“South of Latitude 30°”
An Exciting Culinary Concept
Earlier this year the One Rochester Group enticed celebrated
Chef Jean-Philippe Patruno to join them in rebranding and redesigning their flagship restaurant, One Rochester. After six months’ hard work, the result is the recently opened UNA, an elegant split level pan-Mediterranean fine dining restaurant and tapas bar.
The ubiquitous Chef Patruno has once again created an attractive dining venue, this time based on a wide range of Mediterranean styles, heavily influenced by his own multi-heritage and culinary experience. With an Italian father and Spanish mother, he spent his formative years in the south of France before heading to London for 22 years.
“I grew up in Marseille where the food was honest and prepared with the freshest ingredients possible,” says Chef Patruno, “and my family prepared meals with a freedom that did not confine us to any specific cuisine that dictated what we could eat.”
Jean-Philippe boasts an enviable resume, including 12 years at the three Michelin-starred Chez Nico in London, followed by the magnificent Fino, Barrafino and Quo Vardis, before, in 2012, opening the BOMBA Paella Bar in Singapore. He is also widely accredited as being a major player in changing the tapas culture in London – exit the traditional English bar snack, enter the fresh, authentic and magnificently constructed Mediterranean small bites. This was surely a pivotal moment in the development of London’s modern dining culture.
It’s that variety of culinary influences that he proudly presents at UNA, bringing together the rich, authentic and different flavours of Spanish, Italian and French home-styled cuisines and, uniquely in Singapore, all under one roof. This is not a fusion restaurant; it’s the real McCoy and a concept Chef Patruno calls “South of Latitude 30°”.
To Dine For
Located in a chic colonial property, UNA offers al fresco and covered dining plus a chilled out tapas bar. The restaurant is not big, but it is spacious and has room for over 150 guests spread between two levels. Downstairs, set astride the tropical lush gardens and with a classic but simple décor is the elegant and mildly formal UNA Dining.
The downstairs menu features delicious dishes that explore the different national characteristics. A range of home-style soups, appetisers and salads, plus a range of mains and a rich selection of regional desserts are available in both large and small portions.
Starters such as the Scallop Ceviche with sweet fried onions, avocado and lime are typical. This stylish take on a classic meal results in a most attractive dish with sliced apple and radish adding an interesting layer of complexity to the succulent marinated scallops. The liberally applied fried shallots add both taste and texture and complete what is a delicious, light and refreshing opening gambit.
From the choice of mains, the tender braised Ox Cheeks served with an almost silk-like portion of smoked mash and persillade snails is rich and full of flavour. There are fish and vegetarian dishes, plus a delicious Baby Artichoke Risotto. What about a delicious desert? Choosing from the cheekily named Happy Endings Menu, the creamy Rice Pudding with caramelised pineapple is divine.
Going up one level leads to the UNA Tapas Bar with its casual and relaxed atmosphere. It features a full bar boasting a good range of classic and signature cocktails, plus of course wines and spirits to complement the fabulous tapas menu.
The menu, bearing in mind the chef’s history, is unsurprisingly good. From the simple Olives, Saffron and Olive Oil to the Cold Meat Platter – taste and presentation are wonderfully creative.
So, just a short walk from the Buona Vista MRT, this totally revamped restaurant has been transformed into something that is quickly becoming something quite special with a blend of relaxed and formal dining in a wonderful setting. The UNA fine dining and tapas experience is aiming to make its mark in this most lucrative but tough market, so with all the ingredients now in place, it’s going to be an exciting ride for Chef Jean-Philippe Patruno and his team.