Near Telok Ayer MRT

Lolla, one of the highly raved exquisite tapas place. Heard of all the hype about it and maybe due to the higher expectations, I was just impressed by two dishes while the rest were good but just felt replicable and may be priced at a lower price elsewhere. Pictures would be quite grainy over here as the lighting was really dim as we got the seats at a long communal table at the basement. Felt a little like dining in Cambridge and yeah A and I struck a short convo with the people sitting beside me. Try to get the counter seat if you want to have better photos (but be prepared to leave with a charred ordour) or you could choose the seats at the communal table with a better lighting.

DSC_1124To kick off the meal, we got the Toasted Baguette with Tomato and Roasted Garlic. Baguette was very well toasted, very crispy on the outside while still retaining the fluffiness in it. Spread the appetising tomato puree on your baguette and top it with some roasted garlic; tastes pretty good actually. $8.



Yes, this is the dish that got me very impressed. I am not a big fan of uni but when creamy, fresh uni is combined with squid ink egg pudding, it is just impeccable. Intense umami there and really creamy, thick pudding and uni. Very good combination! $21 for half a portion (I think it was priced $19 last year).

DSC_1116Grilled octopus for $26. Really fresh and springy octopus over here drizzled in chilli oil. The lime gives it a refreshing touch.

DSC_1118Tortilla with smoked eel for $19. Tortilla omelette is fluffy and has soft potato cubes in it but lacked the oomph. The smoked eel gave it a more savoury touch and is quite chewy. Somehow, I still prefer the traditional tortilla from Binomio that costs $8. Though it doesn’t have fanciful toppings like smoked eel on it, the tortilla itself is more tasty, substantial and satisfying.



And this is the 2nd dish that I was impressed with, that is the Grassfed Ribeye steak. 300g for $58 and I thought that is pretty reasonable. Steak was done medium and it was already very pink in the middle. So if you love to have pretty much raw beef, then maybe you would fancy a medium rare. The top bit has a slightly crispy texture and that makes the beef really fragrant while the inside is really soft and satisfying.

DSC_1125The steamed chocolate pudding for dessert for $15. Comes with creamy vanilla ice cream and I like the chocolate pudding steamed as it has loads of thick, rich melted chocolate in it. Delicious!

So after having the meal, was I satisfied? I am and would find this a good tapas place but somehow Burnt Ends beckons more as I may get slightly more well-plated and substantial food over there with a slightly lower price. Preparation of the food has an uncanny resemblance between the two restaurants but every dish at burnt ends seems to be more wholesome with salad served. OK, despite all these comparisons, I would still say that the uni pudding is really special and may make your visit worth it while the rib eye is indeed well prepared.

Verdict: A good restaurant. (Would have got into the excellent category if the price is slightly lower)

Sabio Tapas Bar & Restaurant

Sabio Tapas Bar

Duxton Hill

Finished most of the cafes and not sure of where to settle your next must-have Sunday brunch? Then you may want to try Sabio at Duxton Hill which serves a pretty good value all-you-can-eat Sunday Tapas brunch for just $49.90. G, K and I went for this today and I believe we were pretty much satisfied despite the big room of improvement that this restaurant could have in other various ways. They have a pretty long menu and we had most of the things on it, actually we almost finished trying all the hot tapas.

Sabio1For the cold tapas, we had the caviar of eggplant, marinated capsicum and seafood salad. These could be skipped I thought as they tasted really normal. Caviar of eggplant was quite bland in fact while the seafood salad tasted like what you could get on SQ.

DSC_1121Ah… this premium Canadian oysters are really fresh and goes really well with the refreshing lemon.

DSC_1123From the hot tapas, we had this sizzling prawns which were really fresh and succulent. Sauce is slightly spicy while I liked the generous amount of chopped garlic used as they made this dish more fragrant. Btw, I asked for a slice of lemon to make it even more refreshing and that indeed gave the prawns an edge!

DSC_1129Fresh grilled mussels with tomato condiments. This plate of hot tapas was quite delicious too as mussels were fresh. It could have been even better if lemon is added to it!

DSC_1134Lamb shank confit with olives. The impressive bit about this lamb shank is that it is really well cooked and you can slice slide the meat off easily the bone. Really tender and kinda melts in your mouth. Impressive cooking here.

DSC_1136Chicken in garlic queso manchego (cheese). The melted cheese and the slightly spicy sauce made this super tender chicken meat very fragrant and tantalising. The outside layer of the chicken has also a slight crisp while still retaining the moist within.

Sabio-001And we had the meat balls in spicy tomato sauce, garlic mushrooms and fluffy tortilla with sausages and spinach. Meat balls were well made and doesn’t have too much flour in it while the garlic mushrooms were fragrant but a tad salty. Tortilla though was quite bland except for those portions with sausages hidden in it.

DSC_1138Pan-fried calamari cooked with spicy sauce and saffron added to it. Saffron gave it the refreshing fragrance while calamari is very fresh and has an addictive texture! This plate was devoured within seconds.

DSC_1140Squid ink Spanish noodle paella with squid and peppers. As a fan of squid ink, we got this bowl of noodles and it indeed did not disappoint us. Noodles were moist and al dente while the squid ink makes it even more savoury and intensely flavoured. The lemon definitely added another refreshing dimension to this noodles. Yummy!

DSC_1142Spanish Coca with serrano ham and arugula. The tomato spread with chilli oil, bitter rocket and the thin savoury serrano ham make a good combination overall. The thing we loved best was the thin crust that tasted very fragrant and crunchy. This is really a must order I felt if you are at this restaurant as the crust is really quite special.

SabioAnd after having so much, we of course have to end this big meal with all the desserts available. We had the churros with chocolate sauce, creme brulee and rice with vanilla and white chocolate. Churros were crispy on the outside and really soft on the inside while creme brulee was satisfyingly sweet. The caramelised top though could have been thinner. The most special one is the rice with vanilla and white choc; while sauce was really well made the rice could have been softer. Then again, I thought it was pretty good overall.

So, we had a good brunch here but a pretty long one for about 2.5h. We were lucky enough to be sitting in front of the air condition as the restaurant wasn’t chilled enough. Service was pretty OK though it didn’t start off well until we told them that we haven’t gotten any of our food after they have been ordered for quite a while. I believe that this restaurant is really short staffed and that explains the slightly forgetful service. So, we learnt a trick – that is to remind them about our food if we don’t see them in about 15min and they would be promptly served. Then again, if you are really patient and would like to have some pretty good tapas at a very reasonable price, then brunch at Sabio duxton would be your choice! Thanks for the bday treat from G and K once again!

Verdit: A good restaurant.

Binomio – Happy Mothers’ day!


Near Outram MRT


This picture looks really rustic with the barrel in front of the door.

It’s my 2nd visit to Binomio. As I was confident that this place serves really good Spanish food, I decided to bring my parents here tonight to celebrate Mothers’ Day. While I was at the bar (as restaurant was full) on my first visit, I booked the restaurant this time, thinking that it may be more appropriate for dinner with the parents. Wanted to look for the sous chef that I made friends with but he is in Spain currently! So lets see what’s on the restaurant menu.

DSC_0713Got a glass of sangria white wine to share as I know that it should be good here. Indeed it was a very good glass of sangria as there is a strong fruity punch while the white wine makes it a little alcoholic and more zesty. It felt a little diluted initially but after swirling it, the sangria became more homogeneous and tasted right and refreshing! The dilution must be due to the melting ice. $14.

DSC_0709Tortilla for $8. I had this when I was at the bar the other time and found it soooo delicious that I need to get it again this time. This was actually not on the menu and they do not serve any bar food as the bar kitchen is very small and will not be able to cope with it if everyone were to order from there. I guess the actual reason is because the bar tapas is cheaper and if you are in the restaurant, you would be expected to get the more upmarket tapas. But the waiter was nice enough to give me the tortilla as I looked so addicted to it. Again the omelette in it is really soft, wobbly and fragrant while the potatoes are really soft and soothing. Very delicious comfort food. You can eat it with two kinds of mayo, either the normal white ones or the slightly spicy orange one. I personally prefer the spicy one.


DSC_0717Ham croquette. Sorry for the first blurry picture. Did not qc properly for that. Croquette was very delicious as well, the outside was thin and crispy while the filling is really moist and has a ham fragrance. $14.

DSC_0719Grilled octopus with pork belly underneath. This was a recommended tapas from the waitress but I didn’t really enjoy it. The octopus was very fresh, succulent and wasn’t overcooked nor tough and has a really good texture. However, it felt bland overall as the sauce tasted quite flat. The pork belly, was not my type of food as it purely is just fats and so I left it untouched. Maybe you will find that the fragrance of the pork belly would complement the taste of the octopus if you are a pork belly lover. $29.

DSC_0721I got this grilled fish with vizcaina sauce, garlic and thinly sliced potatoes from the ‘principle’ section for $32. The sauce tasted right and would have brought out the freshness and succulence of the fish. However, it was a pity as the fish tasted a little dry inside. It was an overgrilled fish. The potatoes were delicious though as they were slightly charred and has a nice fragrance. It would have been a much better main if the fish was moist.


DSC_0723Then I had something that I know I wouldn’t be disappointed in. Squid ink Paella for 2 for $70. This Paella was again, very delicious. Rice was very moist and heavily coated with the fragrance of the stock. Squid is very crunchy and has a very good texture while the clams felt fresh as well. My parents loved the two paella that we ordered initially but found the heavy taste a little too overwhelming towards the end. But I like that intense flavour of these paella.


DSC_0726And this is the chicken and seafood Paella for 2 for $66. Had this the first time and I am addicted to it. Really intense flavour and every grain is uniformly coated with the the fragrant stock. The way they serve it is actually quite interesting as they will first bring these paella out for you to see first before they help you to apportion it into your plates. Of course you can request to scoop them up on your own but our table wasn’t big enough to accommodate two huge pans. The waitress knew that I wanted to take pictures of it and so placed it down for me to take them first while they waited patiently beside. Really nice service here.

DSC_0728And this is my ying-yang paella after they apportioned it. Yummy!

DSC_0735Then before getting the bill, we got the churros for $14 to satisfy our sweet tooth. The dessert menu is quite small and only has about 5 desserts on it. Antonio recommended the churros to me the other time and I found it really unique as it isn’t dry inside but slightly gooey and really moist. That is the main difference from most churros which makes this one a winner. Parents loved it and you can eat it plain or dip into that cup of thick, rich chocolate sauce.

So, did Binomio impress and satisfy me again? Yes, it definitely did despite having two misses in the more expensive tapas. Though that was a little disappointing, the other tapas and delicious paella made up for it. My parents were also really happy with the meal and glad that they had a delectable Spanish meal. Service here is really good I felt as the waitresses and waiters are always smiley and felt quite sincere from bringing you in to sending you off (which is something you don’t get a lot from ang mor establishments here). The waitress was quite amazed that we could down so much food and offered to make one of the paella smaller (at a lower price) but I was too famished then and so went with the total serving for four. After we were done with the paella, she even exclaimed in disbelief. Somehow, I feel more won over by the bar as tapas there is cheaper and delicious while I also get to order my favourite Paella. So the next time I go back to Binomio, I will return to the more familiar bar instead!

Verdict: An excellent restaurant