Hola! The Singapore food culture is definitely getting very Spanish of late, with many sexy Spanish tapas bar sprouting up and it is all fashionable to have your chorizo with Sangria. I relate Spanish food to a beauty like Penelope Cruz – colourful, hot and passionate.
But, but, but… I never really found good Spanish paella here, with my most exceptional one tried in MoVida Melbourne. So I had to make my way to 38 Martin Road to try Bomba Paella Bar (which replaced Graze, with Baker & Cook
as its neighbour). Since the restaurant is named ‘Bomba’, its paella has to be good. (Read: Review of Baker & Cook)
Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain’s national dish, its like how Singaporeans would view their chicken rice. And they use the Bomba rice, considered the highest quality of all Spanish rice varieties. I hear that Chef Jean-Philippe Patruno achieves paella greatness with golden caramelized crust forming at the bottom layer of the rice.
The Arroz Negro ($40 for small serving that serves two), a wet paella of squid ink, squid, dry sherry and black mushrooms cooked with fish stock is already impressive. The paella was really fragrant, with its smell arriving at our noses while the pan was still 3 metres away.
This is when I really took note of eating every bit of rice, each enveloped with a strong and dense flavours, with an intense flavour that would likely leave you feeling satisfied. The portion’s generous too. While the serving is meant for two, my take is four light eaters can easily share this.
I almost felt that I was near the Mediterranean beaches when I got a whiff of the Langoustine Squid & Prawns Paella, seafood paella cooked with tomatoes and seafood stock ($40 for small, $60 for medium, $80 for large).
Never thought I would ‘complain’ about this, but there were just too many ingredients of prawns, mussels, squid and fish slices swimming in the pan. A happy problem I presume. While there was no additional salt added, I thought that the dish was slightly ‘seafoody-salty’, and could do with a much lighter touch.
Other Para Picar (small bites) that are worth trying include the Iberico Ham Croquettas which are breaded deep fried potato croquette with iberico ham ($12 for 3 pieces), and side dish of Patatas Bravos with spicy tomato sauce ($8).
As with the Spanish way of life and sharing culture, Bomba Paella Bar is a terrific place to hang around after work where you can indulge in enjoyable portions of tapas and paellas. Plus, there is no service charge!
BOMBA Paella Bar
Martin No. 38, 38 Martin Road, Singapore 239059 (near Robertson Quay). Tel: +65 6509 1680
Opening Hours: 6:00pm – 12:00am Mon-Sat (Closed Sun)