Saturday, August 06, 2016
La Tapería, Shaw Centre
La Tapería (#02-10/11 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road, tel : +65 6737 8336) is a Spanish restaurant/tapas bar by the Les Amis Group. A little upmarket in appearance and like Les Amis' other restaurants, hallmarked by pretty good service from their staff.
They opened a couple of years ago. Before they did, it was suppose to be called Terry's - also Spanish food to be led by a veteran from Manila, a chef named Terry who left because his understanding of what the restaurant was to be did not align with what the owners were trying to do. This place might have ended up differently and we could have suffered a culinary loss - or not. But we shall never know.
A fast forward to reality - the Terry's that was to be became La Tapería. To sherry-tint the establishment, there's a little interesting tidbit to them. The head chef Ng Wei Han, a local Chinese was previously from the defunct Au Jardin. Since 2007. Levelled up to become their executive chef in 2011 and was there till their last days. So what we have is a Chinese guy who's experienced in French cuisine making Spanish food. Cosmopolitan.
The first of the small plates was thinly sliced chilled Momotaro tomato with 50 year aged sherry vinegar according to the menu, olive oil and shaven bottarga. I thought this was refreshingly awesome. The thin slices upped the dressing to fruit ratio with the bottarga adding a fishy (yet tasty) saltiness to the sweetness of the tomato. Like.
Then came their patata bravas. Those potatoes were fried to a dry crisp with mealy soft insides. Pretty good.
This was served as fried eggs with blood sausage. Which we knew wasn't. It's actually eggs with chorizo and peppers. The mistake was realized when the actual fried eggs with blood sausage arrived and the restaurant didn't bill us for this. Classy because it was their mistake and they didn't make us pay for it but it did add an additional egg dish into our dinner.
That above was the actual fried eggs and blood sausage. There was some truffle reduction and quite a bit of mushrooms inside which is obviously not so obvious because of how the dish appeared. Those mushrooms tasted pretty good. Blood sausages were nice, but I'm pretty sure we've had better.
Sherried onion soup with saffron and almond flakes says the menu. There were little chunks of chicken too. This was by far the most memorable onion soup I could remember. If I had to describe it more accurately, it was actually an onion bisque. There was quite a bit of sweetness coming from those onions and sherry that went along with a savoury undertone. The second outstanding dish of the night after the Momotaro tomatoes. Now I wonder how much butter went into it.
Here be white asparagus with truffle and more eggs. Not bad, the asparaguses were sweet and juicy.
We had the charcoal grilled lamb rib confit with honey mustard. Pretty good too. Pretty glad that the honey mustard didn't mask the flavour of the lamb. The meat was scratch off the bone with a fork tender rather than fall off the bone tender.
Dessert was olive confit ice cream with raisin cream and Albariño syrup. So olives in itself, dried grapes and sugared fermented grape juice. At the base of the large ball of ice cream was something that tasted like bread pudding. We tried this for the novelty of having olive ice cream. Not bad, but not good enough to stop me from trying something else if I come back.