|The jamon bar @ My Little Tapas Bar|
After a deafening pause, tapas are back on the Spanish dining trajectory. Within a space of a few months, not one but three Spanish digs have surfaced to jostle for a share of the dining pie.
My Little Tapas Bar, an offshoot of My Little Spanish Place at Bukit Timah Road, calls out to city dwellers and the CBD crowd from its atmospheric shop house location (formerly occupied by Platters) smack bang in Club Street.
Its rustic setting of exposed brick walls, teakwood tables and rattan chairs are reminiscent of its platters-themed predecessor but the once-torpid bar has now been transformed into a jamon counter proffering a glorious selection of Spanish ham beautifully displayed on sleek jamoneros (ham carving stand); think iberico bellota by Joselito (S$25 per serving of 25g) and 10 Vetas (S$16), iberico by Laudes (S$12) and Serrano by Fermin (S$7).
Thanks to chef-owners, Edward Esmero (a Filipino) and Maria Sevillano (a Spanish), the menu bristles with an exciting assemble of Spanish goodies including montaditos (tapa on bread) pintxos (tapa on toothpicks) cooked tapa dishes as well as raciones (bigger portions of tapa) neatly classified on the menu as “from the deli” (jamon, cured meats, Spanish cheeses and homemade conservas) and “from the kitchen” (mostly cooked food and desserts plus a limited menu of specials).
If the few dishes we’ve sampled are anything to go by, you’re in for a delicious ride.
|Escalivada (front) and Banderillas de Boqueroenes (back)|
Escalivada (S$12), a traditional Catalan dish of grilled vegetables, arrives as a mound of garlic and olive oil-grilled peppers, onions and aubergine perched on a slice of ever-so-crisp toast.
Notwithstanding its petite size, Banderillas de Boquerones (S$12) is big on flavour. White anchovy is marinated in house-made sherry vinegar, olive oil and lemon, then skewered on a toothpick with piquant gherkin and pickled onion. The mélange of savoury, salty and piquant flavours with subtly sweet and sour notes anchored on olive oil-kissed toast is beyond mouthwatering.
|Coca de cebolla con pimientos|
Another highlight is coca de cebolla con pimientos (S$16): grilled Mediterranean flatbread with caramelized onions, roasted peppers, anchovies and Manchego cheese – it’s an umami bomb disguised as flatbread.
|Pan seared lamb rack with chickpeas|
The more formal meat dish of pan seared lamb rack (S$32) with chickpeas and spinach is middling in comparison; it’s more than well executed and served with reasonably tasty chickpeas. Yet, it lacks the wow factor, which the ensuing dish is chock-a-block of.
|A la plancha Spanish sardines with crushed capers, spice tomato and capsicum puree, caramelized onions|
Consider this: a la plancha Spanish sardines (price not available) that arrives complete with edible soft bones, garnished with crushed fried capers alongside spicy tomato and capsicum puree and a dollop of caramelized onions. It’s simple but it’s a humdinger.
A little chewy to the bite, paprika dusted grilled octopus tantacle (S$18) drizzled with olive oil is also a winner if only for the ending note of smoky tang that lingers deliciously on the palate. It goes to show not all kitchens need a pricey Josper grill to ace it.
With only 2 items on the sweets menu, we reckon desserts may not be MLTB’s strong suit. For our next trip, we have our eyes peeled on the homemade cinnamon and lemon zest ice cream with PX dessert wine (S$12).
42 Club Street, Singapore 069 694 | +65 6223 8048 | mylittletapasbar.com.sg
© Evelyn Chen 2013
Please note that the reviews published on this blog are sometimes hosted. I am under no obligation to review every restaurant I’ve visited. If I do, the reviews are 100% my own.