Pura Brasa at Tanjong Pagar Centre has rather prestigious origins. It has a total of 7 outlets but this is the first outlet outside of Spain. And it is started by JOSPER, the company which created the charcoal oven that, for a period of time, chefs and customers were gaga for.
The restaurant is nicely decorated; it is at once festive and fun, and comfortable and homely.
A funny incident occurred. We sat down and ordered. Then my phone rang… and rang… rang. I tend not to look at my phone or answer calls when I am out with friends and family. But the caller was very persistent. The caller waited until the phone could ring no more, and then re-dialled my number. It turned out: “the call is coming from inside the house.” It was the waitress asking if I was coming to the (relatively empty) restaurant. But all was good, she came over to apologize for calling so persistently and we laughed over it. Full marks for doggedness but I feel sorry for her partner who breaks up with her. Haha.
Much of the food goes through the fire of their Josper grill, needless to say. What they focus on here is simple Spanish food, so there is nothing fancy or very interesting. Our favorite dish, charcoal seafood paella ($26), is wet like mui fan. Although it may be too wet, the sweet tomatoey flavor is very addictive. I do like paella to be burnt at the bottom of the pan, but this one is too wet to burn. The mussels are grilled perfectly: still tender.
The Black Angus sirloin entrecot (250g, $24) is amazingly priced, but unfortunately, it is underwhelming. While it is nicely grilled to a medium-rare as per our order, the steak itself is bland. Even when we chewed and the juices flowed, the juices had no taste. Furthermore, I would expect a smoky aroma since it is grilled through the Josper, but no, there isn’t. It comes with a much needed green sauce (salsa verde?).
I was so disappointed with the steak that, the next day, I went to buy a good steak and cook it myself.
They recommended their grilled mussels ($22) but my friend doesn’t eat mussels. I wanted a fish, a whole fish, but they don’t have it, and we settled for grilled sea bass filet in Donostiarra style ($26). It is much better than the beef. The char this time is perceptible and the fish is moist. Nicely seasoned. The long-grain rice is very flavorful but overly oily. It’s not bad, but I thought $26 is expensive for a piece of small fillet. I’d rather they give 2 fillets and remove the rice.
The dessert section is their weak point; there isn’t many options and the options aren’t interesting. We had grilled pineapple and ice cream ($10). It’s nice but $10 seems overpriced for little cubes of pineapple and generic ice cream. The grilled pineapple is cold, so they prepare this beforehand. It would be more exciting if they grilled the pineapple upon ordering, and let the hot pineapple contrast with the cold ice cream.
We paid $104 for two persons, or about $50 for one. It’s not an outstanding experience, but it is ok. I don’t mind returning if my friends ask me, but I wouldn’t actively suggest Pura Brasa for Spanish food.
5 Wallich Street #01-16 Tanjong Pagar Centre Singapore 078883
tel: +65 6386 9678
Weekdays 11am-11pm, Weekends 11am-12am
You may also be interested in…
–Tapas Club, Orchard Central: Affordable Spanish Food by Binomio Chef Jose Alonso and Michelin Starred Chef Manuel Berganza
–FOC Sentosa: Will Probably Be On “Best Restaurants of 2017”
–Dehesa, Boat Quay: “We Are Not A Tapas Joint. Don’t Ask Us for Paella!”
–Alma by Juan Amador, Goodwood Park Hotel: Excellent Juan Michelin-Starred Modern Spanish Restaurant in Singapore
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.