On Fathers’ Day last Sunday, my siblings and I decided to take our dad to Catalunya, a fine-dining Spanish restaurant at The Fullerton Pavillion, for dinner. Being a spanish food lover, I was really looking forward to that meal as I have heard great things about the place. And to cut a long story short, I wasn’t disappointed:)
The architecture of Catalunya was beautiful, it is a restaurant situated within a glass dome that floats atop the waters of Marina Bay. There is both indoor and alfresco dining which offer diners a splendid 360 view of the city-line and Marina Bay Sands. The interior feels quite spacious especially with the surrounding glass walls, and the furnishing looks modern yet classic without being too overly elaborate, I felt real cosy sitting inside.
Service wise, I was pleased with the performance of the staff, they lived up to my expectations considering the pricey fare of the food. The waiters were friendly and served us with a smile, and they were also patient in explaining the menu to us and taking our questions. What I loved was that I was never left thirsty throughout the night. Every time my cup was nearing empty it would be refilled without fail, and this is without prompting so I was impressed with that kind of meticulous attention. In addition, I was surprised that we had the option of getting plain iced water as opposed to still or sparkling bottled water; usually I am prepared that fine-dining restaurants will not offer plain iced water at all, so that was a pleasant little surprise and I really relished spending the water money on more tapas;)
I was there for dinner so I did not manage to take any good photos as the lighting inside was dim, hence I shall just post those that are viewable and I apologize in advance for the poor quality.
My hungry dad was asking for some bread as a starter and the waiter recommended this to us. My dad loved it! Basically it is crispy toasted bread with a tomato spread. It was a very simple dish that was delightful but I was not all that impressed in the sense – I could live without ordering it. It was decent, even great to some (like my dad), but not wow. I have tasted other yummier and more flavourful bread starters before so this was just average for my taste.
These were really tasty and great in texture. The crispy outer crust is accompanied by a rich tasty filling of mashed potato and spanish ham. One of the better tasting croquettes I have eaten and it is those rare ones that whet your appetite but yet does not fill you up too much like some croquettes do. These were surprisingly light and just nicely done:) An order comes with 4 pieces.
This tomato tartar confit was rich in flavour and a delight. The foam went well in pairing with the rich tomato flavour and the dish was served together with thinly sliced crispy bread. Not a bad dish.
I really loved this vegetarian dish as it was very savoury yet simple. This roll was filled with crab, avocado, vegetables, tomatoes and topped with a tantalizing mix of mayonnaise sauce, just yummy! I ordered two of this, the second portion I finished whole by myself ;]
I don’t really know how to describe this as I do not remember what was inside. All I can say is that it was ok, reminded me of eating a quiche. It was pleasant but I was not blown away by it.
DIE DIE MUST TRY ;]
These fried squid rings are super duper delicious! If you love your calamari rings then you must not miss out on this dish. The crispy deep fried outer layer had a nice amount of crunch that was not too hard nor too soft, that itself added a whole lot of savory goodness to the taste.
I am one who cannot live without rice hence I just had to order a dish with spanish rice. Traditionally, I would have gone for the paella since that is the trademark rice dish for spanish food. However, Catalunya only serves paella during lunch time on Saturdays and Sundays. Since I was having dinner I opted for the Lobster Rice – hailed as the brother of their beloved paella on the menu. After trying it I have just 4 words to say – I AM IN LOVE!
This dish comprises of grilled lobsters and rice in yummy broth, it was just so delicious, it even impressed Gluttonian 1 who is not a rice fan. The rice was nicely done, it had a great texture that was soft and moistly sticky, and a great rich flavour. The lobster was grilled and had a salty taste to it which I thought complemented the rice very well. The meat was also fleshy and yummy:) I really recommend this dish.
The signature dish of the restaurant certainly lived up to expectations, the Suckling Pig was a pleasant experience! I am not sure if our serving size is the norm because my family requested for a smaller half portion as we were afraid of over ordering, so we got served a Suckling Piglet.
The skin was my favourite part as it was so crispy yet moist and flavourful. When you try it, you will understand what I mean by crispy yet moist;] The meat was great as well, very tender and juicy. To prove how soft and tender the meat was, the waiter cut the piglet in front of us using a normal rounded plate! Though I hear that it is a tradition to smash the plate in Spain, no smashing occured at our table. However, I am very sure that the table opposite us got the chance to smash theirs as there was a loud plate crashing sound and the table was being served the pig at the time. We were told to order the Star Anise & Cinnamon Roasted Pineapple side to accompany the Suckling Pig as the waiter said it goes really well together. But ehhh… I was not a fan. Then again, I was never that big a fan of pineapples either. Once again, if you love your suckling pigs, then you will not want to miss this dish! This dish really captured the entire essence of the piglet, it get two thumbs up from me!
But as the saying goes “Set the bar too high and be prepared for disappointment”. Hence, I would like to reiterate that one should go in the restaurant expecting a good pig, and not one sent down from heaven by the Gods!
In a nutshell, although not all the dishes were fantastic – the charcoal grilled cabbage was not pleasing in taste at all – there was enough brilliance in the dishes that worked to make this a good and delightfully palatable Spanish restaurant. Catalunya also boasts a great looking bar which I have yet to try, so I will definitely be heading back soon…but for the drinks this time;] With good service, tasty food and a unique view, I am sure that majority will find it a pleasant experience dining at Catalunya. But before you head down, don’t forget to make a reservation way in advance!
P.S. Just a shout out to my dad – who judging by his gigantic belly size I am damn sure that’s where I got my glutton genes from – I love you and hope you enjoyed your Fathers’ Day dinner:]
SPIED AT: The Fullerton Pavillion, 82 Coller Quay, Singapore 049327
OPERATING HOURS: 12 Noon to 2 A.M.