Another new restaurant opened officially in Singapore recently! What's more interesting is that we've got another Michelin-star chef opened restaurant on our shores! Nandu Jubany's the 1-Michelin star chef from Spain and Chef Jordi Noguera is the executive chef who was previously helmed the kitchen at FoodbarDada. The mixologist here is Dario Knox.
This restaurant was on my radar for weeks ever since I first read about when it was still in its pre-opening phase. And finally when information was uploaded on the WWW, I immediately told N we were going for dinner that very week.
So we went last Thursday and it totally felt like Friday to me! Because the bar was bustling, the restaurant was bustling, the atmosphere was so lively! Then I realised after I was home that it was actually a Thursday. Barely few days old and its already so crowded!
We made reservations and were shown to our seats and given the menu by another staff. Here's photos of the menu which I couldn't find online and thought would be helpful to y'all :)
However I realised only much later when we asked for the menu again after our 1st round of food that the boy's menu had an extra page of dishes while mine did not have that page (its the page with the more Asian flavours, I think it was titled "BCN -> ASIA" or sth along those lines) anyway so we asked the staff about one of the dishes on that menu and she told us that wasn't updated so brought us a piece of paper with "Today's Specials" on it which was essentially the same stuff in that "asia" menu but I think the prices were different. Also this "today's special" menu (its a separate one that looks like a brochure, seen below) was given to the table next to us when they arrived but it wasn't given to us till we enquired. Hmm.
Anyway what I liked about the menu is that they have items traditional to Spain, and they have fusion items that are super creative as well! And there are so many dishes that we were spoilt for choice! Kudos for dishes like the ramen, pomfret fritter, sweet sour pork etc
There's also an extensive drinks menu with at least 15 types of cocktails and I love their cocktail menu! Didn't manage to take shots of the menu but I love how the information was presented.
1) You get the ingredients of the cocktail
2) You get a drawing - 4 quadrants (bitter, sweet, sour, refreshing) and they'll mark on the quadrant what this drink is more of
3) You get a list of descriptors e.g. spicy, refreshing etc and they'll mark out what characterises the drink
4) They'll mark out which of the spirits/soda etc were made on their own with "H.M." aka homemade
If you have troubles ordering, you can always tell the head mixologist Dario, who's very nice and willing to help, what flavours you're looking for, what kind of base you want and he'll create something for you
Update: found the cocktail menu on chope.co have a look here but there are no markings on this one as the markings are done by hand
Here are some photos of the layout (its so empty because this was at 645pm):
And here's the food we ordered!
Watermelon Gazpacho with charcoal smoked olive oil ice cream
Now this is very very very similar to a dish we had at FoodbarDada previously and some of the food on the menu were from FoodbarDada as well (click here to visit my FoodbarDada post)
The difference here is that there're no fried onion bits, but replaced by croutons instead. Also the plating is very different!
I prefer the FoodbarDada's version because of the fried onion bits which added a sweetness and savoury tinge to this meal. However the gazpacho is still amazing and the ice cream goes extremely well with the gazpacho :) great refreshing start! 4/5
Octopus Galician style, prepared with paprika, olive oil and potatoes
This dish was a little bit of a letdown for me. The texture of the octopus was great don't get me wrong, soft but with a little chewiness. However I felt it wasn't well seasoned enough. The potatoes were good though! There were chunky bits amidst creamy potato and the flavour of the mash was great. 3.5/5
I can't really remember how much this was so sorry! But it served 7 cups no actually more than that about 8-9 cups! N and I shared this pot of "tea". Which was basically made out of sake, green tea powder and about 4 more ingredients I can't remember haha. It was refreshing which was what I was looking for.
Extremely smooth and easy to drink. Dangerous because you can literally just keep drinking and it doesn't feel like you're drinking alcohol. Wonderful creation 4.2/5
Scallops "Ceviche" with guacamole
Scallops were plump and well marinated, guacamole made us think of wasabi haha. Surprisingly the avocado goes quite well with the scallops! Scallops were rather sweet. This ceviche was alright for me in terms of flavours. I'm not sure whether the chef wanted the scallops' natural sweetness to shine through so the seasoning wasn't that strong but taste wise, this was pretty normal for me. 3.6/5
Black Mediterranean "Paella" with seafood and garlic mayonnaise
This was DEFINITELY the highlight of the night!!!!!!!
Our paella came piping hot with 2 spoons and instructions for us to mix the paella up so that the garlic mayo is well mixed. The boy did it for us and as he was mixing, the aroma made our mouths water~~~ it was the fragrance of the squid ink, and the seafood, thick and rich, no words can describe. You gotta smell it yourself to know it.
I eagerly awaited for him to finish and then ate my very first spoonful of heaven. I know this sounds exaggerated but honestly I've been searching in vain for far too long for yummy squid ink paella/risotto/pasta and here I've finally found THE ONE. The sides were slightly charred and N knows I love those parts so he scrapped it and mixed it in as well so there was the crispy bits inside and they added a new dimension to this already amazing dish.
The squid ink sauce perfumed every rice bit, coating it with some sauce leftover = not too dry and neither was it too wet. Perfect in every sense. There was chopped squid in the rice as well and they were v generous with the squid! The prawns they served were also plump, crunchy and fresh. However the clams were a letdown because most of them were smelly. BUT this did not deter me at all from enjoying my amazing paella. Both of us happy finished everything and whaddaya know, we order a SECOND one! :)
I couldn't resist ordering another because I finally found my squid ink dish. However the 2nd one was a little bit wetter (just a little) than the first one but the flavour was stronger than the 1st paella. So which did we prefer? I preferred the 2nd for its stronger flavours, but the boy preferred 1st as it was a tad drier and had more crispy charred parts. We could tell that it was slightly wetter because it felt different when he was mixing it he said, and this was easily mixed and scooped up while the 1st one was more difficult. I could also tell that this was wetter by looking at it!
All in all, this is a MUST-TRY if you're a squid ink fanatic! 5/5
Confited pork belly and cauliflower puree (4 pieces)
The boy said this was his least fav dish of the night. I didn't try this so I have no comments but the boy tried all the dishes listed here and he said this paled in comparison.
1) The skin was too thick, and q hard unlike what he was expecting. i.e. the kind of pork skin you get in spanish/chinese suckling pig
2) The "meat' below was more of 1/2 fat and 1/2 meat or maybe 3/4 fat and 1/4 meat so it got a bit too much after the first piece
3) The cauliflower puree didn't do much in terms of flavour if you eat the skin + puree + meat as a whole
Grilled foie gras with marinated shitake and green apple (2 pieces)
I didn't know this was served with buns cos it wasn't stated on the menu so I initially thought burgers were being served to me and that they brought it to the wrong table haha
Foie gras was average, the buns tasted like mantou and the shitake is like the kind we have in barchormee! vinegar-marinated kind! The green apples were a nice welcome to the dish providing the sourness along with the mushrooms. I felt one slice of the bread was enough for each serving.
The bread was also very fragrant and buttery!! Really like the deep fried mantous we eat in chinese restaurants 3.9/5
Coca with anchovies, charcoal grilled peppers, eggplant, spherical Idiazabal cheese
Coca is the bread they serve these on and when it arrived it was toasted but slightly soggy in the way that you'll be afraid the ingredients + the bread will "fall off"
We loved the cheese sphere and honestly you've gotta follow what the waitress tells you to do - eat it in one bite! The cheese kinda overpowered the anchovies and everything else but you could tell the texture of the veggies. 3.8/5
Grilled oyster in Josper oven (1 piece)
This was okay average! Plump oysters definitely and you can't really tell its grilled? More like just heated up. The sauce accompanying it was q nice but the oyster itself was a little smelly hence 3/5
FOC Chocolate Burger
We were q stuffed so we only got 1 dessert! Lemme break down the layers for you
Bread: white choc with sesame seeds
Meat patty: choc ganache
This is how it looks like "inside"! Sorry its messy and all that haha
Felt like I was eating magnum when I was eating the bread haha same textures if you know what I mean. I LOVED the addition of sesame seeds!! Neutralizes (to a certain extent) the sweetness of white choc and adds savoury touch to this sweet dessert + makes it more like a real burger! Creative and novel dessert but taste wise it was quite normal although the flavours did go together! 3.6/5
Ambience: really nice atmosphere going on here and I loved being in the restaurant! Super laid back, chill, open space, music was quite good too, the bustle in the background. All's good!
Service: everyone was super friendly and professional. Good service with a smile always makes me happy! Dario is super upbeat and cheerful
Food: definitely coming back for the paella + try out the other dishes! AND definitely coming back for drinks. Wanted to try SO many of their cocktails! That alone will draw me back
I can foresee FOC becoming one of those difficult-to-book restaurants
FOC by Nandu Jubany
40 Hong Kong Street
You can also reserve on chope.co here
You can also reserve on chope.co here
Thurs-Sat: 12-2.30pm, 6-11.45pm
There's valet parking available but you gotta pay