Calamares – lightly floured and deep fried squid rings
Well, it’s not officially in Tanglin, but Orchard Road didn’t sound as good 🙂
Good tapas seems to be very hit and miss. Which surprises me because the preparation of the dishes is relatively simple – tapas relies on good produce to speak for itself. The few places we’ve tried in Singapore are more for convenience – like Que Pasa, because it’s a lovely place to have a bottle of wine rather than because of the food (although the food there is certainly passable).
Marinated mixed olives
Trying to find a restaurant that was open on the second day of Chinese New Year seemed to be a problem, and we were thrilled that Bodega Y Tapas on Orchard Road was a) open and b) had space for us. It was busy when we got there, which it always seems to be when I pass it, and we were quickly ushered to our lounge chairs to have our dinner indoors. The space indoors doesn’t allow for larger groups but it’s a nice intimate area to have dinner for two or maybe three people.
The tapas menu is extensive, which made choosing difficult, but one of the benefits of tapas is that you can sample lots of little dishes.
A generous bowl of marinaded mixed olives started the meal, which worked wonderfully with the sangria that I ordered.
jamon iberico de bellota
Then came 80g of jamon iberico de bellota – ham made from free-range pigs fed exclusively on black acorns and aged for 36 months. I love that it was hand-carved from the actual leg of the ham – it adds a certain rustic feel to the ham and I swear it makes it taste better than the machine-sliced iberico ham that you get in the hotel buffets. Although, to be fair, serve it to me any way and I love this stuff. It’s the sort of ham that you chew and chew and almost don’t want to swallow so that you can savour the intense flavour of the ham (including the fat) in your mouth. I recall a very good tip from Chef Ryan Clift of Tippling Club, which was the longer you chewed jamon Iberico, the better the flavour, as it “excites” all the different taste bud sensations on your tongue.
Cold cut meat platter
We also ordered a platter of cold cuts – the waitress was a bit vague on exactly what was on the plate but we had two types of pork sausage (one with and the other without chilli), air-dried beef (sort of like bresaola but with a more jerky appearance, served with a drizzle of olive oil and slivered almonds) and a dried sliced pork loin. Also on this dish were baguette slices that had a dollop of delicious finely chopped tomato salsa that you could almost serve as gazpacho. It was light and refreshing and absolutely worked with the cured meat.
Lightly floured and deep fried anchoview
For warm food we had chorizo – simply fried, and calamari and anchovies, both lightly floured and deep fried, which, for me, were the winners of the evening. The calamari was soft and tender – not overcooked or tough, and served with a garlic mayonnaise – quite standard, but probably the best I’ve had in a while, and the anchovies just needed a squeeze of lemon juice over them to be eaten whole. Again, I love anchovies, and these reminded me of the fantastic ones we had at Valentinos.
All in all, this is a brilliant find for D and I and if our dinner last night was anything to judge the rest of the food there by, I know we’ll be back again to work our way through that menu.
Bodega Y Tapas
442 Orchard Road
Tel: 6735 3476