Widely known as appetisers or snacks in Spanish cuisine, tapas have always been rather popular among locals looking for bar bites fulfilling enough to pass off as dinner. While it may have originated from Spain, the dining concept itself has now evolved such that, eateries serving other forms of cuisine are now creating their own tapas renditions.
What’s maintained a constant though, is how tasty these small plates are when paired with a few alcoholic drinks.
If you’re the type of person who enjoys bite-sized dishes, here are 10 recommended Tapas joints you should patronise in Singapore:
Found along Martin Road above Common Man Coffee Roasters, boCHINche is one of the few restaurants in Singapore that serves Argentinian cuisine. Specialising in bold flavours, this trendy joint whips up delectable small plates, which you can pair with a variety of handcrafted cocktails and Argentinian wines.
If you’re not a fan of vegetables, well, the Green Asparagus, Baked Brie and Grated Granola ($19) combination might change your mind.
Lightly seasoned and grilled to perfection, the asparagus pairs extremely well with the savoury goodness of the baked brie on bread. Not to mention, the grated granola that adds a delectably crunchy texture and finishes the dish off wonderfully.
boCHINche: 115 Amoy Street #01-02, 069935 | Opening Hours: Monday – Friday (12pm- 2.30pm, 6pm – 10.30pm), Saturdays (11am – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm), Sundays (11am – 3pm) | Tel: 6235 4990 | Website
9. My Little Tapas Bar
The sister branch of My Little Spanish Place, My Little Tapas Bar will treat you to an authentic Spanish experience unlike any other. Situated at Ann Siang Hill, diners can delight in a casual dinner with unique home-style tapas creations and some of the best wines imported from Spain.
Served on imported Catalan Coca bread, one word to describe the Sardines En Escabeche ($14) would be delicious. Cooked in olive oil, smoked paprika and vinegar, the sardine is packed full of flavour and marries perfectly with the spread of pepper puree underneath.
My Little Tapas Bar: 14 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069694 | Opening Hours: Monday – Friday (11.30am – 2.30pm & 5pm – 12am), Saturdays (6pm – 12am) | Tel: 6223 8048 | Website
8. La Ventana
At La Ventana, diners can experience the best that Catalan cuisine has to offer. With dishes based off recipes that have been passed down for generations, you can expect the tapas here to be of a superb quality.
What’s more, the restaurant is surrounded by tons of lush greenery in the Dempsey Hill area, allowing you to enjoy a nice meal over a scenic view.
A dish to look out for is the Lobster “Coca” ($19.80). Paired with eggplant puree and roasted capsicums, fresh lobster meat is served atop a crisp puff pastry. Boasting both soft and crunchy textures, here’s a dish that would definitely excite your taste buds.
La Ventana: 16A Dempsey Road #01-01, Singapore 247695 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm & 6pm – 11pm daily | Tel: 6470 0100 | Website
7. Maziga Indian Bar & Grill
Maziga India Bar & Grill serves Indian tapas with a modern touch, you can find interesting menu items such as Chicken Liver Masala and Tandoori Prawns. If you’re vegetarian, you can also opt for non-meat options like the Chilli Paneer and Honey-glazed Masala.
Cooked in a tandoor, the Paneer Chilli Tika ($16.50) comes with a smokiness that elevates the taste of the entire dish. As you savour the chunky cheese cubes that have been marinated to perfection, don’t forget to squeeze a bit of lemon over it for some much needed zest!
Maziga Indian Bar & Grill: 3C River Valley Road, The Cannery@Clarke Quay, #01-10, Singapore 179022 | Opening Hours: 12pm – 1am daily | Tel: 62537307 | Website
A clever play on words, Octapas certainly has a name that grabs your attention. Conceived by the same team behind The Tapas Tree, you know you’re in good hands when you’re dealing with a pioneering tapas joint.
Plus, with live musical performances every night, diners get to enjoy an extensive selection of cold and hot tapas whilst basking in the ambience of the bar.
As a traditional Spanish dish, the Boquerones En Limon ($10) is definitely one of the more popular picks. Marinated in lemon, garlic and olive oil, the anchovies are simply bursting with flavour. If you want up the intensity, do not hesitate to drizzle more lemon juice over it.
Octapas: D River Valley Rd, 01-08 Clarke Quay, Singapore 179023 | Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday (12pm – 1am), Friday & Saturday (12pm – 2am) | Tel: 6837 2938 | Website
5. FOC Restaurant
For quintessential Catalan cuisine, hit FOC by Nandu Jubany up. Located at Hong Kong Street, it has a menu that offers a mix of traditional dishes, as well as more modernised renditions to shake things up. The ingredients in each tapas dish changes depending on what is freshest this time of year, so you are guaranteed a quality meal each visit.
Have the Grilled Foie Gras Sliders with Marinated Shitake ($22+) if you can’t get enough of that duck liver. Small as it may look, each bun has a soft texture with a hint of shiitake mushroom that just pairs so well with the creamy foie gras fillings. Now, this is how a mini burger should be done.
FOC: 40 Hong Kong Street, Singapore 059679 | Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday (12pm – 2pm, 6pm -10pm), Fridays (12pm – 2pm, 6pm – 10.30pm), Saturdays (6pm – 10.30pm) | Website
Boasting an extensive assortment of 44 tapas offerings on the menu, you can find everything from tuna sashimi to grilled Hokkaido scallops at this Izakaya-inspired bar. If that’s not enough, you will also be delighted to know that they have over 100 brands of sake, shochu and Japanese whisky to choose from. How can this not make for an amazing tapas experience?
Try the Saga Gyu Tataki ($28.80) if you’re into beef cuts. This seared Japanese saga beef is not only soft and tender but also has a grade A3 marbling that makes it all the more delicious. Goes great with the restaurant’s homemade Shoyu sauce so be sure to pair them together!
Bōruto: 80 South Bridge Road, #01-01 Golden Castle Building, Singapore 058710 | Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday (4.30pm – 12am) | Tel: 6532 0418 | Website
3. UNA At One Rochester
Planning a romantic evening with your significant other? Why not give UNA at One Rochester a go. Situated within the quiet Rochester area, this is the perfect place to retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city for an intimate dinner.
Offering a robust menu packed with plenty of tapas, you will simply be spoilt for choice! With an assortment of artisanal cocktails, mixers and premium spirits, they also happen to be well stocked up in the alcohol department.
For something fancy, opt for the Pulpo A La Parrilla Con Papas Arrugadas Y Mojo ($32). This smoky grilled octopus tastes just as delicious as it looks. Paired with baby potatoes, coriander and doused in paprika sauce, the flavours on this one are intensely good.
UNA at One Rochester: 1 Rochester Park, Singapore 139212 | Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday (6pm – 11pm) | Tel: 6773 0070 | Website
2. Flying Monkey
If you’re looking for an Indian Tapas bar, Flying Monkey is the place to be. Serving authentic Indian cuisine with a contemporary twist, this swanky bar in Bussorah Street is where you will find interesting renditions of classic dishes. But that’s not all because they also have a resident bartender on site who is just brilliant at concocting bespoke cocktails.
When I say unique, I mean something like the Truffle Naan ($14). Instead of the savoury naan dishes we’re all used to, this one comes with sweeter pairings, like paneer mousse and pear chutney, which really is a refreshing palate change. Once you’ve tried this, you might even start ditching the more conventional curry dipping.
Flying Monkey: 67 Bussorah St, Singapore 199480 | Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (12pm – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 11pm) | Tel: 6291 0695 | Website
Nestled in the corner of Jiak Chuan Road, Esquina is truly the go-to place for a selection of creative tapas. Here, you will often find that the dishes are one-of-a-kind and have been whipped up with a twist or two. Although this the prices here are slightly steeper, you will certainly get your money’s worth as each dish is guaranteed to leave you feeling satisfied.
if you’re new to this joint, go for the Grilled Spanish Octopus ($28). Boasting a deliciously charred flavour, the thick octopus tentacle is grilled such that it has an extremely chewy texture. Paired with Jerusalem artichoke puree, burnt onions and bacon oil, each ingredient brings out the smokiness of the tentacle well enough. Definitely, a personal favourite.
Esquina: 16 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089267 | Opening Hours: Monday – Friday (12pm – 12.30pm, 6pm – 10.30pm), Saturdays (6pm – 10.30pm) | Tel: 6222 1616 | Website
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