Daily: 12:00 - 01:00
Bodega Y Tapas is a Spanish restaurant located at Orchard Hotel. Craving for Spanish food? Bodega Y Tapas serves authentic Spanish cuisines. Come for an almost authentic Spanish dining experience.
It is not difficult to find authentic Italian and French restaurants in Singapore because they are usually helmed by Italian and French chefs. Spanish cuisine, on the other hand, is a different story. My search for good tapas led me to Bodega Y Tapas. I was told the restaurant has a Spanish chef and imports the majority of its main ingredients from Spain. Sounds good to me!
I decided to meet some gal pals for lunch at this Spanish restaurant located at Orchard Hotel. We each started with a refreshing gazpacho andaluz (Spanish cold tomato soup, $10) and ordered a variety of tapas to share. My personal favourites were the pulpo a feira (a traditional dish of sliced octopus on a slice of potato, $15), piquillos rellenos de marisco (stuffed piquillos pepper with seafood, $10), and carrileras en salsa de calabaza (pork cheeks and pumpkin, $15). My friends also liked the cecina de leon con almendras fritas (smoked and dried beef meat with fried almonds, $12), gildas (green mild chillies, olives and anchovies on skewers) and ensalada de verano (cucumber stuffed with tomatoes and anchovies, $12). We ended the meal with crema catalana (traditional Spanish custard with caramel, $8) which resembles a crème brulée, and chocolate con rresas (homemade chocolate cake with strawberry coulis and ice cream, $12).
I am planning to head down to Bodega Y Tapas again next week so I can try its famous paella ($70-$80, serves 4-5 persons), which requires me to order a day in advance. If you are looking for tapas beyond the usual chorizos and calamaris, this is the place to go. Also, you will be delighted to know that the happy hour is from 12 noon to 9pm daily (including public holidays) and you get to enjoy one-for-one for all drinks ordered (including coffee, tea and non-alcoholic beverages).
-- Marie Choo
I must say that I have mixed feelings with this place after 3 visits during the last 3 years.
The tapas are OK and not expensive for Singapore standards, so if you feel like having a few Tapas and a couple of San Miguel beers, this is not a bad place to go.
The areas where they need improvement are the service and the wine by the glass offering.
During my last visit, the service was very poor. Most wines by the glass were Austrian. Only one Spanish wine by the glass (a rosé), which is quite unusual for a Spanish Tapas Bar (maybe the owner is Austrian...).
In terms of Ambiance, it's usually a good place, but last time there was this group at the bar that had drunk more than they should, and one of the ladies was totally drunk, screaming very loud and making scenes with her friends. The staff did not care and kept serving them hard liquor shots...
Finally, as I was seating at the bar, I had the opportunity to see how they wash their glasses, and I must say that after that, I don't think that I will be coming back. They have this sink where they manually wash them and they are not very consistent in their washing process. I always thought that a place like this would have one of those automated dishwashers that sanitize with hot water, etc.
Visited the place for restaurant week, and unlike other 3-course menus, Bodega's, being a tapas place, serves only "main courses" without desserts. Word is that desserts are not a strong point of the the chefs at the tapas bar, though the tiramisu did sound tempting. But I digress. The place was not packed when I visited for dinner ($35++ for a 3 course meal) during restaurant week, which had me worried. Good places are always filled to the brim. Rather, there was a crowd of mainly expats there for a few drinks and light snacks. The first course that we were served was a Chilled Gazpacho with Fresh Prawn which I did not enjoy. The prawn was juicy, though tasted bland and the gazpacho reminded me strongly of watermelon juice. Not off to a good start and I almost had to force myself to finish the dish.
I was actually there to celebrate a friend's birthday and was afraid it was going to be a disappointing meal. The menu had exactly 3 courses with just one, fixed option for each course, although one could request for other dishes for an additional fee. Salvation came in the form of the next dish, however, which was the Seared Blue Fin Tuna with Cherry Tomatoes and Mandarin Coulis.
This dish was brilliant and one of the better seared tuna dishes I've had. The cherry tomatoes went well with the lightly-seared cubes of tuna and I was almost wistfully hoping that they gave us more than that small portion for a "main".
The last dish presented to us was one of their signature dishes of Ciabatta-wrapped Crispy Egg with Spinach and Mushroom Ragu. Though this was better than the gazpacho, I thought it lacked oomph and would have preferred to end the meal with the tuna dish. While the ragu was tasty, the ciabatta wrapped egg was plain and the spinach did nothing to help. Another disappointing dish.
While the dishes were disappointing, what got me excited and ready to go back to Bodega are their drinks. Bodega does happy hour from 12-9pm daily and has 1-for-1 offers for Sangria, House Wines, Draught Beers, Hugo and House Pour Spirits. I loved the Hugo at Bodega and at just $7 a pop during happy hour, it was well worth it! Besides, go down on Margarita Tuesdays to get magaritas at a discount as well.
For more pictures and the full review visit http://voraciousappetite.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/bodega-y-tapas-orchard-hotel/