The Place Newly opened in June, Tapas Club located at Orchard Central is run by Chef Alonso, who is also the Executive Chef of popular Binomio Spanish Restaurant at Craig Road. The concept of Tapas Club is to serve authentic Spanish food in a casual setting with wallet-friendly prices. The group is also behind the popular llaollao franchise in Singapore, so yes there’s a dessert here using their famous frozen yoghurt.
The Food Expect to enjoy a rather wide range of Spanish food here, from sharing plates to highlights from the different regions in Spain, all brought to you in an intimate setting. We started with the Pan Con Aceite y Vinagre (S$5), homemade toasted bread accompanied by olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
There is something different about Spanish potatoes, really. Make sure you order the Patatas Bravas (S$9.90), where potatos are deep-fried and served with spicy “brava” and “alioli” sauce. This is one of my favourite Spanish starters. It is a simple and familiar dish, yet such an appetising start to the meal.
Another favourite, which you can reserve some of the toasted bread for dipping, is the Gambas al Ajillo (S$12.90). Basically, prawns sautéed with garlic and parsley and with the rich broth, perfect for dipping that toast in.
If you are a fan of the Mexican ceviche, then this will be something you should order. The Tartar de Atún Con Ajo Blanco (S$12.90) has tuna tartar mixed up with tomato and avocado, with flavours enhanced by the almond cream. Refreshing and sweet, this works as a perfect appetiser to start the meal.
Another fish-based tapas, the Caballa Con Calabaza ($12.90) pairs Spanish mackerel with pumpkin. We found the fish slightly on the dry side.
While this felt more a French dish than Spanish, the Carrillera de Ternera Con Idiazabal (S$12.90) is basically stewed beef cheeks in red wine sauce. Unlike the French though, the beef cheeks are served without the broth, but the tender meats here are served with Idiazabal Cheese cream. Go for this if you are craving for some wholesome beef tapas.
Another meat dish is Pluma de Cerdo (S$20) which is char-grilled Ibérico pork shoulder, and it comes with an order of side dish. You can select sides including mash potatoes, brussel sprouts, green asparagus and smoky grilled vegetables.
For more filling options, you can go for the paella here; ideal for sharing. For the grains-based paella, you can choose from either having greens, squid ink, chicken & seafood and chorizo. The latter being our choice for the night, Paella de Chorizo (S$25). Delightful and satisfying to say the least.
Alternatively, go for the Fideuá Negra (S$25) which is a noodles-based squid ink paella with cuttlefish – you will be able to resonate with the noodles used here, which you may know it as the local Bee Hoon.
Moving to desserts, the Piña Con Yoghurt (S$10) has the sauteed pineapple in spices and soaked this up in a large-sized llaollao froyo. For fans of the yoghurt chain, this is a perfect topping adding a acidic sour crunchy bite.
Another classic Spanish desserts to end the meal is the Churros Con Chocolate (S$8). We all know what this is – Churros served with chocolate sauce, and we found the version here on point, crispy crust with a rich chocolate sauce.
Rants Orchard Central has not been able to pull in the crowds, and this means a constant change of tenants. We are hopeful, and equally hoping, that Tapas Club will be here to stay.
Will I Return Again? Reasonable pricing, with a very satisfying Spanish selection, Tapas Club makes you dance to the Spanish songs piped through the restaurant and hoping your next trip is to Madrid, instead of Somerset MRT.
Make your reservations instantly at Tapas Club here.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
181 Orchard Road
Orchard Central, #02-13
Tel: +65 3163 7577
Daily 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm
Till 12midnight on Friday, Saturday and Public Holidays
Ranted by The Rantee