Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Spanish Restaurant: Bomba Paella Bar

By Wednesday, November 14, 2012 , , , ,

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My heart absolutely pitter-patters with the flourishing of the Spanish food scene in Singapore. I don't know about you guys/girls out there but IMHO small plates are absolutely awesome for greedy tummies who love variety. One of the much raved about addition is Bomba Paella Bar, helmed by Chef Jean-Philippe Patruno, who earned his ranks at London Spanish Tapas institution Barrafina, 3-Michelin star Chez Nico and Quo Vadis.
Located at Martin No. 38 in Robertson Quay, Bomba serves up some authentic and rustic Spanish classics in a funky underground setting; a renovation upheaval from the previous idyllic garden setting of Graze. Rosa, the graffiti wall mural by SBTG, assaults you with her big guns as you take a seat on the vintage church chairs, under the kitchen sieve lampshades. 
Even though it's called a Paella Bar, Bomba does more than just the pedigree of Spanish rice. A variety of tapas and La Planchas (grilled items) are available too and they are perfect for sharing.
I started dinner with the Bomba Punch made from Mazanilla Sherry, kaffir lime, fresh lemon juice, lemonade. It tasted pretty much like fruit punch; very light and absolutely no embarrassing Asian flush. If you need something stronger, try the Sangria. I quite enjoyed my red but would love for more pieces of fruits in them. I was told the white one tastes better after i had half of mine. Zzz. Gotta head back for another drink some time. 
Ham bechamel croquette is one of my must-order-tapas. The Iberico Ham Croquettas (3 for S$12) was satisfying enough though it still comes in second after Catalunya's. I found the breaded crust a little thick and the creamy paste lacking in the saltiness of the Iberico ham. 
Gambas Al Ajillo (S$14) was well flavored with parsley, garlic and olive oil. I would have loved for some bread to soak up the salty sweet essence in which the thoughtfully shelled prawns were sitting in. 
The seasonal Carabineros were done in a similar fashion as the Gambas. This bright red shrimp got its color from the pink plankton that it feeds on. The taste is more intense but the meat was slightly powdery. It's weird because they looked pretty fresh on the ice display counter.
I wasn't too impressed with the other seafood la plancha like the Razor Clams (seasonal) or the Grilled Octopus "Galician Way" (S$20). Both dishes were lightly seasoned with olive oil, sea salt, paprika and parsley, nothing to shout out about. The latter was much too tasteless and rubbery for my liking, perhaps due to it being boiled in water prior to the grilling. Texture wise, it really didn't do it for me.
Undoubtedly, the favorite dish of the night was the Signature Secreto Iberico (S$28). The tender pork was grilled to a pink perfection over the Loko mangrove charcoal spiced with apple branch wood chips. This gave the juicy meat a smoky sweet flavor with a hint of apple fragrance. Absolutely divine dish. 
Finally the paella. I would always choose squid ink over Valencia and the Arroz Negro (S$35 for small) is a wet paella of squid ink, squid, dry sherry, fish stock, spring onions and black mushrooms. It is almost risotto like. While we didn't get that sacarrat crust at the bottom, the moist aromatic grains with copious amount of squid were hard to resist.
Of the 2 desserts we tried, i much preferred the Bitter Chocolate Ice cream (S$14) over the cloyingly sweet Pineapple Gazpacho ($12). I love the interesting combination of bitter sweet and extremely smooth chocolate cream with the salted olive oil. The lovely presentation on that familiar antique plates (from Carpenter and Cook) was almost too pretty to be devoured (but we dug in anyway).

Overall, Bomba hits the right spots mostly and it does quite fill the gap for casual Spanish group dining. The only other restaurant I enjoy is Don Quijote. The friendly prices and the no service charge bonus also help pull in the crowd which started piling in at 6pm sharp. Go early or make a reservation to avoid disappointment! 

38 Martin Road
Tel: +65 6509 1680
Mon-Sat: 6-11pm

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