What comes to mind when you think of Spanish food? For me it’s paella and cheese. Of which, one is rice (I am not a carbo-eater) and the other I am not a big fan of. So I rarely initiate to dine at a Spanish restaurant but Binomio was the first exception. My foodie bestie said the food is amazing here and I know they make/import their own Spanish wines so I thought why not explore a little and be a bit adventurous. I had no idea what to expect and boy was I in for a surprise.
It was a Friday night hence the restaurant was packed. The three of us (myself and two foodie besties) were led into a quieter dining room with a row of wine chillers.
We were extremely under-dressed. Lucky for us, most Singaporeans aren’t too well-dressed either and the restaurant wasn’t picky on dress-code. The service staff were kind to recommend a few tapas and their signature paella as well as a Rjoja to go with our meal. We got really excited about the food because we stared across at other tables and the food did look amazing. (Okay I was probably the only one staring.)
This Rjoja (75% Tempranillo 10% Graciano and 15% Grenacha) is part of a project involving restoration of old vines from the slopes of Sierra Cantabria. Chef José Alonso created this with winemaker Tom Puyaubert and there are only 1,200 bottles of this wine in the world. Hence the name “Exopto” – to strongly desire in Latin. On the nose, there’s a little complexity of chalkiness with red fruits and cherries. Taste wise, it was more tannic than I expected, medium body and pretty short finish. The wine needed a little more time to breathe and some food to go with.
The cold cuts platter was a mix of Lomo, Salchichon, Chorizo, Jamon and cheese served with toasted bread and a delicious tomato purée. Out of all the names, I only recognised Chorizo. The cheese was moderate (not the strong and pungent type) enough for me to enjoy it with the bread and the acidity of the tomato purée just complemented the meat, cheese and bread. We had a bit of everything and tasted the wine again. This time the wine was beautiful, fruity and robust in the mouth.
This small plate was served to every table – Spanish cheese, olives and pickles. Cheese was creamy and delicious but I didn’t fancy the olives/pickles much and the appearance did look a little odd to me.
Love the presentation of cuttlefish in thin white strips. The grilled cuttlefish retained its chewiness and savoury taste while the slightly sour-spicy condiments complemented it perfectly. Sofrito consists of garlic, onion, paprika, peppers and tomatoes cooked in olive oil. The dish was refreshing on the palate and definitely exceeded my expectations.
Coca de Foie was my favourite tapas of the three, presentation and taste wise most memorable for me. Escalivada refers to the roasted eggplant, onions and bell peppers that gives the dish both the flavours and colours. Coca bread is made from sweet dough. The combination of the smoky vegetables with the velvety duck liver on top of that sweet bread is a symphony well in sync on the palate. A little bit of sweetness, umami-ness and spiciness all in a mouthful. Now I can’t wait for our main dish of paella with this last tapas being so yummy.
I LOVE SQUID INK. Squid ink risotto, squid ink pasta, squid ink pudding etc. All lovely even if the ink does stain the teeth. I don’t care it’s just too delicious. We could smell the oceanic aromas when the waitress placed it on the table, with the rice staring back at us with plumpness. Excitedly, we dug into this decadent dark mass of goodness and we were definitely more than satisfied. Every bit of the rice was oozing with the squid ink flavours, savoury and unforgettable. And we particularly liked scrapping the crispy rice from the sides and bottom of the hot metal pan.
We were transported to Spain in this little corner of Tanjong Pagar with the great ambience, exquisite food and beautiful wine. We lingered a while longer to enjoy the wine though we chose not to have desserts as we were really full from the food. Definitely worth a visit/revisit for me and service was impeccable even with the busy dinner traffic. I will definitely dress a little prettier the next time I decide to go to Binomio 🙂 They are closed on Sundays and lunch is from 12noon on Mondays to Fridays. Dinner commences at 6pm with last seating at 10:30pm for Mondays to Saturdays.
20 Craig Road