10 Dempsey Road #01-23
+65 6476 1368
Workmen were still putting the final touches to stylish new Villa Enrique and erecting the handsome sign when we lunched there with owner-manager Kay Leong before the official opening. Named for her husband Enrique, who is from the Philippines, you get the feeling that this exciting new venture is part of their determination not to sink into a comfortable retirement.
Chef Irwin is a Filipino who spent the last ten years working with a Spanish owner-chef in Manila, so we’re assured that his food is as authentically Spanish as it can be. Since our lunch, he has been joined in the kitchen by chef Paulina Barona de Baeza, who is highly accomplished in both Spanish and Mexican cuisines.
Surtido caliente and surtido frios are, respectively, hot and cold starter platters that include such delights as potato tortillas, fat prawns, stuffed mussels and garlicky bits of pink steak.
The two soups that follow could be enjoyed as casseroles: suquet is a seafood medley, fabada a heavenly mix of pork belly, chorizo and giant beans. Meat-lovers will whimper at the sight of the chuleton, the speciality of the house: an enormous prime rib of Angus beef, simply grilled.
Its location at one end of the Dempsey stretch – where Angel’s Share used to be – means it has plenty of outdoor space. Enrique and Kay are great lovers of music (“He just loves to dance!” she says), and some exciting musical plans are in the offing: a scaled-down orchestra of strings and piano for outdoors, and a big band, no less, inside.
Sounds like a new place to party!
Note: Prices stated are subject to change and may not include taxes and service charges.