Binomio Spanish Restaurante @ Craig Road (Singapore)

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Setting
Jose Alonso, Executive Chef of Binomio Spanish Restaurante
Occupying the former space of Pavillion Restaurant at Craig Place, Binomio threw open its doors with little fanfare in October 2012. This quiet confidence belies its ambition for Binomio is no mere tapas bar. Yes, you can certainly graze on rustic Spanish small plates at the cosy and casually- dressed tapas bar with an exposed-brick counter or, if you smoke, plonk yourselves at the row of table fronting the wooden-framed windows that open out to Craig Road. But Binomio’s raison d’être is upscale Spanish gastronomy that leverages on the cooking chops of chef and co-owner, Jose Alonso, who’s worked at Spanish fine dining restaurants – Alonso is just 30 years old and he’s spent 2 years with 2 Michelin-starred Sergi Arola Gastro (Madrid) and another 4 years with the late Santi Santamaria’s restaurants in Madrid (2 Michelin-starred Sant Celoni) and Singapore (Santi). If you’re looking for a reason to grace this elegantly austere 70-seat dining room (that includes 2 private rooms), look no further than the exceptional dishes that Alonso pumps out from the kitchen.

What to expect?
Minced meat-stuffed piquillo peppers in tomato fondue
Salmorejo cordobes – chilled tomato and bread soup
If you’ve braved Singapore’s boisterous new tapas scene, you would know your croquettes, tortilla de patatas (potato omelette with caramelized onions) and pimientos rellenos (fried minced beef and pork stuffed piquillo peppers in tomato fondue); and at Binomio, they serve these well-executed formulaic tapas fare plus a clutch of rarely seen creations like salmorejo cordobes (S$10), a thick-chilled soup of blended tomatoes and bread served with a drizzle of olive oil and a crown of Iberian ham bits.

But we reckon you’ll be shortchanged of an exceptional experience unless you reserve a table at the gastronomic dining room. Befitting the formality of space and service, the menu at this upscale space proffers aesthetically plated tapas, entrée, mains and desserts that are beautifully matched by Alonso’s culinary restraint. 
The excellent chicken and seafood paella, the most flavourful we’ve sampled so far

This melange of sauteed razor clams and chargrilled pork belly may not look like anything, but it is oh-so-good

Yes, the dishes from the gastronomic menu are impeccable but 2 dishes stand out head-and-shoulders above the pack. The tapas of char-grilled pork belly with slivers of sauteed razor clam on a bed of cauliflower puree (S$29) in savoury rosti sauce wins plaudit for the unusual yet excellent surf-and-turf marriage. The other is the chicken and seafood paella for 2 ($69) that, on paper, does not sound overly exciting but a bite into the toss with smoky bits of socarrat is all it takes to win fans. Admittedly, the hefty paella prices may jolt you off your seats, but you do get what you pay for and Binomio has the most flavourful paella we’ve sampled so far.

Gosua

Traditional milk rice pudding
If we’d tasted the Segovian-style roasted suckling pig (which we hear is delicious), it could have made it to the third must-eat dish at Binomio. But since we haven’t, we’ll suggest sweet alternatives and both the gosua (custard with rum sponge and fresh cream, S$8) and traditional milk rice pudding (S$8) from the tapas menu hit the sweet spot effortlessly.

Binomio Spanish Restaurante | Craig Place #01-02, 20 Craig Road | Tel: 65-6557 0547 | http://www.binomio.sg

All photos above are courtesy of Diana Choo.

For picture story, visit http://www.facebook.com/bibikgourmand

You may also like Singapore’s best tapas bars / small plates restaurants

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© Evelyn Chen 2013

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