Thursday, January 06, 2011

Tapas-ing @ Holland V!

This hungry moo trotted down to Holland V to check out tapas bar, Sabroso Tapas Wine Bar, at their invitation.

Helmed by Chef Alfred G with almost 30 years of F&B experience and who spent about two decades in Italy and Spain, they prepared a tapas and wine pairing tasting:

The evening started with Cacerola De Asar Vicira (Pan Broiled Scallops; $12). Small but fresh and sweet Canadian scallops were cooked in shallot butter. This was paired with Mont-Marcal NV Cava ($67) that had a quite fine mousse and with soft acidity. Fresh and not very dry.

Croquetas (Deep-fried Bread-Crumb-Coated Jamon Bechamel; $12) was a little bland. I had expected more because of the usually intense flavours of Jamon. But it was better with the accompanying creamy dip. Pair with an interesting Champagne of Ukraine ($52). Eeks. I think the French will cringe at it being labelled "Champagne". It was semi-sparkling with a floral nose. There goes my virgin experience with a wine from Ukraine!

I like the sweet-salty contrasting flavours of the Tocino Envulto Aceitunas (Bacon Wrapped Dates; $12). :) This was paired with Beronica Crianza 2006 ($57)- nose of cherries, oak, floral. Medium-bodied with dry finish and nice acidity that cut through the rich flavours and cleansed the palate.

Albondigas Sabroso (Sabroso Meatballs; $14)- minced chuck baked and served with smoked caciolla (chef said it was a type of sheep's cheese) cream sauce. Beef and cheese is pretty fail-proof. Went nicely with a Penmara Shiraz 2007 from Hunter Valley ($76). Medium to full bodied with a bit of an exotic nose. Spices and cherries.

Another meaty tapas dish was the Costillas a la Barbacoa (BBQ Ribs; $14) featuring pork ribs soaked in milk and marinated with Spanish BBQ seasoning. You know why the great (and now ancient) beauty Yang Gui Fei took milk baths? Moohehe.

Ahem. Thoughts of a bathing concubine aside, these tender pork ribs were paired with Queen's Bay Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 ($43) from Chile. This pairing didn't appeal to me as the wine's greenish, stalky (under-ripe grapes??) tannins overwhelmed everything. I would have preferred the Crianza as a better match for this.

Then came bonus dishes...

Paella de Mariscos (Seafood Paella; $14) was flavoured with the sweetness of red bell peppers and seafood though the texture could be a tad firmer, less moist.

Espanol Brulee ($8) was a sweet custard spiced up with lime and Valencia orange zest for moments of zesty fragrance. A good take on the usual creme brulee.

Bizchoco aka "Drunken Cake" ($9) was a special dessert for that month. What's in it? Sherry, fresh whipped cream, cinnamon and lime zest.

Here's a line-up of the wines we tasted that evening.

Sabroso Tapas Wine Bar opens till late and offers a good late-night venue for tapas and drinks....especially with interesting wine choices and affordable wine prices!

Thanks to Elaine and Arif of Brand Inc for the invitation and to Sabroso Tapas Wine Bar for hosting me.

Sabroso Tapas Wine Bar
26A Lorong Mambong
Holland Village
Tel: 6766 0053
Opens: 11am-1am daily except for Saturday when it closes at 2am.

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