Stressful as the urban jungle is, it is not without its treats. And this treat comes in the form of One Rochester, the latest buzz word in town. The whispers that you hear of this enclave do it not justice. For once you’re at One Rochester, you will feel comfortably home.

Setting up base in the first black-and-white bungalow in Rochester Park , this gastro-bar presents itself in a decadently lush natural setting. With water fixtures littered around plush and self-designed sofa-chairs, the landscaped garden, complete with trellises, is reminiscent of the perfect resort get-away. Within the bungalow itself, there are options of the living room, the dark cosy corners of the play room that leaves much to wonder of what goes on behind those curtains, and a library on the second floor that makes reading seemed so glamorous. Almost picturesque in its presentation, the graciousness of this chic bungalow comes through with the very mellow music that resonates throughout the area. Lighting is also kept dim, allowing most of its guests to throw their cares to the wind. Keeping in mind its al-fresco set-up, there is anti-mosquito system set around the premises to minimise every distraction. This is comfort living beckoning, without having to clean up the mess after.

Drinks selection there is greatly international, with a bar that stocks over 260 different types of wines, exported beer, sakes and cocktails. The numerous martini concoctions (such as kiwi, apricot and peach amongst others) are almost-lethal, with the bar staff not skimming off on any of the ingredients, and punctuated with cubes of fruits to accompany. This ingenious plan brings out the fruity flavour more robustly, while the alcohol kicks in and soothes your mind. Just like the drinks, the food offered there, are quantifiable to a gastronomic delight. Putting an Asian twist to everything, the options of the Rochester platter and the oysters with kalamansi crystals are far cries from your normal fat-laden finger foods. Never mind the fact that they are more of a bar than a restaurant, their fusion-inspired feasts are enough to turn your quiet night with drinks into a dinner affair.

Of course, as great as the place can be, service still counts. It’s natural to associate the regal with qualities of pride and snobbery. However, this haunt welcomes everyone without discrimination. Be it the students from nearby universities , the moguls rolling around in the Bentleys, or the glamorous exec, the well-informed and attentive staff are all set to make your night out feel more like a night in. Their courteous and pleasant disposition makes up for your occasional ‘attention-grabbing’ antics. And in case you’re wondering, there is no dress code for this party you will want to gate-crash. Be warned, it can get pretty wild on weekends. And you might want to come early to avoid disappointment, as they have no qualms about denying entry once they start to reach full capacity. Here, it never gets too crowded, since nobody likes it when it gets too close-for-comfort.

In summation, One Rochester is not as intimidating as it’s made out to be. It may have the cool and calm Sean Connery appeal, but it really is just a very well-dressed Justin Timberlake. You go there wanting to be seen, but once you’re all relaxed, you will realise it really is all about the scene and the ambience.

Written by:
Aslinda Khanafi