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One of the biggest movers in the Spanish gastronomic movement on our shores, this iconic restaurant—with a breathtaking waterfront view, and of the ‘ugly’ Marina Bay Sands—helmed by former elBulli staff requires almost no introduction.

Home to meticulous stud detailing on leather finishing, stylish yet warm dark wood touches, a handsome bull head above the bar area—and we hear a favoured rendezvous spot for rich, married bankers and their mistresses—Catalunya has been all the rage since it first swung opened its grand doors, and there is little reason to wonder why.

With a focus on quality imported ingredients—ranging from produce, like tomatoes specially brought in from Italy and France, and oranges from Australia that were grown from a Spanish tree to the Jamón Íbérico “Gran Reserva” (cured Iberian ham aged no less than 4-years, $55), both divine on its own or paired with the robust Tomato tartar confit ($18)—the menu presents a myriad of Spanish dishes, along with some Catalan dishes from Executive Chef Alain Devahive Tolosa’s (read about his interview with Six&Seven) own heritage.

As a prelude to our tapas, we were presented with Olive—juices and flesh of olives repacked into a handmade gelatine case, a experimental product from Chef Alain’s unparallel creativity and technical expertise.

Following the instructions to burst the ‘deconstructed olive’ against the roofs of our mouths, we were immediately rewarded with an unctuous, buttery-smooth burst of flavour that seemed to deluge and delight our taste buds at the same time. While it is not yet readily available on the menu, we recommend not passing on this should it pop by your table.

Highlights of their tapas selection would most definitely include the “Escalibada” with foie gras & smoked eel ($19). While initially puzzling for a grilled vegetable dish to be served cold, the exemplary development of creamy foie gras and eggplant flavours, coupled with an uplifting sweetness from the smoked eel, as it warmed up in our mouths soon proved this to be yet another ingenious creation.

The Tortilla Omelette “Deconstrucción” ($10) is not to be missed—even if it’s just for the fancy assembly of the dish at tableside. Sweet caramelized onions, covered in uber smooth egg yolk, and topped off with hot, pillowy potato foam provide a quirky contrast for this ambrosial starter.

Also delicious and worth many more visits are the Jamón Íbérico croquettes ($12 for 4-pieces)—that are crisp, then satisfying creamy and savoury inside—as well as the Ham, cheese & truffle “bikini” ($18)—a delectable teaming of savoury ham and warm, gooey cheese between thin, toasted bread with an intense flair of truffle make for the dream packed lunch of every schoolboy—and girl.

Specially imported from Spain, the hearty Traditional “Segovian style” suckling pig ($125 for 2-3pax, though we feel it comfortably feeds 4-pax with tapas) is impressively executed to a scrumptious tenderness, deftly demonstrated by the staff who proceeded to neatly cut up the pig using only the side of a saucer. Liberal rosemary and thyme lend an aromatic whiff to the succulent, fall-off-the-bones meat that oozed finger-licking juices had me unabashedly ‘volunteering’ myself for thirds.

The “Torrija” ($12)—a duo of comforting, fried sweet milk bread and intriguing, smokey milk ice cream—makes a notable choice for those who still have the stomach for desserts, but it was the Chocolate in different textures ($12)—velvety light mousse on a dense cake contrasted against a crunchy caramel-chocolate wafer and tangy passion fruit sauce—that received our nods that day.

The food at Catalunya is consistently splendid, and with only a gorgeous view and excellent service to boot, it’s no surprise they usually require a week’s advance for dinner reservations. Operating till late, it also makes for a great place for post-meal tipples over conversations with their suave, award-winning mixologist Dario Nocentini.

Contact: Catalunya
The Fullerton Pavilion

82 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049327

Tel: +65 65340886 | Website

Operating hours:
Daily 12noon-2am

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