As a true red, white, and green Mexican, I’m always on the look out for good Mexican and Spanish food. After a lot of heartache and disappointment, I was pleasantly surprised when we were invited to a little place nestled along the strip of restaurants at Boat Quay. My little Spanish place, is an experience not to be missed.
Sitting along the riverside stretch of Boat Quay, My Little Spanish Place has a very cosy atmosphere with its brown and earthy tones. Decor is kept simple but classy and it features an open kitchen – something I personally like cause I like the fact that I can watch the chefs prepare the meal.
We started the meal with a sampler platter of 4 different Jamon (Spanish Parma Ham): Joselito, 10 Vetas, Realanza and Fermin. Each Jamon slice, was hand carved by Chef Maria Sevillano. The different types of Jamon had very distinct differences in their taste profiles – I would recommend every one who visits them to try the Jamon – but have a chat with the staff to see which type you should order based on your own preference. They’re a great start to almost any meal.
To cleanse the pallet before the next dish, we had gaspacho (a soup made of raw vegetables, with a tomato base, and served cold) shooters which were served in test tubes.
We then decided to try the house white wine sangria, to complement our meal. As a fan of sangria, this drink somewhat let me down. I found it to be a bit on the soft side lacking the flavor that I have come to love in my sangria. I decided to look past this and ordered the red wine sangria after I was done with the white and it was the best choice I could have made. The red wine base was the perfect contrast to the sweet fruity taste. The best part about these drinks were the sweet fresh fruit that sat at the bottom of the glass.
Next we had the Migas ($8 per serving) a traditionally pastoral dish. Now, I was expecting the traditional version that I’m familiar with – made of chopped up tortillas and eggs. They took a new spin on it though and made it their own with chorizo, tomatoes, homemade croutons, red pepper instead. In place of the traditional scrambled egg, they used a soft boiled egg topped with crispy Serrano ham instead which gave a new dimension to the dish.
To compliment the Migas we had the Tabla de Salchichas Artesanales ($21). The platter consisted of buitfarra sausages, blood sausages, chorizo and sobrasada (and pork fat terrine) which were elegantly placed on a wooden board with the house version of Mojo Rojo and Mojo Verde (sauces). It was great to learn that the sausages were are all made in house (with the exception of the Morcilla).
The highlight of the meal for me though was the Pulpo de la Casa ($36 per 100gm) – grilled fresh octopus leg seasoned with pimenton, sea salt and olive oil served with red pepper and potato purees. Now my companion, has no appreciation for fresh seafood, but we found ourselves fighting over the last pieces. What really made this stand out was potato purée. I was quite surprised that it was so flavorful and complimented the octopus so well. Apparently the sauce is a specialty of the chef, no surprise there.
We ended our meal with Secreto Iberico ($28) and the Fideau Verde ($38/$66). The Secreto Iberico is seared Iberian pork smoked with applewood, marinated with thyme and garlic served with nice crispy potato shears. The Fideau Verde was a green Spanish short noodle paella with prawns and black muscles served in alioli.
If they were going head to head, the Fideua was the winner here. Served in a small black pan, the dish was served hot to our table. As paella is normally served with rice, I was a bit skeptical. But the use of noodles really added to the dish. The noodles that sat at the bottom of the pan were nice and crispy and the mussels were not only fresh but one could assume they were hand chosen as they were both salty and sweet.
The meal was then topped off with Leche Merengada con PX ($12), a Meringue Milk Ice-Cream with Pedro Ximenez Dessert Wine. I couldn’t think of a better way to complete the day.
What makes My Little Spanish Place stand out? Their attention to detail. Every plate was artistically created. They say you eat with your eyes first. Chef Edward Esmero, seems to have taken this as his personal mantra and then passed it on to the rest of the kitchen staff.
It was nice to see so much attention to detail, not only in the presentation of the food, but also of the preparation. The open kitchen adds to this as I always sit at the best angle possible to watch the way food is prepared. Watching a real chef is mesmerizing and akin to a performance – like watching dancers on a stage. Every toss of the pan is like a ballerina soaring across center stage. Chef Esmero doesn’t disappoint.
My Little Spanish Place is a balanced mix of authenticity, personal style and tweaked to cater to the Singaporean palette. Never overwhelming, always tasteful. In addition to Boat Quay, they have two other outlets along Bukit Timah and Club Street. For me, I know where I can go to get my Spanish fix.