At the end of every year, we’d pick 10 restaurants that represent the best of Singapore dining. We are only at the beginning of 2017, but FOC Sentosa will probably be on the list. FOC Sentosa is the offshoot of FOC at Hong Kong Street, which was on our Best Restaurants 2014. FOC is wildly ambitious to open FOC Sentosa and and Pim Pam By FOC at the same time. But at least one of them, FOC Sentosa, shines. (Haven’t been to Pim Pam.)
If you think the pool at FOC Sentosa reminds you of Tanjong Beach Club, then yes I agree with you. But the interior is woody with cerulean blue; a Mediterranean vibe. On the shelves, there are gigantic busts, reminiscent of the floating heads at FOC. When we asked the waiter whose heads those were, they are the chef’s and the bosses’.
“Do you think it’s narcissistic of the bosses to put sculptures of themselves?” Chiobu asked.
“A bit,” I said.
Can’t really remember the menu at FOC, but I think most of FOC Sentosa’s Spanish-tapas menu is similar except that FOC Sentosa has BBQ items, which makes sense. Beach and BBQ food go together like Brangelina. Ok, that metaphor doesn’t work anymore, but you know what I mean.
Because FOC Sentosa focuses on BBQ items, the server brought out the fishes to show us how fresh they were. This is a smart marketing strategy because it made me want to order them! But when I saw that the price tag of a BBQ seabass is $86, I teared a little, swallowed my hunger, and said, “Not today.” Who does FOC think they are? A Boat Quay tourist restaurant?! Haha.
Iberico Ham ($30)
The waiter said their bestseller is patatas bravas ($10). Patatas bravas is a classic Spanish dish made from cubes of potato fried in oil, and then drizzled with a spicy tomato sauce or aioli. Here, instead of cubes, it comes in strips with alternating spicy tomato? and garlic aioli? (I’m guessing because no one told us what the sauces are.)
But yes, this is mindblowingly epic. The flavors are explosive. Probably the best patatas braves I have had. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t like potatoes.
For Spanish rice, you can opt for either paella (in a pan) or arroz caldoso (in a pot). When the Senyoret Paella ($40 2 pax/ $60 3 pax/ $80 4 pax) arrived, we were disappointed. We were informed that this was seafood paella, but there were only squid and chunks of fish in it. Tastewise, it was ok.
This little f***ing critter is the best thing to go into my mouth in a long time, and I put a lot of things in my mouth. It’s simply called red giant prawn ($16 per piece), expensive af, and certainly isn’t “giant.” But it is succulent and extremely sweet. There is also a smokiness from the grill.
Put the prawn between two hands, move your lips near the prawns. As you break the head from the body, quickly move in to suckle the “brain juice”. DO NOT waste a single drop. And then just keep sucking and sucking every drop you can. It’s how you get to heaven.
The other BBQ item we ordered, roasted spring chicken ($28), comes with garlic and rosemary stuffed in its ass. It is also damn delicious. The skin is crispy, the meat has absorbed the fragrance of the herbs. “Definitely not from NTUC,” Mr Fitness quipped.
By this time, the four of us were quite full. But FOC provided a complimentary cake for Yandao’s birthday. Happy birthday, Yandao!
The cake is covered with chocolate, so I thought it was an ordinary cake and didn’t take a photo. But when sliced, there are yogurt and passionfruit granita at the heart. It is surprising: chocolatey on the surface, but sour and refreshing on the inside, complementary but distinct. It is amazing.
Before I end, I want to talk a bit on the great service. Great service almost never happens at new restaurants with green servers. At first, we were seated at the end of the restaurant, near a door to the outside area where people were smoking cigars. We were complaining among ourselves about the funky air pollution and the manager overheard us and offered to move us to another table. Our glasses were always filled, better than a Chinese restaurant waitress. Two areas of improvement: they should introduce the ingredients of the dish as they serve; and they should offer the complimentary parking ticket without us having to ask for it.
We spent $226 for 4 persons, a little expensive for the food we ate, especially in current clime, and at such an ulu location. But the food is unpretentious, excellent, and fresh. The vibe is energetic and vibrant. The service is respectful and attentive. FOC Sentosa gets two thumbs up from me.
Overall rating: 3.688/5
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.