Popular Spanish outfit FOC recently opened a branch in Sentosa, just down the beach from Tanjong Beach Club. Weekends will find the bistro teeming with beach bunnies and sun-worshippers glistening with oodles of suntan lotion, but FOC Sentosa on a weekday afternoon is different creature entirely. It's tranquil and laidback, with only the sandflies (and occasional bee) buzzing about, a perfect little coastal getaway far from the madding crowd.
Spanish tapas here are outstanding, and while you don't get counter seats here to ogle at the hottie chefs at work (*makes mental note to dine with galfrens at the bar stools of their city centre outlet*), the ample space is bright and cheery, and scenic enough to not miss the bar action.
A failsafe, classic starter, the Jamon Iberico ($30) was absolutely lovely. Silky in texture with a robust salty pungency.
The Beetroot Gazpacho ($12), thickened with olive oil ice-cream and made chunky with diced root vegetables, was rich but refreshing. I usually don't like the sharp bite of beetroot, but this was done very well, with a rounded body that tapered out.
The hot tapas are always a good bet, and the Cod Fritters ($12), set against a fruity compote, was addictively delicious. So good you can't stop at one!!
The Deep Fried Calamari ($16) was exquisite. The thin batter was fried to a delightful crunch, while the squid remained soft but firm. Crumbed feta cheese and arugula leaves lent a peppery bite.
The Patatas Bravas ($10), Spanish-style home fries, was flavoured with a rich aioli and paprika-spiked tomato sauce. Simple and scrumptious.
Another must-try, the Mushroom Croquetas ($10) was rich and creamy, and generously dotted with diced mushrooms for an earthy flair.
The Jamon Croquetas ($12) was just as sumptuous. We usually just get both.
Fluffy and creamy all at once, the Scrambled Eggs with Jamon Iberico ($14), a Spanish take on breakfast eggs, was superb.
Another must-try, the Open Tortilla with Peppers & Black Truffle ($26), and enlivened with crunchy greens a-plenty, was incredibly aromatic.
Imbued with a smoky char, the Vegetarian Paella ($28 for 2 pax), flecked with cauliflower, broccoli, sugar snap peas, carrots, caramelised onions, and mushrooms, was flavourful.
The desserts didn't show as strongly as the tapas, but the Roasted Pineapple & Coconut Ice-Cream ($12) was pretty commendable. I would have liked the pineapple to be grilled longer, but this was quite the tropical treat.
Rich and intensely sweet, the Bomba de Chocolate ($14) was quite the decadent indulgence.
The appetizer nibbler of marinated Spanish olives and miniature baguettes. I love olives, so this was yums.
Tanjong Beach Walk
Tel: 6100 1102
Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11.30am to 11pm; Closed on Mondays