The fervour of a Catalonian chef, tantalising cocktails, and delectable bites make for a finely curated mix. Head chef Toni Valero Ruiz gives BAZAAR a taste of Spain at KL’s hottest new Mediterranean restaurant, Ohla Tapas & Cocktails. By Sharmita Summu
THE HERITAGE I am influenced by Catalonian cuisine and that from the South of Spain, because my parents are from there.
Most of my childhood summers were spent in the southern region and that is where my love for Iberico
originated from. Mix that with my experiences mastered in Donostia, the mecca for tapas, Ohla is a wonderful mix of different parts of Spain.
SPANISH CUISINE It is difficult to truly define what is Spanish food. But if we are talking about tapas, it’s all about sharing
food. It is the norm for us to go to bars, and share moments with friends and family over food and wine.
PERFECT TIPPLE The Gin & Tonic at Ohla! It is made with Siderit, a gin from the north of Spain. The Rebujito cocktail is also a favourite. It is a sexy mix of sherry, vermouth, Sprite, calamansi, and mint.
FUSION SURPRISE Spaniards love their pork. This Chinese New Year, we created a special treat. I made Iberico suckling pig dim sum with skin made from fat instead of water.
OHLA’S TAPAS Our menu is an eclectic mix of traditional flavours with a modern twist. In Spain we’d call it a gastrobar!
MICHELIN EXPERIENCE Working at El Celler de Can Roca (three Michelin stars) and Mugaritz (two Michelin stars) were highlights of my
Chef Toni Valero Ruiz, head chef of Ohla Tapas & Cocktails
Chef Ruiz at work, creating his tapas