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Restaurant review: Lolla on Ann Siang Road, Singapore

 

Lolla
22 Ann Siang Road
6423 1228

Who’s in the kitchen?
Singaporean chef Tan Huang Ming, who brought the restaurant from underground supper club to one of Zagat’s “10 hottest restaurants in the world” in 2013 – quite a feat for a guy with no formal culinary training.

What’s he cooking?
Ming says “simple small plates”, a decidedly modest description of the restaurant’s inventive Mediterranean dishes. And despite all the accolades, these guys are keeping things casual. Your menu is your placemat; napkins are paper ones served diner-style from a dispenser on the bar.

Dishes you’ll recognise:
You’ll find aged Manchego cheese ($14), Cinco Jotas jamon Ibérico de Bellota ($42) and the king of anchovies – Don Bocarte – served straight from the tin ($24), but each dish has a little bit of Lolla’s  (pronounced with a long “o”) unique flair. The Spanish tortilla is a dish that is as humble as they come – except that this rendition boasts local, barn-laid eggs, Idaho russet potatoes braised for several hours and sautéed in duck fat, and mounds of moist smoked eel on top.

Dishes you won’t:
Referred to by The New York Times as Lolla’s signature dish, the sea urchin pudding ($19, half-portion) is satiny squid ink custard topped with raw sea urchin – a plate that will surely feature in the top ten when Expat Living produces its “50 Dishes in Singapore to Try Before you Die”. It’s absolutely astounding. And, even your three-year-old knows ice cream, but he’d have a hard time identifying the smoked chocolate or roasted tomato and lavender varieties found here.

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