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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

La Ventana by Carles Gaig at Dempsey Hill Review

You can tell that a chef is dead serious about his food when he takes the seasons and his environment into account. With more michelin-starred restaurants arriving on shore, La Ventana by Carles Gaig at Dempsey Hill is different from the rest. The restaurant preserves the authenticity of Catalan fare, and these are the unique tastes and flavours you would probably have never tried!


The restaurant is an extremely beautiful place — both interior and exterior. If I were to get married, I would consider this place as an option. There is also a space set aside for an outdoor stage, so it works wonders for outdoor bands looking for a place to play.


 I would recommend that you visit the restaurant before the sunsets, so you can experience the ambience in the day and in the night. The forest besides us lights up so beautifully and it is quite enchanting!
Gorgeous wine cellar
The Bar
Appetiser: Bread of Basket (S$3.80++)
We started with a basket of bread with olive oil. It tastes pretty good and helps to fight my hunger pangs while waiting for the food!


Thanks to La Ventana and Ivan, we were invited for a food tasting! You can try their Tapas Tasting menu (min 2 pax) at S$118/pax or Gran Àprat Tasting menu (min 2 pax) at S$148/pax.

Tapas

We tried the Oyster Escabeche (S$18), Jamón Ibérico “de Bellota” (S$26), Lobster Coca (S$19.80) and Canelon Since 1869 (S$12).

Oyster Escabeche
We had the Gillardeau no. 3, a treasure in terms of their effects on health and diet!. I later found out that the significance of the number is directly proportional to the size and weight (5 for smallest, 1 for biggest). The oysters are a brand of edible oysters that are produced by the Gillardeau family and their small private company, founded in 1898. 
Jamón Ibérico “de Bellota” 
This is the Catalonian delicacy: a 100% acorn fed Ibérico ham is served on Catalan crystal bread with tomato. It has several layers of textures — crisp, juicy and slightly crumbly. Its sweet salty savouriness is very intriguing.

Lobster Coca
This firm lobster meat is neatly placed on fine puff pastry and served with eggplant purée and roasted capsicums. The pastry is very crumbly, and it could be quite a messy sight if you have a tiny mouth like mine. Best to eat it in one go, or else the crumbs will be all over the table!
“Canelón” since 1869*** 
This is my top favourite of the day! It has a rich, creamy sauce with a dainty texture. Did you know that the recipe has not changed for a 146 years? Apparently, there is no need to change a perfected recipe. The traditional cannelloni is stuffed with foie gras, beef, pork and truffle cream. I wished I had ten servings of this, really.


FISH AND SEAFOOD
 

For this section, we tried the Roasted Octopus (S$38) and Black Cod & “Samfaina” (S$38).
Roasted Octopus
This octopus dish gave me a very squirmy feeling — the one which your significant other mutters 'I love you' in an extremely romantic fashion. The octopus is slowly roasted and infused with potatoes and Spanish smoked paprika. It's a pretty messy plating for the sauce drizzle, but I was mind blown by the flavours.


Black Cod & “Samfaina”

It's a slow-cooked black cod with Catalan style vegetable ragout. Amidst the other dishes that we have tried that night, this dish stood out the least. It was slightly gooey and the taste was pretty mild.

PASTA AND RICE

For the Pasta and rice section, we had the Pigeon “Paella” (S$38).

Pigeon Paella
The Carnaroli rice is prepared with porcini mushrooms and pigeon imported from France. The carnaroli rice is served in a pan, and cooked in flavourful pigeon stock. This gives it a brown shade and its smoky and sweet taste go perfectly with the pigeon meat that is soft and tender on the inside and crispy and slightly charred on the outside. 

MEAT AND POULTRY

I absolutely loved the Crispy Suckling Pig (S$38).


This boneless suckling pig with strawberry salad is probably better than the rest served in Chinese restaurants. The crisp skin has a better texture than peking duck, and it is extremely flavourful, extremely tender. This is like a meat ice-cream that simply melts in your mouth! Hence and I agreed that we could have another round on this.

Dessert

Do not skip the dessert — 'Our Catalan Creme Brûlée (S$18)'. Made from scratch, the Brûlée  spots an espuma that melts and bubbles in your mouth. It perfectly matches the ice cream toffee, which gives off a gentle sweet flavour. The lemon caramel then gives it a citrusy tang. The special cream custard base is kept light so that diners could savour and enjoy the flavours in this dessert down to the last spoonful. 

Drinks 

Cosmopolitan
Juices, alcohols, spirits and wine are also available. Elle ordered the Cosmopolitan (S$22) — which has vodka, cointreau, cranberry juice and lime. I had a sip of the drink and found that it helps me to relax my nerves (I'm always nervous when meeting new people, haha!)
Amaretto Sour
Joanna, the sweet PR lady, recommended the Amaretto Sour - B. Luini (Saronno) (S$20) when I asked for a ladies' drink. Something light and not too alcoholic. This drink is a concoction of amaretto and lemon, and its taste gets better and better. I fell in love with the drink at the end! 

Tip: Please make a reservation before coming as it was full-house when we had our dinner on a Tuesday evening.

La Ventana by Carles Gaig

Address: 16A Dempsey Road, #01-01, Singapore 247695
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 12pm - 3pm & 6pm - 11pm
Tel: +65 6479 0100


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