Almost twice the size of its first restaurant at Orchard Central, Tapas Club at Vivocity aims to share with you a slice of Spanish culture, that is beyond the limited repertoire framed by paella and croquette. A Spanish terraza's inspired terrace welcomes you as you first step in, before coming to the full panoramic view of Sentosa Island. Find warmth and rustiness as you sit yourself down in the restaurant, with an ambience emulating a Spanish tavern. The restaurant even houses a mercado where you can purchase authentic Spanish food products, ranging from beers and wines, Spanish preserves, olive oils, preserved vegetables and seafood, to signature cold cuts like Iberian ham. Helming the kitchen is Executive Chef Manuel Berganza who was the opening chef of the Michelin-starred, Andanada 141 restaurant in New York City before moving to Singapore.
Croquetas De Jamon 3.8/5
Our evening started with a crowd pleasing Croquetas De Jamon ($11.90) – ham croquettes, a staple at any Spanish restaurant. Within the crispy puffed crumb is creamy mixture of bechamel sauce and Spanish Iberian ham. They were finger-licking good when hot and surprisingly remained so even after sitting on the table for a little while.
Berenjena Con Miel 3.5/5
Another common tapas delicacy in Spain is the savoury-sweet Eggplant fritters, Berenjena Con Miel ($9.90). Fried in a light batter and finished off with a drizzle of honey, these vege chips proved to be just as moreish as its counterparts. With the perception that they are guilt-free, you may have to fight for the last piece!
Piquillos Rellenos 2.8/5
I would have loved this Piquillos Rellenos ($12.90) should it not be deep-fried. The ground beef filling is already rich with bechamel and deep frying them made them a tad too greasy. The piquillo pepper also seemed to have shriveled in the heat, when I would really love to taste its alluring smokey sweetness. The previous Serenity Spanish Bar served up a non-fried version with tuna filling which was really enjoyable but this pales in comparison even though the filling is more indulgent.
Introducing Cojonudos ($13.90), a tapas dish originated from the villages located near the border between the regions of Castile and La Rioja in Spain. At Tapas Club, they look like mini Egg Bens with a fried quail egg atop of the crisp Chapata bread with Fermin Chorizo. Made from the famous Iberian pork of Spain, the dry-cured sausage had quite an intense and complex flavour, and what I appreciate is the traces of fat within that moist up the texture.
Bocata de calamares 3/5
Filete De Ternera 3.5/5
The Tapas+ section of the menu offers more substantial dishes and each dish comes with one complimentary side. What's good for your wine would be the Filete De Ternera ($24), a medium-rare serving of grilled pork accompanied with homemade garlic aioli. Underneath the charred surface was a good portion of fats and its worth taking your time to savour each piece slowly in your mouth, and down it with a sip of wine.
Pulpo A La Brasa 3/5
Pulpo A La Brasa ($24) features a charred grilled octopus imported from Spain, drizzled with paprika oil, pimenton powder (ground dried Capsicum annuum chillies) and garlic aioli (garlic aioli is made with eggs, vinegar and garlic OR garlic and mayonnaise). Stunning on the plate, the char on the surface lends a pleasant smokey flavour but it wasn't as tender as I wish it would be.
Arroz Negro 3/5
One of its signatures is paella. We had Arroz Negro ($26) - squid ink paella with cuttlefish and clams, served with garlic aioli for a creamier texture. The rice was well cooked through with seafood stock and I really like how each bite of the juicy clams releases the briny, sweet flavour into the rice. However, I would prefer the rice to be more briny, as the squid ink seemed to be just kissing the surface of the grains.
Chocolate Mousse with Caramelized Banana 2.5/5
Churros Con Chocolate 3/5
For desserts, we had Churros Con Chocolate ($9) and Chocolate Mousse with Caramelized Banana ($10). While the churros was delicious with rich chocolate dip, the latter fell flat without any textural or flavour contrast. Be it the sliced bananas, cake or mousse, they were just sweet and soft.
Celebrate the weekends the way Spaniards do, where large communal sharing dishes are enjoyed in a high energy atmosphere. On Saturday, Sunday and PH brunch, between 12-3pm, come down and indulge in unlimited servings of paella cooked in a 1.2 metre wide communal paella pan, for just $10!
Words and photos by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food.
1 Harbourfront Walk
Tel: +65 62844680
Nearest MRT: Harbourfront (CC Line, NE Line)
Mon-Fri: 12pm - 10pm
Sat-Sun, PH: 1130am - 1030pm
1) Alight at Harbourfront MRT station. Take Exit C or E. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]