Dining: Catalunya – Fine Flavours from Spain
Singapore’s fine dining scene in recent times has risen a few notches with the opening of restaurants helmed by world famous chefs. One new arrival is Catalunya which boasts a team who had stints at world-renowned Michelin 3-star elBulli, which had temporary closed.
Head chef Alain Devahive Tolosa worked in its kitchens and restaurant manager, Pol Perello, ran the restaurant for 12 years. The owner of Catalunya is Ku De Ta. With such luminaries behind Catalunya, expectations are naturally high when we decided to have a meal there.
Located at the newly built The Fullerton Pavilion, Catalunya occupies a unique glass-encased dome floating atop the waters of Marina Bay. It has an unobstructed and panoramic view of Singapore’s city landscape and the Marina Bay. The view at night is even more spectacular, enhanced by the lights of Marina Bay.
The menu is simple and not exhaustive. Some of the tapas look interesting. Jamon Iberico Croquette (4 pieces for S$12/-) is made of Spanish ham croquette which is a traditional Spanish dish. The mashed potatoes were creamy and silky inside and the breadcrumb coating on the outside was crispy. Definitely a cut above similar croquettes served in the other Spanish restaurants in Singapore.
The restaurant does not offer free bread. If you want some, try the Pa Amb Tomaquet (S$8/-) which is an iconic Catalan dish or bread with tomato and olive oil. The bread was sliced thin and toasted till crispy, drizzled with olive oil and had mashed tomatoes sitting on top. A simple and tasty combination. It is better to order the Pa Amb Tomaquet as the normal bread cost S$6/-.
Another good starter was the roasted meat “canelon” with “Idiazabal” cheese and basil oil (S$19/-). The tender roasted pork was wrapped in thin pasta with the melted cheese overlaying it. Although the portion was small, it tasted heavenly.
The other “must order” is the Tortilla Omelette “Deconstruccion” (S$10) which is served in a martini glass. This is the deconstructed version of the Spanish omelette which comes in liquid form with layering of onion confit, egg and potato foam. To “eat” it, the serving staff advised us to dip our spoon straight downwards and scoop up all at one go. The result was a delightful concoction of a flavourful thick “soup”.
For the mains, there are a variety of meat and seafood dishes. We tried the Cape Grim Tasmanian dry aged “Txuleta” (S$100/- for two persons). The main course does not come with side dishes and we ordered the smoked mashed potato (S$10/-) and stewed mushrooms, baby onions and vegetables (S$15/-) to go with the steak.
Although slightly charred on the outside, the meat was juicy and tender. The two side dishes complemented the steak well.
The desserts at Catalunya are also not the usual fare offered at most Spanish restaurants. “Torrija” with milk ice cream (S$12/-) which is fried milk bread with spices served with smoked milk ice-cream stood out. The other dessert, which was the warm creamy almond tart (S$12/-), was equally good. It had the almond cream oozing out when we sliced the tart. It was simply divine especially when you eat it with the almond cream.
The serving staff were attentive and friendly when we had our lunch there. Diners have a choice on where to sit. Those sharing tapas can choose to either sit at the bar area or at the lower split level. Both levels will have a good view of the waterfront.
The cost of a lunch at Catalunya, is not for the average diner who has to watch his wallet. If you choose to pay Catalunya a visit, do budget about S$80/- per person without drinks.
The Fullerton Pavilion
82 Collyer Quay
Tel: 6534 0188
For reservations, please call: 6534 0886
Daily: 11.00 am to 2.00 am