I have never thought of walking into a Spanish restaurant to look for vegetarian dishes since many Spanish dishes are associated with Jamon or seafood. I was pleasantly surprised that they have an extensive menu for non-meat customers. This is the first time I am eating at Tapas Club as it has always given me a bar-like feel to the establishment and since I am not such a drinker, it was not my first choice for dinner.
The restaurant itself is decorated in strong cultural colours and reminds me of a Spanish festival complete with Flamengo dancers, large pan paella and jugs of sangria.
There is bench seating for larger groups as well as cushioned chairs and tables for a cosy setting for family get-togethers. There is an extensive amount of the use of red in the restaurant from the lampshades to the server’s aprons but it somewhat brings out a festive cheer.
There is a nice corner bar for people who wish to have a light bite and cocktails as a pre-dinner meal.
You can find various kinds of tapas on their menu which is very suitable for drinks and gatherings. Some of their tapas is very unique and I have not seen them in other Spanish restaurants. You can easily distinguish the dishes suitable for vegans or vegetarians with the little food legends placed next to the dish.
For a start, we had the croquetas de setas which is mushroom croquettes which came in cylindrical shapes in a nice golden brown colour. The dish was still piping hot as it was freshly fried and brought to our table. The bite into the croquette had a loud crunch due to the crispiness of the skin. The filling itself is creamy and savoury with light flavours of mushroom and cheese. At SGD 10.90 for this dish, I find the price very reasonable for a very delectable dish.
This next dish absolutely caught me by surprise and I ordered it purely because it was one of the vegetarian choices. This berenjenas con miel which is eggplant chips with honey. This seemingly simple and plain-looking dish which is basically thinly sliced eggplant deep fried with a light batter. A sweet honey dipping sauce is provided for the chips. The eggplant chips are served hot and fresh from the fryer with perfect crispiness on the outside but soft and warm on the inside. The eggplants chips are lightly salted and when dipped into the honey sauce, there is fantastic compatibility of both sweet and salty. This was so good that I could not stop popping the chips into my mouth.
The next dish was ordered for my friend who was not on a meatless diet like me. Since the gambas alajillo is pretty famous as a pre-meal snack, we decided to order it amongst the sea of tantalising dishes in the menu. The prawn itself was springy and fresh and the sauce has strong garlic and olive oil flavours. Since I did not get to try this, so I can’t really give details on the taste but the dish sure looks good as an onlooker.
The next dish is a hot favourite with local Spanish. The tortilla de patatas con aliolo de trufa is basically Spanish omelette with truffle cream sauce. Different from the usual American or Japanese omelette, the Spanish looks like a thick round medallion which is at least 1cm thick in height.
The omelette itself is very dense with layers of egg and potatoes as well as some herbs. The potatoes itself is creamy and soft as it melts into the egg layers. This dish is quite filling and can easier be a meal on its own. The taste is quite savoury and starchy with pretty strong egg flavours and a hint of truffle flavours.
The final tapas we ordered was the patatas bravas which is potatoes with Bravia sauce and Aioli. Many dishes have the Aioli sauce which is a Mediterranean sauce made of garlic and olive oil and personally, I found the sauce a bit sourish and not to my liking. The potatoes were lightly cooked in brown sauce and topped with loads of Aioli sauce which made the dish neither savoury nor sour and the balance was quite off for me.
Not ordering the paella at a Spanish restaurant is almost like not having chicken rice at a chicken rice restaurant so here we go with the vegetarian paella which has loads of carrots, long beans, cauliflower and capsicums. I really do think that seafood still complements paella the best. The vegetarian version was quite flat in flavours although the consistency of the rice is perfectly cooked al dente with slightly charred flavours. Together with the potatoes, this is not my favourite.
The perfect end to a meal is always dessert and churros are definitely the item to order in a Spanish restaurant. The churros itself is fried perfectly and crispy but the consistency of the chocolate dip was very disappointing. It was too watery and did not coat the churros well at all. This was really far from the ones I had in Spain or even in Australia so I would not actually waste my calories on them.
Overall, there are still some quite pretty decent dishes in Tapas Club and there are many more meat dishes which I have not tried during my visit this round but I would say that Tapas Club is a nice place to gather with friends and family over a jug of Sangria and tapas to unwind from the daily grind.
Address: 1 Harbourfront Walk, #01-98/99 VivoCity, Singapore 098585
Operating hours: 12 pm to 10 pm (Mon to Fri) 11.30 pm to 11 pm ( Sat and Sun)