December 14, 2013
I’ve to say, I really love the creative word play of Octapas Spanish Tapas Bar and also the logo of the sexy mertopus(??). Really good branding that’s memorable.
Furthering my repertoire review of Spanish restaurants, I’ve been invited to Octopas to try this tapas spot right smack in Clark Quay.
Simple, casual atmosphere by the river with interesting vintage tiled table tops. Warm, lighting with red hues are very commonly used in restaurants/bars as the lighting is relaxing, as well as red being a colour that stimulates appetite. Just look at the number of fast-food restaurants who use red.
We decided to sit outside for dinner for the natural breeze and a more bustling ambience.
Sautéed Shrimps in Garlic & Olive Oil ($16.50). Also known by its Spanish name as Gambas al Ajillo, I somehow always get served this dish at every Spanish restaurant. Simply presented as usual in the cazuela pot, Octapas’ version was actually pretty good, having beautiful garlic notes and combined with fresh, juicy prawns.
I was staring at the dish and thought the prawns looked kinda off, then realized it’s because the chef didn’t devein the prawns, making it look less impressive. Still delicious though.
Tostadas with Aubergine, Peppers, Onion & Parmesan Cheese Gratinated ($9.50). Although there’s no tomato, this actually reminded me of a pizza with the cheese and peppers. Good flavours, but I didn’t like that the toppings had soaked my bread and made it soggy. The toast had to be crispy and firm to have a good combination with the soft aubergine.
Sautéed Potatoes with Chorizo ($14). Positive stuff first- lovely, fluffy potatoes on its own. Unfortunately, I found the Chorizo really tough and dry with a sour hint. Not the best choice of chorizo sausage brand.
Poached Egg with Shitake Mushroom and Truffle Oil ($12). The trick with poached egg dishes is to always mix up everything. The mushrooms and runny eggs work for me paired together, creating a fuller bodied mouthful. Could have used a little more truffle oil though, could barely smell it.
Grilled Squid Balsamic Vinegar ($16). Although not an Octopus, this could potentially be Octapas’ signature tentacled dish. Really soft and tenderly cooked squid simply seasoned. Would have liked a little more balsamic vinegar for that sweet compliment that works really well with seafood.
Paella Valenciana ($40/$60). I didn’t really enjoy this Paella because the rice was mushy and seems to have been cooked beforehand. The meats and seafood were also dry and a little overcooked, resulting in toughness. Not to mentioned the accursed crappy chorizos as well. Hit Barraka Restaurant for really good Paella.
From left: Sangria Red Blooded ($15), Churros with Chocolate Sauce ($10). The sangria really lacked infused citrus flavours as well as the additional triple sec and brandy, tasting more like diluted red wine.
The Churros were actually fried pretty well and the dough fritters were tasty, but could have used a bit more sugar coating as it wasn’t sweet enough. It tastes a lot better with the moist milk chocolate, but still needs more cinnamon sugar as the chocolate also was quite mild.
Octapas Spanish Tapas Bar has its hits and misses for me, but I really enjoyed the quick service and friendly hospitality.
Expected Damage: $40-$50