Monday, October 27

Catalunya, The Fullerton Pavilion

KW's belated birthday meal with his folks took place at Catalunya. I wasn't expecting much since tapas is so 1Q2014 and Spanish food in general doesn't excite me. But I will say, I love being proven wrong and I'm sure the Mister loves it when I take a bite out of the humble pie. Yes, learn and let live - secrets to a happy marriage.

Battling a post-vacation cold made my tastebuds BLAH to most flavours so I was initially worried about the muted flavours of the meal. I couldn't possibly ask for red-cut chili now, can I? However, by the end of the meal, the cold or dulled tastebuds was a horizon away.

Classic El Bulli starter. The Spherical Olives is a token El Bulli teaser for plebes like us. It was playfully enjoyable. The thinnest of olive "skin" barely keeps the olive "jus" together and the surprise is definitely a conversation starter if you have boring dining companions (not that I had any).

KW didn't care much for the Catalunya Tartar - a meatless tomato tartare - but I loved the intense but refreshing tomato flavour.

The thin toasts were rather bland and the foam was mere garnish but it didn't stop me from enjoying the dish.

The bread with tomatoes was the only dish I didn't like, mainly due to the fact that it was served cold.

The Avocado Roll was a dish I had seen on other blogs and I remember thinking it looked so pretty! Yes, I do occasionally think of very airy-fairy thoughts. I can't remember exactly what was so good about it but it was wholesomely wonderful - fresh, zesty yet indulgent.

The Jamon Iberico Croquettes might seem extremely average joe (or Jose) but they were commendably comforting. Creamy béchamel sauce pricked by the rich savory iberico jam encased within a thinly breaded cocoon.

I never cared much for potatoes and ometlette, 'cuse me, the tortilla but this is the tortilla to rule them all. We found a gratifyingly tasty Tortilla De Trempo that was stuffed with potatoes, onions and chorizos, further topped with tomato drops and garlicky mayonnaise. This is classic amped up Catalunya-style and we likey very very much.

While the suckling pig was undeniably tender, I was satisfied with two mouthfuls - in other words, I don't think I could stomach an entire hog of it. A touch of citrus lifted the usual humdrum mashed potato from being plebeian.

By now, you might have realised I'm not a paella person so I was really happy when the rest of the table voted in favour of the lobster risotto. The briny fragrance of the lobster was unmissable and every al dente rice grain was plumped up by the lobster broth.

The lobster roll might be the hipster flavour of the month but I would easily choose this over a lobster roll any day. Easily one of the most memorable dishes I've had all year.

The ribeye was surprisingly excellent. In fact, it could even give some steakhouses a run for their moolah. Intense, gamy and flavourful, I'm glad KW followed his gut and ordered it.

Yesh, I had to take a picture of the French Press because the copper-tinged pot is souvenir I was tempted to take home with me.

Desserts rarely excite me unless (yes, I'm generalizing) it comes out of a French kitchen. Strong flavours and interplay of textures, desserts at Catalunya were impressive.

I, for one, would definitely recommend the Creamy Almond Cake, which had a overdone-but-still-excitable molten centre and caramelized shell. Texture and zing was provided by the puckerish sorbet and cookie crumbles. I have been searching for a similar recipe but nothing comes close to this. Ugh.

Complimentary birthday brownies weren't news-making but they were a nice touch. 

My only gripe was that the loud dance-y music was rather off-putting (yes, I'm an old fogey at heart), otherwise, Catalunya is a place I would recommend for special occasions.

1 comment:

Bern said...

the lobster rice was ah-mazing!! i can still remember it....ahhh