1. Fried Egg with Ibérico Chorizo, Piquillo Red Pepper, Mushroom and Straw Potato from La Taperia ($16)
This is the epitome of comfort food in a messy, not-so-palatable-looking but oh-so-delicious dish. Mix everything up thoroughly and take a big bite to get all of the silky textures and satisfying crunch. Don’t waste any of it too – get some bread and mop all of the sauces up.
2. Lobster Paella, Saffron, Runner Bean and Tomato from La Taperia ($66)
It’s hard to notice much else when two whole lobsters are demanding for attention (and rightly so – these are juicy and grilled perfectly), but we gobbled up most of the aromatic saffron-infused rice too, carbs be damned.
La Taperia is located at 1 Scotts Road, #02-10/11. For more information, call tel: 6737-8336 or visit www.lataperia.com.sg.
3. Warm Kimchi with Tofu and Spam from Joo Bar ($14)
We’ve never been able to resist spam, regardless of how it’s being presented (in slices or deep fried as fries) and what it’s paired with, and we’re not about to start now. If anything, the side of warm kim chi – spicy and fragrant without the tongue-curling tanginess and one of the best we’ve had – adds a surprising dimension to what would otherwise have been just another run-of-the-mill snack.
4. Slow Roasted Mangalista Belly from Joo Bar ($32)
Only Hungarian Mangalitsa pork is used here (it’s been dubbed the Kobe beef of pork), and it is first brined with salt, pepper, soju and makgeolli before being steam-roasted for a very precise two hours and 45 minutes. The end result: quivering slices with a delicate meaty flavour and an creamy texture thanks to the marbling. It’s perfect on its own, but have it with some of the chive salad (seasoned with chilli flakes and soy sauce) for crunch.
Joo Bar is located at 5 Tan Quee Lan Street. For more information, call tel: 8138-1628 or visit www.joo-bar.com.
5. Pork Cracklings from Manhattan Bar ($14)
There’s no way to crunch on these hefty chunks of pork cracklings primly at all – it’s especially funny when you’re sipping on one of Manhattan’s elegant cocktails – but you won’t be able to get enough of it regardless. The scratchings are well-seasoned, and the chiptole mayo, an addictive dipping sauce. You’ll want to order seconds (and thirds), and also a beer or two.
Manhattan Bar is located at level 2 of Regent Singapore. For more information, call tel: 6725-3377 or visit www.facebook.com/manhattansg.