Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Tapas Tree, Clark Quay

The enduring memory from this restaurant besides the paella (which was recommended by a friend) was the blotchy service which made me undecided about how to feel about them. My impression of tapas definitely didn't come out well after having tried some of them over two consecutive nights. I'm wasn't close to being impressed. Perhaps I didn't order what's good on the menu, but then again, shouldn't it all be good? Allow me to rant. I called to make reservations at approximately 3.45 pm on a Friday afternoon and I was told that they were filled up and subsequent probing confirmed that there was no more seats to be had for the night. However, I did decide to try my luck and sure enough, there were seats available. What's with that? On the first night, recommendations from the service staff was done with a total lack of interest. On the second, a waiter was quite helpful in getting the seats and recommendations. The place also needed better air conditioning for sure. Indoors.

There was a nice selection on menu. Some of which, were actually pretty tasty, others were passable and the rest just downright boring. Didn't make me feel enthusiastic about returning any more.

chorizo fritos

trio de pinchos (marinated pork, beef and chicken skewers)

berenjena y tomate con queso parmasano (baked stuffed aubergine and tomato with parmesan cheese)

solomillo al jerez (tenderloin cubes in dry sherry)

The chorizos that were fried in olive oil tasted like sour and salty sausages. It wasn't really spicy and was unremarkable. The tenderloin cubes in dry sherry were actually rather juicy and not cooked to death. I admit that I had very little hopes for them until I popped the first. There was accompanying gravy which tasted like something from tze char stores. In fact the whole dish tasted like a Chinese stir fried beef with bell peppers, mushrooms with a hint of wine. It wasn't I had expected but it was pretty good. Probably better with rice. For $15, I really did expect more meat.

paella valenciana

paella negra

I thought the paella were pretty good. I've not much basis for comparison apart from the pasta version from Esmirada. The valenciana featured seafood like mussels, squid with additional of chicken compared to the regular one. And to my surprise, there was pork belly too. The rice was piping hot and loaded with meat and crispy rice bits at the bottom. Reminded me of claypot rice. I didn't really taste any saffron in it and most of the flavour was tanginess. The negra which was the squid ink variant was very much filled with squid ink flavour (and squids too) and it was probably the blackest rice dish I've ever come across. It was more thickly coated than the squid ink risotto at Pasta Brava. Something to watch out for to avoid if you're out on a date.

1 comment:

HairyBerry said...

i absolultely agree with you on the service! i was there earlier this year and had the same experience. i also found the paella valenciana a tad too bland...and like you said, there wasnt a hint of saffron. a great view minus a great taste.