Wednesday, 5 August 2015

La Ventana – Catalan Style Tapas with Michelin Flair [MEDIA INVITE]



La Ventana by Chef Charles Gaig, is the first expansion to Asia by Michelin Star Chef Charles Gaig. Open in June 2015, La Ventana ('LV') set to resurrect traditional Catalan recipes, bringing a taste of home to Catalans overseas and also introducing to the multicultural population in Singapore an authentic and long standing taste of Catalan.

La Ventana - during the day

LV Singapore concept will be tapas-centric restaurant featuring his famous take on classic Catalan market fare. The duo entrusted to maintain the stringent standard required by Chef Gaig are Chef Gaig's daughter Miss Nuria Gibert who is the LV's restaurant manager and Chef Eduard Castellarnau who has worked for Chef Gaig for more than 10 years at Restaurant Gaig in Barcelona.

Indoor Dining Area

Set in the beautiful and lush greenery of Dempsey Hill, LV has indoor and outdoor seating arrangement. Up to 40 pax indoor, 60 pax outdoor and 10 pax at the bar. There is also an private section at the back where you can cater for small function.

Outdoor Dining Area
Private Section


Our tasting menu is a combination of “GRAN ÀPAT” tasting menu with the signature dishes recommended by our host for the night. While waiting for the kitchen to prepare the meal, we nibble on baguette with olive oil.

Catalan Baguette with Olive Oil

Oyster “Escabeche” (mild pickled Gillardeau oysters with baby vegetables and herbs) and Jamón Ibérico “de Bellota” (100% acorn fed Ibérico ham on Catalan crystal bread with tomato). The oyster is fresh, juicy and mild. The baby vegetables provided the contrasting texture to the dish, and a good teaser to for the next to come.

Oyster “Escabeche”

Jamón Ibérico is one of my perennial favourite ham. The reddish colour of the ham was so inviting. Although it was cured for more than 36 months, the texture of the ham is still succulent and melts in your mouth. It has the right saltiness and nicely complemented with tomato and crispy chewy Catalan crystal bread.

Jamón Ibérico “de Bellota” 

Lobster “Coca” (fresh lobster meat on fine puff pastry with eggplant purée and roasted capsicums). A nice presentation especially alternating between eggplant and sliced roasted capsicums. Unfortunately the taste of the lobster is cover by the accentuated roasted capsicums flavour.

Lobster "Coca"

Roasted Octopus (slow roasted octopus with infused potatoes and Spanish smoked paprika). The octopus was slow-cooked and served in square form like Chinese version of pig jelly. The octopus is tender and succulent, however there is a subtle hint of fishiness in the octopus.

Roasted Octopus

“Canelón” since 1869 (traditional cannelloni stuffed with foie gras, beef, pork and truffle cream. This is a traditional dish that enjoyed during Christmas by family in Catalan region. The cannelloni stuffed with foie gras, pork and beef. It is smooth, creamy and the truffle cream is just superb in binding all the ingredients together. Following its name, this dish was perfected in Chef Gaig family since 1869, and for four generation they have been doing in the same way. Yum Yum!!

“Canelón” since 1869

“Canelón” since 1869 - Check out the filling

Black Cod & “Samfaina” (slow cooked black cod with Catalan style vegetable ragout). The buttery black cod texture just melts in your mouth. The vegetables ragout provided the acidity to fattiness in the cod fish.

Black Cod & “Samfaina”

Pigeon “Paella” (carnaroli rice with porcini mushroom and pigeon). Yes, Pigeon. You see it correctly. Combining the Pigeon from France with traditional Catalan dish. The rice with mushroom are boiled using pigeon broth. It is robust and smoky at the same time. Meanwhile, the delicate pigeon are cooked separately. The pinkish breast meat tasted like medium rare wagyu fillet mignon. Definitely a must try dish. This dish is part of ala-carte menu instead of tasting menu.

Pigeon Paella

Pigeon Paella - My 1st portion with Pigeon breast meat

Crispy Suckling Pig (boneless suckling pig with strawberry salad). A melts in your mouth pork, with crispy paper thin skin is simply delicious. Porkgasm!! I was hoping for a bigger serving,but to no avail. The balsamic coated strawberry provided a good palate cleanser for me. Available in Tapas tasting menu but not in Gran Àpat. However you can order this in ala-carte.

Crispy Suckling Pig

The finale is Catalan “Crème Brûlée” (espuma, ice cream toffee). This dessert is just light and melts in your mouth. It has sweet, tangy and a nice toffee flavour. Like digging into whipped cream hunting for the custard below. Due to the shape of the glass, it will be better if they give a sundae spoon instead of dessert spoon.

Catalan Crème Brûlée

To accompany your dinner here, don't forget to try their Sangria or Catalan Wine.

Sangria

Overall, I truly enjoy the Catalan cuisine served in La Ventana. You can see the efforts and execution that the chefs put in each dishes using the best and freshest ingredients available. My picks for the meal is the Jamón Ibérico “de Bellota”, Crispy Suckling Pig and Pigeon “Paella”. What will be your pick? Aclamacions!! Cheers!!

La Ventana at Night

Thank you very much for La Ventana Team, H3 Cube Team and Ivan Teh - Running Man for the tasting invitation.

Food & Drink: 8.8/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: 9.5/10
Budget per Person: $51 - $80; $81 and Above

La Ventana
16A Dempsey Road
#01-01
Singapore 247695

T: +65 6479 0100
W: http://www.laventana.com.sg/
F: https://www.facebook.com/LaVentanaSG
OH:
Tue – Sun: 12.00 – 15.00; 18.00 – 23.00
Closed on Monday

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