I don’t usually blog about food in detail but I had one of my best gastronomic experiences over the weekend at Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant. The BF and I were at VivoCity hunting for dinner after some fun in the sun for Fashion TV’s Beach Festival. We had already narrowed our choices down to Menya Musashi, Jamie’s Kitchen or The King Louis Grill and Bar but all three places had insane queues outside of them and we really didn’t want to wait.
Need to digress here. We popped into King Louis to look at their menu cos the ones outside were being perused by actual customers lining up to get a seat. A cute looking guy wait staff approached us almost immediately to offer his help and spent a good amount of time explaining the menu and his recommendations to us even after we said that we were just looking and KIVing the restaurant for future patronage. At no point did he seem impatient and he even offered to walk us through the dining area to see which tables we should reserve in order to catch the fireworks. I was, and am still, VERY impressed by his exemplary voluntary service and intend visit King Louis soon. I forgot to get his name so I could drop his management an email to give him props but if you marketing/management people of The King Louis Grill and Bar are reading this – you have an excellent service staff on your grounds.
Okay, back to the post proper. I’ve had foie gras craving for the longest time and we happened to see it in Serenity’s menu. It was one of the very few F&Bs that had no queue and wasn’t packed to the rafters so we decided to give it a shot.
Their food menu is pretty extensive and is broken considerately down sections: tapas, ensaladas, sopa, paella, pasta, platos especiales and postres. Coupled with their equally extensive cocktail menu, this makes for some time consuming decision making if you’re not sure what you want. The restaurant also has an outdoor area where you can enjoy their live band and flamenco dances while waiting/decision making.
We ended up with five items, two of them drinks:
- Codillo de cerdo – baked crispy pork knuckle served with mash potato & green salad
- Tortilla de verduras de la casa – vegetarian tortilla
- Solomillo al foie – grill beef with foie gras
- ILT for me and a pint of Heineken for him
I was the pig who ate two dishes. I never intended to blog about this so pictures are from the BF’s lousy camera phone or taken from Serenity’s website/Facebook. Do excuse the low quality.
This was a generously sized hunk of pork that we kinda shared but didn’t manage to finish completely. The meat was juicy and tender with fats in the right places and a gush of aromatic pork flavour in every bite. I wasn’t too keen on the crackling skin – there was a very “styrofoam” smell to it, almost like the knuckle was semi fried, freeze dried and delivered to the restaurant before being baked. The BF had no complains about it though. The accompanying sauce was a wonderful companion to the meat and did wonders to prolong the “jelat-ness” (read: over powering same taste). I’m not sure what it was but it seemed like a berry compote since it was sweet.
The mash was a delight for me. Although I suspect that it may be made from powder mix cos it was unnaturally lumpy, I loved the buttery taste and aroma of it. I’m a butter addict and this certainly hit the butter spot. The BF, who is not as crazy as I am, did not complain about the strong flavour so I guess this would be alright for most people. Except the dieting ones.
Both of us disliked the greens that came along with this dish. (My tortillas had the same salad too.) The veggies were fresh, varied and crunchy but came with no dressing, which would have been fine. Instead, we were both treated to a heavy handed sprinkling of salt that quite horrified us. Every bite we took had little crunches of salt crystals. So not cool.
Other than that, we’re pretty happy with this pork knuckle. We rate it a 6.8/10, and it’s good for sharing.
I’m no rabbit food muncher but I knew the BF would have trouble finishing his knuckle so I thought I’d get this relatively easy tasting dish. I didn’t try the red sauce that came with it so I don’t know what that is and I definitely left the salad alone. I already ate one end of this decent sized tortilla before the picture was taken.
With my first bite, I already loved what I was seeing and tasting. Visually, the colourful insides had carrots, cucumber and a medley of other vegetable goodness along with a healthy glob of cheese.
The tortilla itself had a mild crunch to it – enough to satisfy but not tough to chew into or break and leave crumbs. The fillings reminded me of our chinese spring rolls but tasted extremely hearty and crazy delicious. You could discern the delicate flavour of each ingredient which had been perfectly cooked to the right consistency. Together, they give your tastebuds wonderful explosions of not-overwhelming tastes while being very comforting. Each bite also had the perfect amount of gooey cheese just adding another dimension to the enjoyable chewing and tasting.
As a dish, I give this a 7/10, minus points for the salad. Tortilla alone, this gets a 8.5/10 from me. One of the best vegetarian tortillas I have tried so far.
When this came, I was extremely disappointed. See the pieces of mushroom like thingy on the beef? That’s the foie gras. Each piece of beef is about half the size of a lady’s fist. Which means those foie gras were slivers. The upcoming picture is from their website and is the exact same one from their menu. Excuse the pixelation but this is the best I can get it. Their image clearly shows slices of foie gras atop beef and that got me salivating, which cemented my decision to order this. But upon serving…. $23 for slivers?
Oh. My. God. We. Have. Been. Ripped. Off.
Until we tasted it. One slice of meat was enough to warrant the $23.
Literally every single bite we ate was orgasmic. The beef, ohhhh… the BEEF. Perfectly seared to medium-rare, this really was the best goddamn beef I have had in YEARS. Firm yet giving, juicy, succulent, just the right amount of beef taste/smell, I can’t find any other words to give enough accolades to this unappealing looking yet extraordinary tasting dish. I really am salivating right now just thinking about how this felt in my mouth. The meat is good enough on it’s on with the brown deglaze and definitely does not need the help of the accompanying caramelized onions. After my first bite, I chose to eat the foie gras and the beef separately and not together as intended cos this once upon a time cow deserves to be savored on it’s own. That being said, the onions were a delight as well, sweet, mushy and did a great job with the pork knuckle.
I’m a little hesitant giving too much praise to the foie gras since I have had cravings for two months and might be biased towards it. Small as they were, each sliver packed a powerful melty smooth punch that far outweighed it size. Together with the beef, they create the Philidelphia’s Orchestra melody equivalent in your mouth.
(But I still prefer to eat them separately. The beef…. my god the beef. I wanna marry it.)
This gets a 9.8 from us, purely for the beef itself. My only complain is that they should have a full size steak of the wonderful beef used in this dish.
A gamble for dinner at a new place turned out to be one of the most delicious, satisfying and happiest meals we have had in a very long time. Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant is by no means cheap – I mean, churros for SGD $10!? – but I would return solely for their Solomillo al foie.
Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant
No. 1 Harbourfront Walk,#01-98/99
(T) 6376 8185
(O) Sun – Tues : 11am – 11pm, Wed – Sat : 11am – 12am
This is not a sponsored post or an advertorial. We paid SGD $128.76 for this meal, inclusive of taxes and service charge.