bomba paella bar, robertson quay

great spanish food along martin road, pretty much near to the robertson quay area. I haven’t been to this area much – its location is most amenable for when you have a car, and I don’t drive. but nothing brings me out like the prospect of good food, and I’ve been on the lookout for bomba’s opening since I saw it on the graze website a while ago. this was also a celebratory meal, and thankfully didn’t disappoint.

I’m pretty smitten with the graze franchise – I mean, it’s really difficult to go wrong in my book when you have thick toast and pancakes and forgoodness a dessert platter on your brunch menu. they’ve always been pretty consistent and outstanding with the quality of the food, and so I went with pretty high expectations. add the fact that my partner and I truly love paella – and you’ll realize how much was riding on this meal.

I don’t want to go into lengthy verbose, but let me start by telling you that they have the option of a whole suckling pig on the menu. it’s something I’ve seen on the catalunya menu – another one that I have to go to – and I think it’s popping up on the menus of spanish places about town, but it requires advanced ordering so be prepared to call ahead if you want this. a whole pig sounds like a very good idea.

we started with some croquettes, which were filled with jam and manchego sauce. they came in three golf-ball rounds, crisp fried outside and a soft inside. this was a little bland, but not too bad. our order of zucchini fritters came as a single fried-and-stuffed blossom on a plate, served alongside a tomato sauce – I really liked this, and there was even a tiny zucchini attached on the end.

but I have to tell you about this – the beautiful razor clams we had. they came laden with tomatoes and garlic, with so much tasty jus. amazing. we were blown away by this dish, meaty and seafoody and completely satisfying.

the restaurant’s very name refers to its specialty of paella, which is a rice dish cooked on a large wide pan, and laden with ingredients on top. there were six options on the menu – if I remembered correctly – and we went for two smalls, a squid-ink version and the traditional valencian. the squid ink was good, with bits of squid amidst, but it felt rather monotonous – until I had the brilliant idea (even if I do say so myself) or requesting for lime wedges. a drop or two of juice in each spoonful goes a long way, and lifts the flavours like nothing else. it brought balance to the dish – and I think you really should try it this way.

the valencian wasn’t nearly the traditional version it’s meant to be, missing snails and rabbit in place of chicken cubes, but it was quite good. better balanced than the original squid-ink dish, this tasted the way you think a paella really ought to. I will probably order the rendition with langoustines and squid the next time I’m here.

we were pretty much full at this point, and had to forgo dessert. it’s been one of the better spanish meals I’ve had in singapore, for prices that are considerably more reasonable than many other establishments. let me know if you ever manage to try the suckling pig, or their desserts – both things are on my list for the next time I’m here. it’s a pretty place away from the crowds, dark enough for date night and casual enough to dress down to – lovely ambience in all.

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