WHAT: La Taperia
WHERE: Shaw Centre #02-10/11
WHEN: Opens noon to 3pm daily; 6.30pm to 11pm (Sunday to Wednesday) and 6.30pm to 1am (Thursday to Saturday and eve of public holiday)
Spanish food is communal cuisine.
A lot of it is meant to be shared.
It is also spicy and best enjoyed with alcohol.
And it is that party atmosphere that seems to exude from La Taperia, the latest from the Les Amis Group.
Chef Ng Wei Han, formerly from Au Jardin, handles the kitchen.
The food is classic yet exciting. There is an extensive menu of wine and food and you consume these in a restaurant full of warm lighting and long tables.
UNDER THE STARS
You can also sit in the moonlight - the restaurant has an outdoor balcony that sits up to 20.
The location in the newly refurbished Shaw Centre is also great for a meet-up with friends.
It helps that La Taperia seems to be populated by genetically blessed wait staff. The handsome men and gorgeous women can make you feel giddy with delirium and, definitely, extra sociable.
The crispy baby squid cooked in squid ink ($16) is not a dish meant to be photographed. It is a charred-looking glob which does not look appetising. But a taste is all that is needed to change your mind. A must-try.
GOOD OL' PAELLA
Another squid ink dish turned out rather good here. The squid ink seafood paella ($32) is a simple dish.
Yet, it is this classic feel that makes it more likeable.
The charcoal-grilled Iberian pork ($24) is marinated with spices, herbs and extra virgin olive oil. It is a simple dish that requires nothing more than a glass of sangria ($14).
FRESH AND JUICY
This is another expected dish from a Spanish tapas place, but it is executed so well here.
The prawns cooked with garlic, chilli and extra virgin olive oil ($18) may not be revolutionary, but it is certainly tasty.
I was apprehensive about the churros ($14) because there are so many I do not like.
I like mine crispy, not too doughy or sweet and can stand alone without the dip.
The version here met all my requirements. The dip is delicious.
This article was first published on Mar 4, 2015.
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