Tanjong Katong is almost like a street full of surprises. If you take a stroll past the shophouses, there will be many outlets of unique interest here and there. My previous visit to the area brought me to Bruno’s Pizzeria and Grill where I experienced a very tasty and creamy Linguine Al Granchio.
Top Left – My meal for the day, Top Right – Quesadillas, Bottom Left – Churros Con Chocolate, Bottom Right – Sangria
And just down the road newly opened three months ago is my visit for the day – Cocina de Pasion, a quaint establishment of heartwarming Spanish cuisine from the rustic full flavoured and hearty oven baked Paella to the mouthwatering fragrant Churros with Chocolate sauce. Appetites prepared?
I met Chef Man, the chef and owner of Cocina, and with himself being in the Spanish F&B kitchens for nearly over ten years now he says that this restaurant is a work of his passion for Spanish cuisine. And it comes at no surprise that the Cocina de Pasion is aptly translated as Kitchen of Passion.
Specialties of the house were served and Toastadas De Gambas A La Crema was served. Described as Toasted Bread with Creamy Garlic Shrimp, this little pieces of appetizers were deceptively good. Well seasoned with an excellent creamy texture coupled with the slightly crunchy and sweet prawns, the essence of the seafood is accentuated with the crisp dry pieces of toast. Savoury burst in every bite, this must be enjoyed hot and it definitely opens up the appetite. $5.00 for a serving.
My first introduction to Tapas was at SANTI, and so whenever I notice a Tapas menu especially in a Spanish restaurant, I would perk up expecting a good serving of those supposedly little dishes that when served as a set can make a full meal itself.
I started off with the Gambas Salteadas Al Ajillo. Simply put, Sauteed Shrimps with Garlic and Olive Oil. Apart from the slightly oily serving, the prawns itself were crunchy scented with the bitter sweet fragrance of garlic. Decent, but I would probably only envision myself ordering this while enjoying little chit chat over drinks for snacks rather than part of the main course. $8.00 a portion.
And if you are a fan of all things funghi, Cocina has a Tapas of Champinones Salteados A La Crema. I found full robust earthern flavours and textures from the mushrooms which when paired with the cream sauce gives an impression of freshly pluck goodness. The cream sauce is also light with a mild fragrance throughout and is not heavily flavoured. $7.00 a portion.
The Paella is one dish that impressed me visually. A signature from Spain itself, this oven baked rice dish is topped with prawns, squid, fish, mussels, chicken and vegetables while the rice is cooked with Chef Man’s special seafood stock creating a creamy and thick base that infuses meticulously into each grain of rice. Very good while piping hot, and the little squeezes of lemon refreshes the flavours altogether with a lighter take on the dish. Large enough portion for 2-3 people. $16.90 per pan.
The Chicken Mango Salsa is perhaps more fusion than traditionally Spaniard. Served as a Pan fried Thai Marinated Chicken topped with mango salsa, the combination is striking with crisp fruity flavours that hint a mixture of sweetness, slight tomato sour and a savoury umami from the chicken. Enjoyed whole rather than separate, this is one serving that comes with potatoes and an assortment of vegetables by the side. Nicely done with vibrant colours throughout though personally I would go for the more savoury and rich Paella as my main. $10.90 for a serving.
I was nearly done with the meal but then I remembered the Quesadillas from the menu. The pieces of Grilled thin tortillas filled with savoury shrimp, chicken, beef or even vegetarian are choices to go for. Try out the vegetarian version for an interesting take on how vegetables can be made and served tasty. $6.00 for a portion cut into three pieces.
Churros Con Chocolate was the choice to end the entire meal on a sweet note. Served hot, these deep fried sticks of dough scented with cinnamon powder is made decadent with the portion of slightly thick, sweet and rich chocolate sauce. $4.50.
A select spread of Cocktails and Mocktails are available from the menu. As an accompaniment to the meal, I had the Sangria. Sweet and refreshing, the cocktail was very nicely done. $8.90 a glass or $32 a jug.
Having lunch at Cocina gives a very laidback and relaxed experience altogether. There is a sense of calm within the restaurant that is separated by the glass, when even watching the people and cars go by makes you feel like you are on a short vacation. The meal served is very filling with a variety of full flavoured dishes that are heartwarming, tasty enough, and decent on the wallet.
Thank you Kris of Cocina de Pasion for the invitation. Thank you Chef Man for hosting the dining experience.
|Cocina de Pasion
287 Tanjong Katong Road
Lunch : 1130am – 2.30pm
Dinner : 6pm – 1030pm
Tel : 6348 0508