Sunday, March 29, 2015

Revisiting Esquina

Esquina, Jiak Chuan Road

So......we came back. For another shot at Esquina. For some reasons.

Esquina, sangria
modern and classic sangria

This modern and classic take on sangria basically piled foamed sangria on top of the drink. Gimmicky I suppose since texture didn't really do very much. While I prefer not to complain at this point, I've had better sangria.

Esquina, bread
warm thyme & onion bread, smoked bone marrow butter

The food started off pretty darned good. Like their light and flaky onion bread. My only gripe, I had absolutely no idea why it was bone marrow butter described on the menu. It tasted like regular butter, smoked nicely for sure, but bone marrow? Did I miss something or did they?

Esquina, beetroot
beetroot pickled, whipped burrata, truffle honey, walnut crumble, raspberries

This was good too. Served in small enough portions for birds but good nonetheless. What didn't materialize was the truffle honey. I'm pretty sure it was truffle oil that was whipped into the burrata. No honey there. Esqui-nada. But the play of textures and flavours were very nicely done.

Esquina, cauliflower
roasted cauliflower, Serrano ham and cheese (Manchego)

Their roasted cauliflower appeared a lot less complicated than the beetroot but this was seriously good stuff. A light crunch from the vegetable, smokiness from both the ham and the vegetable and saltiness from the Manchego cheese. We scraped the plate clean.

Esquina, sea urchin crab bisque
sea urchin and crab bisque, sea grapes and smoked herring roe

We were looking forward to this but the dish was a little disappointing. The name on the menu should have been reduced to sea urchin and crab bisque. Why? The smoked herring roe came in such puny portions that it did nothing. Certainly didn't see any umi budou in there. Esqui-nada. This tiny uni shell was filled with chunks of sweet crab meat though. Apparently, the uni element was blended into the crab bisque so I could taste nothing of them.

Esquina, mackerel
barbequed mackerel, squid ink rice cracker, wasabi buttermilk, burnt cucumber & kale

Couldn't say I was very impressed with the barbequed mackerel. Couldn't tell which was the wasabi buttermilk neither since that green smudge tasted like a coriander and pureed avocado and the white smudge didn't taste like it has wasabi. This was a Japanese influenced grilled saba dish?

Esquina, wagyu oysters
wagyu beef rump, fried oyster, oyster mayonnaise, dashi jelly

This was quite nice. What wasn't described was the heat from the crisp batter on the oyster which was rather good. The little onion layer in the middle contained a sauce. We tasted yuzu and maybe heavy cream. Very delicious sauce that could work well with almost anything. Oyster mayo was very nicely done too - if you like oysters. What didn't quite shine in flavour was the dashi jelly. It just didn't quite scream dashi.

Esquina, basil sorbet strawberries
basil sorbet, strawberries, sweet tomato, yuzu yogurt, black pepper meringue

Not the slightest hint of black pepper in the meringue. Which is the painted on layer in the bowl/plate in case you are wondering. One has to scrape them off with the spoon. The single element that rocked on its own was the sweetish basil sorbet. The flavour of the basil was.....invigoratingly fresh.

Esquina, dessert
Manchego cheese custard, black olive, brioche crumbs, apricot jam

This was a take on crackers, cheese and fruit jam. The brioche crumbs lent texture to the custard which was nice. Liked the custard. It was more savoury than sweet as a dessert but it worked.

Clearly, it was mixed feelings and stronger ones than from the previous visit. If anyone were to ask me if Esquina was any good, I wouldn't be able to come up with a straightforward answer.


muchadoabouteating said...

If u were here last night then I think I finally know how you look like ;)

LiquidShaDow said...

I wasn't. :)