Saturday, 20 January 2018


Esquina is, as its name suggests (which means corner in Spanish), tucked away at the corner of Jiak Chun Road and Teck Lim Road. Located off Keong Saik Road, the Spanish tapas restaurant occupies two storeys of a shophouse. Sit at the bar counter on the 1st floor if you want to watch its chefs prepare dishes and do not mind fumes from the open kitchen. Requested for a table on the 2nd floor, which was quiet enough for us to catch up with one another. From the Snacks menu, we had three items  mediocre marinated olives with cardamom, cider vinegar, lemon and Mediterranean herbs, mixed reviews for Iberico bellota "5J" with pan con tomate (Spanish-styled grilled bread with tomato) and raw oyster topped with Jalapeno ponzu, salmon roe and pickled ginger flower that a dining companion raved about. The latter was fresh but not as plump as others I have eaten. Nonetheless, a delicate dish prettily presented with flavours that came very well together.

I liked how the tanginess of the tomato cut the saltiness of the grilled bread, and how perfect it was with the ham. Could not say the same of the sea urchin and lobster paella with saffron aioli and snow peas though. Found the short-grained rice too undercooked for my liking and would prefer it to be a tad dryer. Loved the potato and black truffle gratin with onion sauce, organic egg yolk and iberico ham. The crispy potato was good, both on its own and when paired with other ingredients in this dish. Another of our favourites was the Spanish Suckling Pig served with rhubarb and apple chutney and mulled wine jus  succulent meat with thin crisp skin and just the right amount of fats. While it was lovely on its own, the taste was accentuated with the sauce so delicious a dining companion wanted to buy it. Too full for desserts, we were served with chocolate mousse on thin slices of crispy bread topped with olive oil and sea salt to round up our pleasant meal.

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