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Monday, 27 February 2017

Dinner at La Ventana Catalonian Restaurant @ Dempsey Hill (Revisit)

16A Dempsey Road, Singapore 247695
Tel: 6479 0100

There are some places that stay in your mind after visiting, making you yearn to revisit again and again; there are some dishes that tug at your heartstrings, making you crave for them repeatedly - La Ventana is one such place, and the Pigeon Paella is one such dish (for me, at least).

So we returned after a year (review on past visit here). This time round, there were 5 of us, both a celebratory and farewell dinner, in one.

We started with Cocktails and a special bottle of Tempranillo Matsu El Picaro 2014 Red Wine (SGD$84.00) available exclusively here. After a toast or two, food was served.

Some Breadstick with Lentil Dip served on the side kickstarted dinner - loved especially the crunchy breadsticks.

Foie-gras Terrine Cookie (SGD$18.00) was indescribably delicious, creamy mashed duck innards spread generously between flakey puff pastries with apple sauce - scoring high on textures and taste. This sure whetted our appetite for more.

Next, Surf and Turf Meatballs with Baby Squids (SGD$18.00) - huge, meaty and tender minced beef balls were pooled in a thick, savoury sauce together with tiny, springy squids. The sauce even contained tiny chunkþs of minced beef (flaked off from the meatballs?).

Following that, we ordered the Jamon Iberico de Bellota (SGD$26.00) - papee thin, salted Iberico ham on crispy bread with tomato - every bit as good as how we remembered from the last visit, if not better.

Then the Catalan Roasted Pularda (SGD$22.00 for half / SGD$32.00 for whole), pan-roasted Bresse chicken with prunes, apricots and pine nuts. If the ingredients sound suspiciously to you like a festive dish, don't be surprised, this dish was created for Christmas menu but it stayed because of its popularity among diners. I can see why though - what's not to love about very succulent, moistened chicken with my favorite fruits and nuts?

The much-craved Pigeon Paella (SGD$45.00) - whole pigeon with canaroli rice and porcini mushrooms. The grainy rice were crispy with a good bite, the mushrooms added delicious earthly notes, and the tender pigeon was almost half-cooked, soft and moistened.

Final mains was the Black Rice (SGD$38.00) - carnaroli rice infused sumptuously with black squid ink giving it a lovely murky taste, slipper lobster flesh and raw clams of the day. Grainy rice was crunchy, seafood were succulent and freshly sweet - this was another dish gobbled up quickly.

Moving on to desserts! Cheesecake (SGD$15.00) made with a dash of white chocolate, was cheesy, smooth and rich but not heavy at all; sitting atop a buttery biscuit base adding crunch to its beautiful texture. I loved the beautiful assortment of fresh berries served as plating as well.

Then there was Deconstructed Cosmopolitan Cocktail Dessert (SGD$14.00) - squares of sponge cakes soaked generously with Vodka, citrusy Mandarin Orange sorbet, raspberry coulis, Cointreau foam and lime juice. Whoever wished they could take apart their favorite cocktail drink and eat it, has now attained their wish. Loved this sweet and sour creation.

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