Front: Del Monte Cartel ($21, tequila, mango, black pepper, agave, lime), Back: Girl from Ipanema ($23, cachaca, lime, passionfruit, brazil nut).
I came with expectations that the food would be as good as Esquina, but while the food didn’t meet my expectations, it was not bad. The spiced lamb empanada (3 for $12, pictured below), or Latin American curry puffs, had crust too thick to be palatable.
The salmon ceviche ($20, below), in ponzu, avocado puree, cucumber, and pinches of lime, was piquant and appetizing, but nothing remarkable.
The grilled items were grilled to a charred bitter surface, which I liked. The chicken pincho ($23, below) are skewers, not to be confused with the Basque pincho which are open-faced sandwiches. Although they used (I guess) chicken breast, the meat was tender enough, tangy and slightly spicy with chipotle and lemon.
The Argentinian ribeye ($39), with chimichurri, and verde salsa criolla, was grilled beautifully, pink inside, and had many flakes of sea salt(?) that brought out the fats in the steak.
When the open kitchen fumed, I was confused by the smoke and poor ventilation: Were we at a bar or a Korean BBQ joint? Besides, the air-con also wasn’t working at the end of the room where we sat. But the service was satisfactory. All in all, it is unlikely we’d return because we couldn’t find anything special about the place. We paid $162 for two.
42 Hong Kong Street, Singapore 059681
T: +65 8799 7085 (reservations between 3pm-6pm)
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.