Esquina Tapas Bar

Esquina Tapas Bar

Roasted pork loin, salt-baked parsnips, pear, lardo, buttermilk and sorrel - S$33++
Roasted pork loin, salt-baked parsnips, pear, lardo, buttermilk and sorrel – S$33++

If you ask me what my favourite tapas restaurant is, that accolade goes to none other than Esquina. That statement is backed up by my many visits to the restaurant. Here’s three simple, but very true, reasons why I continue to patronize Esquina in spite of the many new tapas bars that have sprouted up (and shuttered) in recent years:

  • The dishes have never once disappointed;
  • The portions are perfect;
  • The prices are affordable considering the first 2 reasons.

I am not a dessert person but if there was a weak link in the line-up at Esquina, it would have to be the desserts. They were not bad in any way, in fact, smiles appeared while we were eating them. Before you place judgement on this humble author, I am by no means saying that the desserts should be changed, but after being brought up to the zenith with the appetizers and main courses, the desserts came across  being safe (read: boring)

I leave you with photographs of our meal a few months ago where we celebrated Christmas Eve.

Beetroot cured salmon, oyster mayonnaise, orange & dill - S$20++
Beetroot cured salmon, oyster mayonnaise, orange & dill – S$20++

Elegance in Simplicity.

Crispy baby squid, chilli coriander, black ink aioli - S$17++
Crispy baby squid, chilli coriander, black ink aioli – S$17++

The baby squid and batter were lightly seasoned allowing the natural flavours to shine through.

Georges Bank seared scallops, duck green curry, coconut rice, peanut crumbs - S$33++
Georges Bank seared scallops, duck green curry, coconut rice, peanut crumbs – S$33++

This was the second time that we had this dish and my comments remain the same. See link.

The seared scallops were textbook perfect. Slightly translucent in the middle, yet not overcooked on the exterior. The green curry surprisingly accompanied the scallops really well. Think traditional Thai Green Curry packed with less heat but with more concentrated flavors and you should be able to get a mental picture of what the dish entails. The fluffy coconut rice was a befitting carbohydrate choice too.

Roasted pork loin, salt-baked parsnips, pear, lardo, buttermilk and sorrel - S$33++
Roasted pork loin, salt-baked parsnips, pear, lardo, buttermilk and sorrel – S$33++

Melt-in-your-mouth lusciousness. 

Baked sea bass, trumpet mushroom, Parmesan gnocchi, brown butter, roasted chicken wing - S$32++
Baked sea bass, trumpet mushroom, Parmesan gnocchi, brown butter, roasted chicken wing – S$32++

On paper, the combination sounded weird – how do you pair seabass with gnochii with chicken wing? It worked but it did come across as a little too rich (‘jelak’ in Singlish terminology’) towards the end.

 

Esquina tiramisu, mascarpone mousse, chocolate soil, coffee jelly
Esquina tiramisu, mascarpone mousse, chocolate soil, coffee jelly

The two desserts were decent.

Coconut panna cotta, mango sorbet, raw melon salad & candied tarragon, orange biscuit
Coconut panna cotta, mango sorbet, raw melon salad & candied tarragon, orange biscuit

 

HungryEpicurean’s Rating

Food – 8.5 / 10 stars
Ambience – 7.5 / 10 stars

Esquina Tapas Bar
6 Jiak Chuan Road Singapore 089267
Tel: +65 6222 1616
www.esquina.com.sg 


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