fine food - Tapas
Written by Craig Butcher
Spanish tapas are the embodiment of the less-is-more approach. Run the gamut of flavours, ingredients, and textures by experimenting with a host of smaller-sized dishes. Here are three must-visit venues.
Jaleo by José Andrés - Washington DC
Set within the Penn Quarter, this is still one of the best tapas spots in Washington. The avant-garde interior designed by Juli Capella more than matches the eclectic yet casual menu by rockstar celebrity chef José Andrés. Choose from among traditional and modern menus and prepare to be entertained. A student of El Bulli’s Ferran Adrià, when Andrés goes modern, almost anything could happen. Expect traditional Madrid fried calamari sandwich with aioli or a Basque-style squid stew with ink.
Washington DC. Tel: +1 202 628 7949
Comerç 24 - Barcelona
For a truly masterful take on tapas, where better than in the Catalan capital of Barcelona? Chef Carles Abellán’s restaurant Comerç 24 is widely credited with reinventing modern tapas in Barcelona. Join him on a tasting-menu journey (seven or twelve courses) to experience the real diversity that Spanish tapas can offer. Dishes may include marinated sardines with orange and wasabi or rice with duck and foie gras. High service levels and décor complement a welcoming, casual atmosphere that is his signature.
Barcelona. Tel: + 34 93 319 2102
Esquina - Singapore
Not to be confused with the classic New York City venue of the same name, this is Gordon Ramsay protégé Jason Atherton’s thoroughly modern reworking of Spanish tapas brought, somewhat uniquely, to an Asian audience. Set in colonial buildings with a Spanish-chic-meets-industrial décor, this is anything but traditional. Witness ox cheek and tongue with blue cheese gnocchi; or salt-baked beetroot, whipped burrata cheese, truffle honey, raspberry and pinenut crumble. The 12-seat tapas bar is the prime spot for an authentic experience.
Singapore. Tel: +65 6222 1616