fantastic spanish at this new-ish restaurant in buona vista. part of the rochester group, it’s taken over the space of the less-than-stellar one-caramel to serve up enjoyable, fine-dining-but-not-stuffy spanish food.
the flavors were delicious, intense in the best way, and it really does rise above many other español-dishing places, which tend toward the expensive-but-unsatisfying small plates category.
the walnut-studded bread slices were served warm, alongside deliciously-glazed breadsticks and good-quality balsamic (which leads me to the fact that I really much prefer butter with my bread, à la française).
we started with two iberico croquettas, studded with the savory ham and deep-fried golden with a thin outer crust holding a soft, fluffy interior. very good, especially with that tomato-esque sauce atop.
followed by very garlicky, very savory, superlatively good gambas a la jio – fresh, tender prawns smothered in a sauce that we mopped up with the bread and paella. the headfat was also exceptionally sweet, and well-worth the effort.
but perhaps my most favorite dish (it’s a toss-up with the prawns, really) was the paella. we ordered the pan sized for 2-3 persons, and it came as a generously-high layer of rice in a traditional red-handled pan.
stewed in a deeply seafoody, tomatoey base, the sauce had caramelized on the edges and blistered on the tops (can you see the brown spots? such indicators of greatness) of the al dente rice grains and properly-cooked seafood and poultry. the wedges of lemon are instrumental to the freshness of the dish, and you really want it to perk up what would otherwise be a heavy plate of rice.
we struggled to finish the sheer mass of rice, but it wasn’t for any difficulty in appreciation. a fantastic meal, and also the first place that felt so spanish I decided to finally try port (a glass of which helps you understand what the fortified denomination truly means).
well-recommended, and cosy enough for dates without making it weird for a meal with just friends. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a place that so properly executes the cuisine at prices you’d actually not gripe at paying.
UNA at One Rochester
1 Rochester Park
tel +65 6773 0070
$$.5: 40ish onward