Friday, October 19

Anniversary lunch at Esquina

I was half dreading our visit to Esquina ( The reason: a hangover brought on by half a glass of champagne consumed during dinner the previous night. How lame does that sound? Please don't judge, I paid quite a hefty price for it. 

Anyway, all I wanted was a bowl of soup and some toast; on that note, I believe innocent looking places like Soup Spoon exist for this reason - alcoholics, not soupaholics. Ok, back to Esquna - it was our anniversary, the Mr had already taken the day off so I should take one for the team too. 

Having heard horror stories of the space and queue, we popped by half an hour before the restaurant opens at 12 noon. Perhaps I am out of touch but hype has more or less simmered and there was hardly any need to queue up for lunch on a Monday.

The barbecued roasted corn was and probably still is the easily the cheapest and most addictive item on the menu. It makes me want to lick my fingers when I was done but in doing so, I would have single-handedly reduced the hip quotient of the eatery by half.

Crisp and chewy, the salt and pepper squid seriously reminded me of the squid head fritter from Old Chang Kee that I used to loved as a kid (I still love them but I'm not a kid anymore). Of course, there wasn't a need for there to be black ink in the aioli; most flavours would have worked for this pleasing dish but it's all about keepin it in (squid) family, I guess.

Silky yet slightly runny, the smoked haddock, spring onion and manchego omelette was yet another likeable dish. A slice of toast to cut the rich monotony would have been nice. Note to self: Take the baguette and leave your bag in the car.

I was all meat-ed out from the weekend so only the veal sweetbread and foie gras empanadas sounded appealing. And boy was it awesome! With that slab of foie sitting on top of a buttery empanadas, it's a bit rich for one person. However,  if you are sharing this dish, be sure to protect your share of the sweet caramelized onion and caper jam.

In contrast, the baked sea bass with sweet corn chowder was subtler in flavor - a good accompaniment to our other dishes.

For dessert, we went for the Seville orange and rosemary ice cream, burnt meringue, citrus curd and marmalade toast. A lovely summerish dessert that would have been pleasant but unexciting had it not been for the rosemary ice cream.  The herb-y ice cream took some getting used to - yeah, like two seconds - and I relished every bit of it.

Though Esquina didn't stun, shock or surprise, the dishes were interesting without being outlandish and certainly worth trying at least once.


Bern said...

Happy anniversary! Is this the wedding anni or the getting-together one?

yixiao said...

thank you! the wedding one =p