Last weekend, over the Merdeka long weekend celebration in Malaysia, me and Hubby decided to go for a quick weekend getaway to Singapore and to catch up with some friends. While there in Singapore, some of our friends who are major food
snobs connoisseur, told us to check out Foodbar Dada.
Reservations are a must. The restaurant has limited seating and is almost always packed. We got our reservation for 4 person at 7.30pm and is good for a couple of hours. We have to leave by 9.30pm to make way for the next reservation. Safe to say, with the reservations being so limited, we were expecting a lot.
Nestled in the middle section of Robertson Quay’s restaurants and pubs, Foodbar Dada was not easy to find for us.
There’s no big signs and it’s not a big place. It’s really quite a hidden location. Located next to an organic food store, it’s like, half a shop lot.
The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating. The entrance is really minimalist, with a small sign, simple glass doors and small outdoor seating. Outside, there are tables for approximately 20 patrons.
I like the interior decor of the restaurant. Although it’s small and narrow, it houses a open kitchen with bar seating in front of it. The walls are covered in newspaper, with simple mirror and wall signs and another bar seating facing the wall. At the end of the restaurant, there’s additional 2-3 tables at the nook of the restaurant. In total, I suppose the restaurant can seat another 20 odd person inside.
Although the interior is nice and you get to watch the chefs prepare your food, you will likely start to smell like food after dinner. With the open kitchen concept and all…
Foodbar Dada serves “Spanish tapas”. I quoted that as it’s not your traditional Spanish tapas dishes. The food served are more fusion styled than your traditional tapas.
Yes, tapas dishes are usually in small portions. So, you’ll have to order several dishes to make it a somewhat filling dinner.
The menu comes in a plain white paper. I’m unsure if it’s the final menu, or it’s a growing and temporary menu.
We ordered a bunch of the items, including those that came highly recommended by our friends.
Funnily, when I wanted to keep the menu with me for reference and in case I needed to order more, the waiter told me it’s better if he kept it and I ask for it when I want to look again. Why? Because with drinks on the table, we might wet and destroy the menu. Errr… OK. Must be expensive to photocopy another piece of black and white paper menu in Singapore, I guess. */sarcasm*
These Cod Puffs (SGD$12) were one of my favourites of the dishes. Cod fish in liquid paste form, deep fried to perfection.
Cut into the deep fried puff and you get a gooey paste of cod fish that melts in your mouth. A great burst of deliciousness.
We were presented with complimentary Amuse Bouche (pronounced “ah-moose-boosh”) from the waiter. I have no idea what they are, but it was good.
This Mediterranean Rice (SGD$8) cooked with squid ink and is as tiny as two tea spoonful of rice dollops. Though serving is really small, it came highly recommended by our friends. I have to say, that this is definitely one of the “must-try” dishes here. From Foodbar Dada’s Facebook Page, I reckon this is their best seller, too. Really really good!
Sishito Peppers and Shitakes (SGD$11) are green peppers and mushrooms cooked in black pepper-ish sauce. My third favourite dish of the night. I’m not a big pepper fan, but this is really nice.
This is cooked with egg gravy and is almost like an interesting twist of Cantonese Fried baby squid. Also a good dish.
You always need some greens with your meal. This avocado salad is nothing to shout about, really. Personally, a little too pricey for such a small portion of a plain avocado salad.
The beef came perfectly cooked. at 150 grams, it’s not exactly a big portion to share among the 4 of us though.
But man, is it perfect “Medium Rare” beef or what? The other great thing about it is the interesting (apparently traditional) addition of a pinch of sea salt on the beef. Mouth watering…
We recognise “Iberian” as something porky. Haha. We asked the waiter and was told that it’s actually a pork lard dish. It came not as a fried piece of pork lard as anticipated, but has a sliver of meat still attached to the pig fat. The boys enjoyed it, I had a tiny slice and instantly felt fat after. Come on – it’s piggy fat!
No. your eyes did not deceive you. This Spanish Ham 5J with bread with tomato does cost a whopping SGD$55. We asked what “5J” meant and was informed that it’s a grade / species of ham. Our expectations was high for something that costs SGD$55 (approx RM140). The bread is slightly toasted, but the star is the Spanish ham.
It is good. Nice ham. But personally, not quite worth the crazy price tag for those few slices. Maybe it’s some rare pig.
When we were there, we were told that they were not serving drinks from the cocktail menu that night. They have a famous mixologist with them and they’re serving “Surprise Cocktails” for their guests.
Not that we had a choice, I guess, so we obliged.
Everyone of us got our surprise cocktails, courtesy of the guest mixologist. Each cocktail costs SGD$20+. I can’t really tell you much about what these drinks were, but they all tasted good and was a good surprise indeed.
The boys liked some of their drinks that they ordered seconds. Some of their favourite was (Top Left) some Screwdriver type of drink, but is more than the standard Vodka Orange and some Mojito type of drink (not pictured) that has a strong hint of Brandy or Whiskey in it.
I had the (Top Right) drink that tasted like a blend of Kir Royal or Champagne and Beer, and I liked it. Followed by my second surprise cocktail (Bottom Right) of what I refer to as a “Whatever leftover you found in your alcohol cabinet” Fruit Punch. I didn’t like that one.
The final bill for the night for all those food above, and about 2-3 drinks each for the 4 of us, was around SGD$500. Yes, I consider this very pricey indeed.
The dishes were indeed good. Some great! Every one of us named somewhat different dishes as our favourites. We all shared our love for the Black Mediterranean Rice. The food definitely deserved it’s high praise for the reservations to be so hard to get and buzz surrounding the restaurant’s success.
On the other hand, a total bill for that kind of amount for a dinner that wasn’t particularly filling, as well as an ambiance that isn’t particularly posh (a number of guests were in bermuda shorts and T-shirts), I would reserve dining here to “special occassions” and not an every day dining thing.
It is interesting to note that Singapore has gotten to a point where posh nosh eateries like this can thrive and be a part of a regular night out, city dining experience and not confined to only the rich and famous. On the flip side, this confirms my personal belief that the standard of living in Singapore is truly expensive!
In summary – I would likely come back to Foodbar Dada again. Something tells me that the food menu is not final and the next time I come back, it might change quite a bit. For a nice date night out, when you don’t really want to gobble too much food, or as a small bite before you head off to more drinks, this is a nice place to check out.
And that Black Mediterranean Rice is just delicious… *drool*
However, if you want a good, cheap, filling meal, look elsewhere. After all, this is Robertson Quay and you’re surrounded by loads of restaurants and bars – not hard to find other food options.
Facebook Page : http://www.facebook.com/FoodBarDaDa
Add : 60 Robertson Quay, #01-12 Singapore, 238252 Singapore.
Tel : +65 6735 7738
Operating Hours : Mon – Sat, 6.00pm – 12.00am
One final note…
After the expensive bill at Foodbar Dada, me and my dining guests were still hungry. So we went a few shops down to Boomarang (an Aussie type restaurant) and ordered our giant platters of shared food to fill our stomach.