Esquina Restaurant Review

You are going to hear about this fantastic new tapas place anyway, so it might as well be from me.

Finally, I found a taste of Spain in Singapore! The minute I walked into the narrow 17 seat-by-the-bar set-up, I was hooked. Oooh same vibes as Cal Pep in Barcelona.. Minus the crowd. For now at least (the place only opened on December 9th). I’m glad we checked it out early on; it’s so good it’s going to be crazy getting seats!

We knew the food was going to be good. Esquina’s opened by Chef Jason Atherton, protégé of Gordon Ramsay and owner of Michelin starred London restaurant Pollen Street Social. The restaurant is run by Chef Andrew Walsh. And man were we excited.

It’s a lovely feeling, having a fellow foodie beside you and sharing that anticipation of having our palates seduced. Hugs B, thanks for sharing this new culinary gem.

The menu is supposedly inspired by the canapés at the legendary El Bulli. It isn’t very large but what we had, we loved.

First, B ordered one oyster (I’m not too big a fan) from the raw seafood bar. It was huge. B says it was fresh and well-seasoned. Me, I waited patiently for my garlic and chili Madagascar gambas to be served. Now that, was good. Yes, it’s $8 a prawn but it’s (again) huge and very tasty.

The clams came up next. It was minor torture waiting while watching the chef cook them up – I love the smell of butter and that white wine sauce was divine. If only I had some bread to soak the sauce up.

As we watched the chef plate the next dish, the scallop ceviche with radish salsa, we were impressed by his finesse and obvious pride taken in his creations. It was so pretty - my pic does not do it justice. The taste was very interesting too, the use of sesame sauce in the ceviche gave it an almost Chinese fusion feel.

I needed my carbs so I ordered the rabbit confit with seafood paella. It was a nice manageable portion for both of us. A tad salty but one of the better paellas I’ve had in Singapore – moist, creamy and indulgent. Something I would order again.

At this point, we were almost stuffed. But B looked distracted. He was torn between ordering the bellota ibérico jamón, or the ox- cheeks which came highly recommended by the waiter. We finally chose the latter. It was a fine choice – the ox-cheek and mash were delicious!

Just as we called for the bill, the chef passed us two mini ice cream cones. Complimentary dessert - such a sweet way to end a lovely lovely meal. Damage was about $150 for the both of us – very reasonable, considering we had 3 glasses of wine and a wow dining experience. I can’t wait to go back! I hear they will be opening up an outdoor dining area soon. I still prefer sitting at the bar watching the chefs work their magic though. Encanta España!!

Address - 16 Jiak Chuan Rd. Singapore. 6222-1616. They don't take reservations, btw.