When we talk about Spanish food, most people will usually think about tapas. The word ‘tapa’ has the origin from the verb ‘tapar’, which means ‘to cover’ in Spanish. There are many versions of the origins of tapas. The most common story being serving food with the cover or lid to keep the flies away.
Back to present day, tapas can be found aplenty in bars or a restaurants as snacks. But they can make you full if you have a few portions or several with friends. Tapas can be cold dishes like cheese (queso), cold cuts (jamon, chorizo, salchichon, etc.), or hot dishes like tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette), gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp). In Spain, a tapas bar can be just a tiny hole in the wall. However, the variety of food will depend on the region that you are in.
Tapas in Singapore
Before Tapas Club opened in Singapore, many authentic Spanish restaurants were already established here. Places such as Binomio, FOC, Catalunya (closed in 2016), etc. Spanish cuisine was still relatively unknown to many Singaporeans and lagged behind French and Italian in terms of popularity.
Fret not, my fellow readers, Tapas Club has opened in the prime shopping area of Singapore for quite some time and I am glad to inform you that the food here is really nice and the price is wallet-friendly too – starting from $5 – $25.
Tapas Club is run by Chef Jose Alonso (from Binomio) and Chef Manuel Berganza (One Michelin Star Chef). The restaurant serves authentic Spanish tapas at a comparatively low price (Singapore’s standard). I have visited the restaurant twice and have had nothing but praise for the two chefs for serving yummy and authentic Spanish food in a very casual setting.
I tried different dishes in my two visits and all I can say that all the food were yummy. In fact, I think the overall quality of all the dishes is even higher than tapas you get from a typical bar in Spain. My favourite dishes are Sardinitas con Salsa Espinaler (baby sardines with Espinaler sauce), Pluma de Cerdo (pork shoulder), Pulpo a la Brasa (grilled octopus) and Fideua Negra (squid ink noodle paella). For the desserts, I had Crema Catalana con Sorbete (creme brûlée with sorbet) in my first visit but it was not as memorable as the food so I didn’t order the dessert again in my second visit.
If you are a fan of Jamon Iberico like me, don’t miss the Jamon Iberico or the cold cuts platter. If you order the platter, you will also get Pan con Tomate (toast bread with tomato) on the house. This is similar to the one you can get at FOC and if you don’t order the cold cuts platter, I still think you should order this dish. It’s just $5. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
If you read till here, you will know that I like this place a lot. Tapas Club, albeit its uninspiring name, serves honest delicious Spanish food. The ambience may not be as nice as Binomio or FOC. However, I believe with its price, its location and its quality food, Tapas Club will become a hit among young crowds here. I cannot recommend this place highly enough.
*The Mbassadors paid for their own meal (ouch!) unless otherwise stated.
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