Sunday, July 7, 2019

TXA Pintxo Bar @ The Alkaff Mansion - Bringing Basque Culture And Lifestyle To The Greenery Hilltop


1-Group has taken over the space at The Alkaff Mansion, restored and relaunched it with Basque-centred TXA Pintxo Bar on the ground floor and UNA on the second floor, bringing Basque culture and lifestyle to the greenery hilltop. It also houses the all-day flora cafe Wildseed Cafe. The purpose of my visit is to check out TXA Pintxo Bar. The first bar in Singapore dedicated to the unique Basque pintxo experience.

Aceituna Rellena De Vermouth 3.5/5

Our pintxo experience started with the Olive ($2.90) stuffed with vermouth jelly and orange zest and topped with fennel flower. Olive on itself can be sour, so the stuffed vermouth jelly provided the balance with its sweetness.

Crudiente de Jamon 4/5

The Iberico Cracker is sandwiched with smoked cod roe sauce. It is presented like a bikini sandwich. It may look simple, but it is packed with texture and flavour. The crispiness of the Iberico ham is a winner for me.

Boquerones con piperrada 4/5

Next, we had the Boquerones con piperrada ($3.90). Sitting atop the toasted bread is the picquillo cream, pickled anchovies and sauteed green and red bell pepper. The sweetness of the picquillo (a typical Spanish red pepper) is enhanced by the acidity of the tangy anchovies.

Pintxo Igeldo 4/5

The Pintxo Igeldo ($6.90) in a glance may look similar to the Boquerones con piperrada. A closer look you will notice that the toasted bread is made up of confit tomato, tuna, anchovies and piparra. The different ingredients come across complex but harmonious in flavours.

Crema de Roquefort Con Manzana Y Nueces 4.5/5

Initially, I was hesitant to try the Crema de Roquefort Con Manzana Y Nueces ($4.90) because I am not a fan of blue cheese. After much encouragement from my fellow diners, this turned out to be my favourite for the night. The pintxo is not as piquant as I thought. In fact, the sweetness of the apple jam cuts the acquire taste, and the walnut gives it a nutty finish. In short, it turned out to be a heavenly combination. A must order.

Pimiento Del Padron Con 4.5/5

The Fried Padron Pepper and Maldon Salt is another dish which I enjoyed. The Padron pepper named after the city it is from is not spicy at all. In fact, it is tough to find one that is spicy. You can add on Jamon Iberico de Bellota for an addition $3 for 5 gram.

Croquetas de Jamon Iberico 3.5/5

Many will be familiar with croquette, and it comes in every Spanish restaurant, in different forms and varieties. The Croquetas de Jamon Iberico ($14 for 4pc) deep fried to golden brown comes with a crispy breadcrumb exterior and soft interior with cured serrano ham.

Piquillos Rellenos de Brandada 3.8/5

The piquillo pepper is used again in the Piquillos Rellenos de Brandada ($4). It is stuffed with salted Atlantic codfish (bacalao) and paired with piquillo emulsion. The piquillo emulsion plays a vital role in holding the dish together, for the flavours to come together in harmony.

Txangurro a la Donostiarra 4/5

The Txangurro a la Donostiarra ($14) uses fresh crab meat and cook in sofrito base. Flour and seafood stock is then added before the mixture is poured into the empty crab shell. It is then topped with breadcrumb and butter and grilled. The appearance reminds me of a similar-looking Chinese dish, but the taste profile is very different. I thought it tasted like having french onion soup with crab meat, probably from the caramelised onion in the sofrito base.

Black Rabas "A Fuego Negro" 4.2/5

The Black Rabas "A Fuego Negro" ($22 for 5pc) is a traditional dish presented in a contemporary style. Squid and squid ink are blended together with other ingredients and fish stock. It is then formed into a donut shape using a mould and frozen. To serve, it is coated with flour, egg, tempura batter and deep fried. Pick up the squid ink donut with your hand and bite into a crispy exterior. The inside is soft with bits of diced squid.

Pulpo a la Parrilla con Pure de Nabo 4/5

Grilled to a perfect tender with hint of smokiness is the Pulpo a la Parrilla con Pure de Nabo ($8). It is paired with turnip cream, honey and picada oil. A well-thought dish with each components coming together for the delicious plate.

Carrillera estofada al vino tinto con espuma de patata 4.2/5

The Beef Cheek ($8) is stewed in red wine and paired with potato foam, caramelised apple cubes, parsley and garlic oil. The melted in the mouth beef cheek comes with a sweet winery flavour which goes well with the smooth potato foam. The caramelised apple cubes also help to cut through the richness. Another well-executed dish on the menu.

Buñuelos de Viento 3/5

The Buñuelos de Viento ($7.90) is little Spanish donuts that that an airy interior. The dough which is made from flour and eggs is deep fried and then dusted with icing sugar.

Tarta de Queso "LA VIÑA" 4.2/5

The Tarta de Queso "LA VIÑA" ($4.90) is a burnt cheesecake inspired from the popular La Vina in San Sebastian. It comes with a molten creamy centre and a caramelised flavoured crust. In a way or another, there is no need to fly all the way to Spain to know why the cheesecake is so famous.

If you are one that can't decide with choices, then you can go for the Pintxos Experience ($55++), in which the Basque Chefs will decide and prepare the different pintxos for you. Look forward to 10-12 savoury pintxos and 2 sweets. I find it somewhat similar to Japanese omakase experience, in which you leave it to the chef and served 'al momento'.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

TXA Pintxo Bar
The Alkaff Mansion
10 Telok Blangah Green
Singapore 109178
Tel: +65 67730070
Nearest MRT: Telok Blangah (CC Line)

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 5pm - 11pm

1) Alight at Telok Blangah MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to bus stop opposite Telok Blangah MRT station (Stop ID 14169). Take bus number 176. Alight 2 stops later. Walk down Henderson Road. Turn left onto Telok Blangah Green. Walk to destination. Journey time about 20 minutes. [Map]

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