Food and Travel (Singapore) - - Reviews -

THE BUZZ Nes­tled within the quaint Dempsey Hill, Don Qui­jote, which is opened by xxx of­fers au­then­tic Span­ish cui­sine in a lovely set­ting. For an added touch of au­then­tic­ity, the restau­rant is the only one in Sin­ga­pore that serves xxx.

AM­BI­ENCE Awash with red and yel­low colours, and out­fit­ted with wooden fur­nish­ings and plenty of Span­ish para­pher­na­lia, the am­bi­ence at Don Qui­jote is homey and rustic – it al­most feels as though you are din­ing in some­one’s home.

FOOD & DRINK Like its rustic in­te­rior, the food served at Don Qui­jote is gen­uine and whole­some with flavours rem­i­nis­cent of Spain. The chefs here swear by only the fresh­est and high­est qual­ity in­gre­di­ents, most of which are flown in from Spain. In fact, al­most all of the fishes on the menu (ex­cept the desserts) are cooked and pre­pared us­ing the owner's fam­ily brand of or­ganic ex­tra vir­gin olive oil.

The menu sees a well-cu­rated se­lec­tion of tra­di­tional Span­ish dishes – think cold and hot tapas, a va­ri­ety of pael­las, pas­tas, meats, and plenty of soups and sal­ads. Be­ing first-time visi­tors to the restau­rant, we left the de­ci­sion in the good hands of the lo­qua­cious staff, who in­tro­duced the menu and gave a very de­tailed break­down of ev­ery item.

We started our meal with a bas­ket of bread, a se­lec­tion of hot tapas and some cham­pagne. The tapas, which com­prised grilled fried shrimp (gam­bas al ajillo, S$14), fried bat­tered squid in a spicy sauce (cala­mares a la par­illa pi­cante, S$16), cro­quettes with cured Span­ish ham (cro­que­tas con jamón, S$16), grilled se­creto (se­creto a la plan­cha, S$26), Of­fer­ing per­son­alised ser­vice, a warm and cosy en­vi­ron­ment, and an ex­ten­sive Span­ish menu in­clud­ing some eighty food items rang­ing from tapas, savoury soups to fresh seafood, pael­las and very suc­cu­lent meats, Don Qui­jote def­i­nitely tops our list of 'must-visit' restau­rants. and ox­tail stew (rabo de toro, S$16), were a fan­tas­tic way to ease into the menu. Our favourite from the lot was the cro­quette filled with Iberico ham – a crumbed, cheesy, deep-fried and bite-sized de­light. Also good was the grilled fried shrimp, which was moist, tasty and just the right side of firm.

For mains, we or­dered a few items to share, such as the squid and shrimp pasta cooked in squid ink (fideuá ne­gra, S$33), the roasted Span­ish style suck­ling pig (asado de co­chinillo es­panol, S$169 for half a pig), the lamb rack with honey red wine sauce and gar­den veg­eta­bles (chule­tas de cordero, S$42), as well as the restau­rant's sig­na­ture paella – the paella es­pe­cial Don Qui­jote(tm) (S$53 for the small pan). We thor­oughly en­joyed all the dishes, but the high­light for us was def­i­nitely the suck­ling pig and paella. The for­mer was sea­soned and cooked per­fectly re­sult­ing in ex­tremely ten­der, suc­cu­lent and flavour­ful meat, while the lat­ter, which came with a smat­ter­ing of plump prawns, juicy mus­sels and clams, and scrump­tious chorizo bits nestling amid the moist and slightly chewy rice grains, was ex­cep­tion­ally hearty and de­li­cious.

Din­ers will be pleased to know that there are many ways to en­joy an au­then­tic paella here – you can choose to have your rice cooked al dente or slightly softer, with five var­i­ous top­pings in a saf­fron or squid ink stock, and sizes that run from a per­sonal pan to gen­er­ous com­mu­nal por­tions.

To round off an ex­tremely sump­tu­ous din­ner, we had churros (churros con choco­late, S$12), and a warm choco­late cake made with Span­ish choco­lates and served with vanilla ice cream (bomba de choco­late, S$19). AD­DRESS #01-02, Block 7 Dempsey Road

TEL 65/6476-2811

OPEN­ING HOURS Daily : Noon to 3:00pm (Lunch) 6:30pm to 11:00pm (Din­ner)

WEB­SITE www.don-qui­joter­estau­

PRICE Cold tapas from S$12 Hot tapas from S$8 Sal­ads from S$14 Pael­las from S$30 Meats from S$18 Desserts from S$8

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