Lolla has a special allure. Every time I pass by, I can’t help but look in. Maybe because of how my besties crazed over the food, but it might also be the contrast of that old school Asian entrance with its Mediterranean cuisine. We made reservations way in advance after failing to get a table on a weekday night. They are really popular with four seatings for weekend dinners.
We were led down to the lower floor and it felt as though we were visiting a restaurant in Europe. It looks like a secret wine cellar underground for people with the right pass code to enter. (I have to apologise for the bad photography to come.)
We almost ordered everything on the main menu and some of the daily specials as we were aware the portions aren’t big. (This is going to be a long post *gentle warning*). I helped with the choice of a Sauvignon Blanc from Italy to start off our evening.
This wine is from the region of Venezia, North eastern Italy. I was pleasantly surprised by the aroma on the nose – it was a little smoky, cheesy and not much of any fruits, more vegetal. On the palate it was creamy with an impressive structure and finish, reflecting fruitier notes than on the nose. Probably because of the age of the wine, it was much more complex than most of the new world Sauvignon Blanc or any Italian Sauvignon Blanc that I have tasted. Love it! And it is very reasonably priced for a 90 pointer wine (Wine Enthusiast).
We asked about the “size” as it was the same size for the half portion. The staff told us the full portion just had more Uni and seeing that there were six of us, she offered to change it to two half portions ($24 each). A+ for service! This decadent small bowl of strong oceanic umami-ness consisted of a mysterious creamy pudding rich with squid ink and smoky flavours. It does however overwhelm the taste of that fresh sea urchin on top. I do like the dish but I don’t love love it as there’s too much of seafood creaminess in a tiny bowl. Good to try at least once but not what I would crave for.
I can never dislike Scallop Carpaccio unless the ingredients aren’t fresh or the cook is feeling under the weather. I liked the temperature of it, lukewarm and with generous amount of citrus olive oil on the scallops (perfect thickness by the way), literally slides down your throat. I didn’t get a chance to ask what exactly was the seasoning or the sprinkles on this but I loved this and a must-have for me.
I don’t take Maguro (you might have noticed from my previous posts) but I do love Otoro with its oils and taste. Chutoro is somewhere in between – medium fats and amazingly delicious in this dish. Just the right thickness in cubes oozing with the natural oils of the fish together with the lemon olive-oil seasoning. Another must-have for me.
The perfectly cooked pork chop was served on a pumpkin purée and topped with deep fried kale. The combination of textures together with juicy grilled pork that melts in your mouth made this dish the best pork chop I ever had! The Iberico pork collar (SGD$29) is on the main menu, do try that if the pork chop isn’t one of the daily specials.
This other special was mediocre – mussels were not really fresh and the white wine sauce was a little too salty for my liking but it did well to mask the quality of the mussels.
This dish received a little bit of mixed votes from the girls. I took just one spoonful of it and it tasted like the chef accidentally added salt thrice to the dish. Maybe a little bit of uneven cooking as some of my besties said it was fine. Anyhow it failed to impress me and I did think it was a little overpriced for mushrooms.
One of my favourites of the night! The octopus was pre-braised before grilling with butter. It was served with limes and a paprika sauce at the side. I had the octopus on its own without the lime or sauce and it was simply delicious!
I don’t like potatoes. But sinful ones like duck fat potatoes is worth a try – crisp and oily and lightly salted. This was actually better than I expected.
I never had eel other than the Japanese sweet version so this salty version on top of the egg kinda “shocked” me. Inside the egg, there were potatoes fried in duck fats which is a little rich for me. A mediocre dish in my opinion but good to fill the stomach with some carbohydrates.
I had to google what escalopes meant – it means the meat has been thinned by a rolling pin or beaten with the handle of a knife. We are big fans of beef tongue but this one failed to meet our expectations. The braised beef tongue was tough and the pickles seemed a little redundant, just adding sweetness to an uninteresting dish.
Yay for cool besties who love all the weird things, like leek, with me. We really loved this leek fondant with the burnt cheese crust. The filling had eggs, cheese, leek and breadcrumbs – just creamily delicious. A must-have for me!
The perfect amount of pink in that lamb already put a smile on my face. I grabbed the bone and had a bite of that lamb with the parsnip puree and olive soy sauce. Tender lamb with juices that oozes out with smoking grilled charred flavours is just unforgettable. Another one of my favourites of the night.
Oh I forgot to mention about our red wine! We had a Châteauneuf-du-Pape after our white wine to match with the meats we were having.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the most famous wine appellation from the Rhône wine region in south eastern France. It is a blend made from the grapes Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. I like this blend for its fruity floral aromas on the nose and a taste that is not too harsh in general. This wine didn’t fail to mesmerise on the nose with its herbaceous notes together with black and red fruitiness. On the palate, it’s smooth and lush with medium tannins, providing a satisfying mouth feel and taste just like it smells.
Now moving on to desserts.
Dip those freshly baked doughnuts that has an amazing light feel in the refreshing lemon curd. It’s an interesting way of presentation with the curd on the outside, but the most impressive was the doughnut which was so fluffy and still piping hot!
The bitter sweet dark chocolate pudding was dense and topped with chocolate bits, creamy on the inside. You need to have it together with that vanilla ice cream to have the balance of sweetness with bitterness. Both desserts were good in their own ways.
It was a night of intriguing conversations, good food and great wines with some of the world’s best girlfriends. I couldn’t differentiate if it’s was the company that made Lolla special, or it was unique to begin with. I would definitely re-order some of my favourites from what we had at Lolla’s and hope to be pleasantly surprised at their wines on the next visit.
22 Ann Siang Road
P/S: Heading out to San Francisco today so there will be a little short break on reviews. Do catch me on Instagram as I post pictures from my trip! Will be back in early May.