Superb modern Spanish cuisine and fabulous cocktails in spectacular Singapore waterfront restaurant
June 21st, 2013
Update: June 2016 Catalunya has closed – to reopen at undisclosed location
A serendipitous intersection of traditional Spanish cuisine and modern culinary techniques, pioneered by the now legendary chef Ferran Adria – founder and creative genius behind elBulli Restaurant- has ignited a world-wide appreciation of a modern Spanish cuisine- and firmly entrenched it at the forefront of global dining trends for the past decade. Even as Singapore has experienced a proliferation of fine-dining restaurants in recent years, one of the most anticipated restaurant openings was the August 2012 launch of Catalunya– which promised to take modern Spanish cuisine in Singapore to new levels of authenticity and creativity. The concept successfully melds a vibrant bar and lounge- serving innovative cocktails and tapas- with a sophisticated dining space that serves both the tapas menu plus traditional Spanish meat and seafood dishes. Catalunya deftly combines traditional and modern Spanish cuisine to offer a superb dining experience that embraces the extraordinary culinary heritage of Spain’s Catalan region.
Conceived and developed by the group behind Singapore’s famous KuDeTa ( soon also to open in Bangkok), Catalunya has attracted an exceptional international culinary team from some of Spain’s finest restaurants- a wonderful confluence of talented chefs and experienced restaurateurs. Ensconced within the modernistic glass-encased dome structure of The Fullerton Pavilion, floating in the waters of Marina Bay, Catalunya offers diners unparalleled views of the entire Marina Bay environs- literally from the water’s edge. The bold interior design was the work of renowned New York design firm- AvroKO- creating a distinctive style that references a Catalan heritage- within an interior space of dramatic, contemporary design.
The high-profile international team assembled to run Catalunya includes Group Executive Chef Alain Devahive Tolosa, a veteran of over a decade in the kitchens of elBulli Restaurant working with directly Ferran Adria. And heading up operations, Group General Manager Pol Perello also spent more than 10 years at elBulli as Restaurant Manager. Other Spanish chefs in the culinary team bring their own individual experience from working in some of Spain’s finest restaurants. The modern cuisine created at Catalunya is firmly grounded on the traditional recipes of the Catalan region- and the comprehensive menu includes classic tapas such as Patatas Bravas; Cod Fish ‘Esqueixada- a typical Catalan salad of shredded cod; and Croquetas De Jamon. Among the creative, modern tapas are The Bikini– cured Iberico ham, cheese and truffle toasted sandwiches; and The Other Spanish Tortilla– a modern twist on the classic Spanish potato omelette. Other tradtional dishes include the signature Traditional Suckling Pig “Segovian Style” – slow cooked for 12 hours. And for weekend lunches, the authentic paellas- a rice dish with seafood that is cooked slowly in metal pans for 25 minutes- are a highlight.
At the bar, award winning mixologist Dario Nocentini has an impressive background working at leading bars in Italy, Spain and England- most recently at the renowned Eclipse Bar at W Barcelona. Utilising modern mixology techniques and premium spirits and ingredients, Dario creates genuinely inventive cocktails- taking classic drinks and re-interpreting them with modern twists and flavor combinations. The stylish bar at Catalunya draws a good crowd every night- both for relaxed after-work cocktails and tapas- and later in the evenings when the bar pulsates with music and a vibrant social scene.
Catalunya is open daily from 12:00 pm to 2:00 am. Reservations for tables in the restaurant dining section are strongly recommended.
The large circular bar is on a raised section overlooking the restaurant dining tables- with its uniquely dramatic saucer-shaped light installation, fabricated from molded timber, brass and glass- the centre-piece of the entire restaurant space.
All tables on the restaurant section enjoy fabulous “dress-circle” views of the Marina Bay harbour and beyond through the floor to ceiling glass wall.
The restaurant features a series of semi-circular booth settings that are wrapped around the base of the circular bar. Tables on the main floor radiate out from the central core to the outer hemispherical glass wall.
The passageway connecting the bar level and restaurant- featuring a bodacious “bottle tree” sculpture crafted from wine bottles.
The decor in the bar section references Catalonia with its combination of plush dark red leather upholstery, rich timber surfaces, and the mozaic tiling applied to pillars and the surrounds of the bar that is reminiscent of Gaudi’s mosaic work that adorns most of his architectural masterpieces in Barcelona.
Display shelving on the back wall of the bar lounge area showcasing Spanish cooking paraphernalia and market produce.
The spectacular round bar exudes a seductive red glow from the massive overhead light fixture in the evenings- creating a warm and comfortable atmosphere.
Signature Cocktail highlights from the Catalunya mixologists
Reversed Gin and Tonic– Martin Miller’s Gin with citrus peel, smoked & carbonated. And Martin Miller’s Perfect Pairing Home-Made Tonic with white carbamom, red pepper, lemon peel, grapefruit peel, cucumber. Limited to 50 serves per week.
Missionary Julep– maker’s Mark Bourbon, Catalunya Falernum Recipe #1, Amaro Montenegro, vanilla syrup, castor sugar, mint. An interpretation of a Julep, grandfather of the well-known Mojito.
Rings of Smoke- Don Julio Reposado Tequila, Catalunya Mushroom Mix, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, smoky syrup, Laphroaig.
Lola– Amontillado Sherry, Catalunya Blue cheese syrup. Sweet and nutty with a really strong flavour- recommended especially to sherry lovers.
Green Day– Sagatiba Cachaca, lime juice,home-made jasmine green tea syrup, orgeat syrup, lemongrass, mint. A tropical “Tiki” style rum drink.
Selections from the Catalunya tapas menu
Catalunya Tomato Tartar- from the el Bulli school of molecular transformation- tomato takes on the texture and appearance of beef tartare, accompanied by a tomato-based foam.
The Bikini– classic tapas dish- cured Iberico ham, cheese and truffle sandwich
Bombas de la Barceloneta– A Cova Fumada creation- meat & potato concoction with brava sauce.
The Other Spanish Tortilla- a dish inspired by the molecular culinary techniques of el Bulli, creating a modern twist on the classic potato omelette- essentially an omelette deconstruction. Served in a martini glass filled with three separate layers of onion confit, egg yolk, and potato foam- and best eaten from the bottom up with a spoon.
Tapas, Restaurant & Cocktail Menus
(click image to open menu)
(click image to open menu)
Catalunya- modern Spanish restaurant & bar- Singapore
Address: The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay, Singapore. 049327
MTR: Raffles Place MRT
Reservations: + 65. 6534 0886
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/CatalunyaSingapore
Monday to Sunday 12:00 pm ~ 2:00 am
Ladies Night- Wednesdays 6:00 pm onwards- ladies enjoy second drink on the house .