Sunday, November 04, 2012

Catalunya

Dropped by Catalunya one weekday evening for dinner with a couple of my colleagues. The restaurant's head chef, Alain Devahive Tolosa and manager, Pol Perello, have both spent many years at the famed El Bulli and the media has apparently been hyping up on this association, especially since El Bulli has since shut its doors to become a research think tank.


The Place & Menu

The address reads Fullerton Pavilion, which is a floating dome structure sandwiched between One Fullerton and Clifford Pier and plays host to a solitary eatery/bar - Catalunya. Pretty impressive design if I may say. The doorway leads up into the bar area where you are seated whilst your table is being prepped. Walking down a short flight of stairs brings you to the dining area proper, with its arced floor to ceiling windows and breathtaking ground level views of the surrounding Marina Bay area.


Tomato Tartar Confit

I didn't think that this dish was anything great. Lightly tart tomato confit served with almost tasteless foam and thin slices of crisp toast. And $18 for such a tiny portion? You have gotta be kidding me.


"Patatas Bravas" with "All I Oli"

I liked the simplicity of this dish - Plump potatoes in alioli (garlic and oil) sauce with a mild hint of spiciness. Tasty carbohydrate laden comfort food.


Tortilla Omelette "Deconstruccion"

This omelette deconstruction was rather interesting and really tasted like the real thing, sans the texture. Thick layer of egg white foam atop a concoction of caramalised onions and tortilla bits. I did find it a little too salty though.


Ham, Cheese and Truffle "Bikini"

To be honest, this was really something different. It looked like sandwiches but the texture was rather gelatin like (kueh like) and I could make out the truffle oil taste. Pretty nice in my humble opinion.


Traditional Suckling Pig "Segovian Style"

This was billed as one of the must tries. The pig was served whole and intact table side and the waiter proceeded to cut it up with a plate to showcase the tenderness of the meat. The first thing that hit me when I tried a piece was the indelible, overwhelming porky taste which caused me to almost regurgitate it out. But as with most things, I got used to it after a few more bites and it definitely helped that the skin was extremely crisp and the meat, tender. Do note that this dish is very oily and the accompanying sauce doesn't seem to do much for it so please share or nausea will kick in very fast. Just for the record, it states that this dish is for 2 pax but 4 of us couldn't finish it. And it wasn't due to the size of the pig but the amount of oil.


Lobster Rice

Apparently another must try dish, the lobster rice fared much better than the suckling pig though I did find it a wee bit too fishy for my liking (probably due to the al dente short grain rice being simmered in fish broth and what seemed like bits of scallop). I appreciated the fresh and crunchy, albeit small, serving of lobster though.


"Torrija" with Milk Ice Cream

And on to the desserts. The torrija (fried milk bread) was excellent - mildly sweet and seemingly coated with a layer of crisp caramel, juxtaposing the smoky but sugarless milk ice cream.


Chocolate in Different Textures with Passion Fruit

Besides the twist of the chocolate coloured mousse being made from passion fruit, this dessert didn't wow any of us. Do watch out for the extremely sour passionfruit droplets by the side!


Fresh Cheese Flan with "Berries" and Crumble

I wasn't too taken by the cheese flan, which had a panna cotta like texture - quivery and a little creamy with a cheesy undertone. I did like the crumble though, which tasted like "love letters", just a little more moist.


Bill

The 4 of us chalked up about $376 for a filling but unsatisfying meal.The dish that really killed us was the suckling pig and though service was great, the food wasn't. Coupled with a less than serene environment (music blasting from the bar area), it's definitely not the place for a quiet or romantic date. Would I be back? Probably not.


Final Verdict:
Ambience:7.5/10 (Great views but let down by the noise)
Service:7.5/10
Food:6.5/10 (7.5/10 for the Torrija)
Value for money:5.5/10

Overall:6.75/10

Address: 82 Collyer Quay

Contact: 6534 0886 (Reservations), 6534 0188 (general enquiries)

Opening Hours: 12 noon to 2am

Website: http://www.catalunya.sg/

No comments: