Binomio, a chic Spanish bar and restaurant along the gentrified Craig Road, marries the sleek modernity of a fine-dining restaurant service with the casual conviviality of family-style sharing food. Serving up traditional classics with an innovative spin, I found Binomio's food nice, but somewhat flashy and a smidge pompous, when the food should have been full of soul and done with flair. In this regard, I have to say that Catalunya reigns supreme.
Although service was a tad distracted and choppy, I still thought the service was great. They'd let us yak away till midnight although they could have closed up an hour earlier.
The adjoining bar is popular with yuppies and expats alike, so Friday and Saturday nights will find this place bustling. Therefore, be sure to make reservations.
The Fideua Negra ($70) was an atypical noodle paella, heady with smoky squid ink, and studded with chewy squid dice and creamy aioli.
The Huevos con Chorizo ($24) was a couple of slow cooked eggs seasoned with chorizo crumble complemented by a mellow potato puree.
The Chipirones Rellenos ($29) was a medley of softly grilled squid ringlets stuffed with a hearty oxtail ragout, thick squash chips, drizzled with a mildly spiced rotena sauce.
The Papada con Navajas ($32) of char-grilled pork belly and chewy razor clams was pooled in a silky cauliflower puree.
The Croquetas Binomio ($14 for 4 pcs) of ham, chicken & egg croquettes and Croquetas de Setas ($10 for 4 pcs) of mushroom croquettes were truly fantastic. Crunchy breaded crust bursting with creamy mash and flavourful stuffings, these oval morsels were quite addictive.
The wine list was indeed extensive, and we got a medium-bodied 2012 Jorge Ordonez Moscatel from Malaga, Spain ($16 per glass) that was floral and fruity and an intense 2010 Dolc Mataro from Alta, Alella, Spain ($18) that was well-balanced between the sweet and acidic. Spanish vintages paired with Spanish food. While very drinkable, the wines were pathetically portioned. I've had wines portioned at tasting tours more generous than these.
A must try, the Churros con Chocolate ($14) was the quintessential Spanish dessert of fried dough sticks swathed in cinnamon sugar and dipped in luscious chocolate
The Tarta Helada al Whisky ($14) was a lovely and potent whisky cake slathered with a vanilla-tinged toasted egg yolk sauce, and a coat of shaved almonds. Strictly for alcoholics, the whisky was overwhelming.
20 Craig Road
#01-02 Craig Place
Tel: 6557 0547
Open weekday lunches from 12noon to 1.45pm;
Mondays to Saturdays for dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm;
Closed on Sundays