Tag Archives: Tapas

Bōruto | Japanese Tapas & Sake Bar

Three years ago, I blogged about one of my most memorable Robata experiences which was forged at Tamashii Robataya. Three years later, the same people behind the quaint Japanese establishment along North Canal Road have since opened a new dining concept a street away serving up Japanese-fusion tapas and sake.

The name Bōruto, which translates to “vault” in English, pays tribute to its former occupants of the space- which was formerly a bank. The gated safe that was once used to keep locked safety deposit boxes, now stores the restaurant’s most valuable sake bottles which can easily cost up to several thousands each.

Notwithstanding the hype surrounding all the alcohol that is served in this bar however, Bōruto does also serve up some fancy fare that has both looks and substance. While Spanish tapas has already made a name for itself here in Singapore, Japanese tapas on the hand, is a novel idea that has not quite been explored yet.

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Helmed by Head Chef Angus Chow, who has a fairly extensive culinary background in both Japanese and Spanish cuisine, we knew we were in good hands as we watched him deftly and skilfully plate each dish, from our front row seats at the bar counter.

Weekend Brunch @ Salt Tapas & Bar, Raffles City

An offshoot of the “Salt” brand by celebrated Australian Chef Luke Mangan, Salt Tapas & Bar located at level 1 of Raffles City Shopping Centre is all about Spanish modern tapas with an Aussie twist. Not too long ago, the restaurant also introduced a new weekend brunch menu featuring hearty brunch items, paired with a glass a Sangria and accompanied by groovy beats- guaranteed to give diners a laid-back and enjoyable weekend experience.

We started with an Egg Berentine with Bonito Flakes $14– essentially an amalgamation of two classic brunch essentials- the Benedict and Florentine. Only difference this time is that one does not need to choose between ham or wilted spinach. Every element of this dish is made in-house, even those toasty muffins that the beautifully poached eggs were resting atop of. Complete with a buttery and creamy hollandaise sauce which was seasoned with dashi broth for a savoury finish, this whole plate was quite hard to fault.

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For something different, order the Pork Belly Sliders $13 which were small in size but big on flavours. We were enthralled by the myriad of textures from the slow-cooked till tender bbq pulled pork and that sinfully-juicy slab of pork belly stacked and smothered with some mustard, finished with slices of cut red chilli for a fiery burst.

Esquina @ 16 Jiak Chuan Road

Esquina is no stranger to the Spanish scene in Singapore. Opening to much fanfare back in 2011, this tapas restaurant was the hottest place in town. It was after all, a collaboration between hotelier Lok Lik Peng (the man behind Ember, Cocotte, Majestic Restaurant, The Market Grill) and Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton (protege of Gordon Ramsay). Chef Atherton provided culinary direction for the restaurant while Executive Chef Andrew Walsh helmed the day-to-day operations.

Getting a good seat here was a treat, still is by the way 4 years on, with only less than twenty stools at the long bar counter, primed to catch the live action of Chef and his team. Yes, there were tables outdoors and upstairs but no visit to Esquina was complete without a front row seat of the kitchen commotion.

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Less than 4 months ago, Esquina welcomed a new Executive Chef- Carlos Montobbio, formerly from Fairmont Singapore’s Anti:dote Lounge. And of course, with new blood, comes a revamp of Esquina’s menu and Chef Carlos’ refreshing interpretation of Spanish tapas. Watching him manoeuvre slickly around the kitchen and handling the preparation and plating of each dish like a seasoned pro, we were definitely excited to get a taste of the new flavours that Chef Carlos had to offer.

Find out more about Executive Chef Carlos Montobbio in our interview HERE!

Catalunya Singapore

Dubbed the best Spanish restaurant in Singapore at the moment, Catalunya Singapore has been a strong force to be reckoned with in our fine-dining scene since the day it opened a year ago. Helmed by a stellar crew with both head chef Alain Devahive Tolosa and restaurant manager Pol Perelló having affiliations with elBulli and the restaurant itself run by the KU DÉ TA Group, it comes as no surprise that this contemporary restaurant has been the talk of the town and a media darling.

Encased in a glass dome floating on the waters of the Marina Bay, the intimate 120 seater charms with a stunning view of the Marina Bay, CBD area and all its glory which can be enjoyed from any seat in the restaurant because of its unique architecture. Both day and night brings an entirely different multi-sensory experience that is best paired with the gastronomical delights that Catalunya has to offer.

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The menu here is predominantly classic Spanish and Tapas- centric, though the larger plates of Traditional Suckling Pig Segovian Style, Roasted Veal Shank and Paella are made for sharing. Do note that the latter is only available for weekend lunch.

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The Bikini $20

Appearing seemingly ordinary, this ham and cheese sandwich was anything but and the first bite will explain why. The grainy mash of cured Iberico ham and melted cheese with a hint of truffle complimented by the coarse texture of the toasted bread teased the taste buds. And just like its name suggests, this sandwich offered the right balance of slinky and sophistication.

Food Safari @ Singapore Marriott Hotel

For the last 17 years, since the day they opened back in 1995, Singapore Marriott Hotel has earned quite many accolades and approval ratings for not only its very convenient location at the heart of Orchard Road, but also for its quality service and luxury accommodation for the many tourists who have walked through their doors.

This 5 star hotel has recently undergone an overhaul with a $35 million refurbishment and is now ready to present a much improved and renewed Marriott Hotel with its newly revamped guest rooms as well as more casual fine dining options.

At a recent media tasting, we were given a tour as well as a sampling of the 5 restaurants located within the hotel itself, after its multi-million dollar renovation and this gastronomic journey was hosted by none other than the very talented, accomplished and passionate Executive Chef Kevin Thomson of the Singapore Marriott Hotel.

JAVA+

Lobby level
7am-11pm daily
(65) 6831 4605

Newly launched and the latest addition to the Marriott Hotel dining scene, Java+ is a deli cum cafe cum bakery. This 3-in-1 novel concept allows easy takeaways of sandwiches, cakes and pastries. Of course, dining on site over a cuppa coffee is also a very viable option with its inviting open concept of natural lighting and comfortable chairs. In the evenings, one can also unwind after a long day over a glass of wine with the wide range of reds and whites available and some Spanish tapas.

We sampled some Shaved Serrano Jamón served with melon, tomato chutney and marinated olives on the side.