Lolla was listed as one of Zagat’s “hottest restaurants in the world” in 2013. It was also featured in my article on New York Times here.
13-seat zinc-topped counter on ground level of Lolla
The 22-seat communal table in the mass hall-inspired underground dining room
Barely 2 years after running as a pop-up underground supper club, Lolla’s Secret Supper, the guerilla-dining operator has surfaced with a shop front by way of Lolla at the hot-again Ann Siang Hill. Opened since mid September 2012, Lolla is owned by Pang Hian Tee, founder of Lolla’s Secret Supper and distributor of a clutch of grower champagnes, together with 5 other partners including Lee Chin Sin and ThaddeusYeo of Le Bistrot. Occupying 2 levels of conserved shop house space with an original blue Peranakan tiles-clad façade, just doors away from the now-defunct Goto, Lolla proffers produce-driven small plates that are best enjoyed at the 13-seat zinc-topped counter that fronts an open kitchen; yes, these seats do fill-up quicker than you can say ‘Lolla’ and unless you arrive at 6pm to secure a bum space at one of 13 wooden swivel bar stools, you’re likely to be ushered to the mess hall-inspired basement dining room where a 22-seat communal table takes centre stage with eye-catching hanging caged-bulbs. This understated industrial-chic underground space with distressed concrete walls, strangely enough, makes dining with complete strangers fashionably cool.
|Don Bocarte anchovies|
|Spanish tortilla crowned with smoked eel|
|Grilled Cape Grim grass-fed ribeye|
The menu features a smattering of Spanish classics like Don Bocarte anchovies (S$24) served right out of the tin it’s packed in, with variations of Spanish standards such as the Spanish tortilla (S$19), or potato omelette, enlivened with clumps of heavenly Belgainsmoked eel flakes that lends a umami-laden smoky finish. Some dishes, like the sliced tomato (S$14) doused in balsamic-accented extra virgin olive oil, are straightforwardly gorgeous and minimally processed, with a singular focus on an excellent produce – in this case, the Kumamoto tomatoes from Australia. Yet others like the Cape Grim grass-fed ribeye steaks (300g, S$52) are painstakingly grilled on a yakitori grill to yield tender chunks that rival the artisan beef cuts from steakhouse joints. Yes, they are all excellent.
|You haven’t been to Lolla if you’ve not tried the sea urchin pudding|
But you haven’t been to Lolla if you have not tried the signature sea urchin pudding (S$19), a tongue of creamy raw sea urchin basking in an intensely savoury squid ink custard served in a mini lion’s head bowl – take it from us that this is one dish that you should selfishly hoard and not share.
|Mayson Kayser baguette with Echire butter|
The folks at Lolla are not shy about professing their love affair with local purveyors of artisan fare – the crusty baguettes (S$6) served with Echire butter are sourced from Maison Kayser, coffee from Chye Seng Huat Hardware (of Papa Palheta fame) and ice cream (try the smoked chocolate ice cream, S$9) from Creamier at Toa Payoh – Lolla seems to have all the ingredients for success and judging from the packed room at dinner, she’s well-on-her way.
22 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069 702; +65-6423 1228; lolla.com.sg