommended. Grilled to perfection, it is good just to eat on its own. Pairing it with the sweet tomato fondue will almost make ur eyes open wider with delight. A highly recommended dish.

Next was the mains. The fennel jam and the butter sauce made the john dory dish a complete one. Do have a taste of the green in the sauce. It is an from a drink in Spain which gives the dish a very authentic flavour too. The fish meat was so fresh and so well cooked that each part falls off with the push of the knife. The prawn croquette was also refreshing from the usual potato and bacon ones. All in all, the dish was good, but one may find it a tad too pricey.

The Arroz Negro with Crispy Fried Baby Squid is also another highly recommended dish. Paella lovers would love this Valencian dish made with squid and rice. Both squid and rice were equally chewy and the squid ink is so dark you wont know it till you get a surprise when you chew on a piece of squid, differentiated from its nicely marinated taste. Not a first date dish recommendation, but definitely a must try dish.

The last mains was the slow cooked Iberico Pork Belly and Smoked Chorizo Mash. We didn’t think that Pork belly could be very much different. However, the chef made the difference with his sauces. The other interesting part of the dish was the Pork fats. Not some gooey white fat that you would see but somewhat like a cloud of crisp. Do ask the chef or the server to explain how this was achieved and you would be pleasantly surprised. We will leave this part of the experience for you to be amazed.

In between the mains and desserts was a pleasant Blood Orange puree in a shooter glass. This cleansed the savoury palate in anticipation of the desserts. Strong, citrusy, no qualms it was made intentionally to please.

The churros we felt was slightly overdone, you might want to ask it to be little less fried. This dish has to be eaten fast. The Honey Ice Cream melts fast with the heat on the plate. Mix the ice cream with the chocolate sauce using the Churros and you will have a nice end to the meal. Strong tasting dessert, not for the light dessert eaters.

The other dessert we tried was extraordinary. Salted rosemary chocolate ‘soil’ with bitter chocolate ice cream and olive oil made this Catalunian dessert impressive. The mix of bitter, sweet and salty will make the diner going for more. It will be a struggle to eat more of the bitter chocolate or the rosemary soil. By the time you have decided which is nicer, both of you would have finished the dessert.

The food of UNA is not going to be enough to round off your dining experience. You must try their innovative cocktails.

Una Tomate (lower of the 2 drinks in the picture above) has a hint of resemblence to that of Bloody Mary in naming. It comes in a real punch of spiciness when you taste it. Very savoury, very flavourful. Recommended for those who like very tasty alcohol, not for the traditional drinkers.

Champs de Fraise (in a tall glass in the picture above), pretty much a ladies drink. fruity and sparkling from the Strawberry infused Cognac.

Top award goes to the Summer in Florence. Dont be fooled by its name, Summer in Florence comes with a real kick. Combining 3 pure alcohols Gin, Vermouth and Becherovka (A Czech alcohol as shown below) stirred with a large ice cube, you may be asking for more. There might be a limit imposed on those who start to show signs of excessive intoxication, and you might not even know you are asking for more!

An overall good experience. A must try in the Rochester area. Do come well prepared to spend.

UNA is located at One Rochester and open daily from 6pm to 11pm. 

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