Lips had just returned from a whirlwind trip around Europe so we met for dinner to catch up. We decided to have Spanish tapas at Don Quijote Spanish Restaurant at Dempsey, the hangout du jour for glamour pusses and beautiful people. People don't walk here, they strut. Seriously. As per "standard operating procedure", I ditched the BF for a girls' night out on the town. We always chat till the wee hours of the night and I didn't need the distraction anyway.
Don Quijote is fairly new on the local dining scene but doing pretty well as it's carved out a niche of its own. Mostly because it distinguishes itself from The Tapas Tree, a veteran of Spanish cuisine in Singapore, by serving different tapas.
Spanish tapas is like Spain's version of Chinese dim sum, but at triple the price. I guess it's because Spanish food is just not that common in this part of the world. The Spanish diet relies heavily on olive oil and garlic, very Mediterranean, very high in monounsaturated fats and apparently heart-friendly.
The Huevos Estrellados ($14), a Madrid favourite of "broken eggs" with chorizo and potatoes was really delicious. The scrambled eggs were soft, moist and fluffy, and the skin-on potatoes were perfectly softened without being mushy. Chorizos (Spain's version of our Chinese lup cheong) provided the right amount of flavour and salt to the dish.
The Gambas Picantes con Chorizo ($14) Spicy Shrimp with Chorizo and Dried Chilli, was another yummy dish. The prawns were fresh, crunchy and mild, with olive oil and dried chilli adding a subtle heat and fragrance to the dish.
I loved the Vieiras al Horno ($19) Oven-Baked Whole Scallops with Bacon Bits. The scallops were succulent and juicy, with freshly grilled (not the instant imitation types) bacon cubes lending flavour and salt to the mild scallops.
I wasn't a fan of the tomato-based Pollo al Chilindron ($16) Slow Cooked Home Made Chicken Stew. Mostly because I prefer my stews creamy. That said, the chicken was fall-off-the-bone tender and moist.
We both loved the Tacos de Lomo al Quesso Azul ($18) Tenderloin Steak Cubes with Blue Cheese. The beef was robust and tender, with aromatic and creamy warm blue cheese served on the side. I liked that the blue cheese wasn't stinky at all.
The Setas al Ajillo ($9) Garlic Fried Mixed Mushrooms is a must-order staple at any tapas restaurant. The myriad of textures, the earthiness of the mushrooms, and the aroma of garlic and olive oil made this a hit.
The Carrillada en Reduccion de Vino Tinto ($18) Beef Cheek in Red Wine Reduction was another yummy delight. The dry-ish red wine enhanced the "beefiness" of the red meat.
We really loved the Paella Valenciana ($30 for small) Shrimp and Chicken in a Saffron Stock. The rice was moist, flavoursome and absolutely addictive. We particularly liked scraping off the burnt edges. This is Spain's version of our local claypot rice.
The Complimentary Bread Basket with Tomato Butter. I liked the softened but still chilled tomato butter, tart yet sweet.
Don Quijote Spanish Restaurant
Block 7, Dempsey Road
Tel: 6476 2811
Daily for Dinner from 6pm to 10pm
Lunch only on Friday & Saturday from 11.30am to 2.30pm
Sunday Ala Carte Brunch Buffet: 11.30am to 2.30pm