PEr FYI

December 10, 2017

El Nacional, Barcelona…ambience and garlic prawns alone makes the visit worthwhile

Tapas is undoubtedly the best kind of food. You get to sample loads of dishes and share the experience with friends.

Once a car park, El Nacional is now an open-concept, gorgeous space ” restaurant emporium” that houses four restaurants and three bars. A unique atmosphere, the setting alone makes the visit worthwhile. Needless to say, we tried La Taperia, the tapas restaurant.

The small plates here are boldly flavored and actually portioned to share. Paletilla Iberica de Bellota (Acorn-fed Iberian shoulder ham) was top notch. Even better was Calamares a la Andaluza (Squids Andalusian-style). Navajas a la Donostiarra (razor clams, San Sebastian style) is another mouth-watering dish. Heuvos estrellados con jamon Iberico (fried eggs with Iberian ham) was executed with flair. An ordinary-sounding offering of Gambitas de Huelva fritas (Fried little shrimps from Huelva) was an unexpected success. Other great dishes to try are Pan de coca con tomate, aceite y sal (flat bread with tomato, oil and salt), Bomba de la Barceloneta (Barceloneta bomb), Croquetas de jamon Iberico (Iberian ham croquettes), The classic Spanish tapas dish – Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic prawns) was the dish of the meal. Pink, deliciously plump prawns covered in glossy garlic oil. We order a second plate immediately.

Those who live locally are lucky, others should be willing to travel. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 11, 2012

La Viva Spanish Bar & Tapas, Singapore…It’s an assault on your senses

You hear tapas in Singapore, you expect some earth shattering food.  At least that is what I expect.  I need to tell the real story for the rest of us who have stomachs.  

La Viva is super trendy… tries to attract that crowd as well with the decor. The food however… was horrible. Portions were small considering the price. We paid a small fortune for small amounts. By the end of the dinner, I was positive my $540 could have been better spent elsewhere. Oh yes, we ate some carrot cake and oyster omellette later to fill up.

We ordered both the sangria with sparkling wine which, as one friend put it, like sugar water plus cough mixture. The serrano ham and pear tasted as though they had been defrosted a few minutes earlier and heated in a microwave,  the bread tasted a bit like supermarket bread with a bit of a crust. The iberico ham was out of a can. The essalada de viva salad is not infused with anything resembling flavour. But probably the most disappointing dish of the night was the paella. We ordered 3 different ones. They were greasy and bland.

It’s actually a very tragic thing to order one of your favorite foods, only to find it is terrible and tasteless, and maybe even a bit gross.

This outlet disappoints with significant zeal. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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