Dig Into One of The Best Chargrilled Lamb Ribs in Singapore at La Taperia by Les Amis, Formerly Known As “Terry’s Singapore”

Formerly known as “Terry’s”, the latest venture by Les Amis has since been renamed itself to La Taperia, when co-founder Juan Carlos de Terry decided to take his leave when a meeting of minds (with regards to the original “Terry’s” in Philippines) could not be reached. The restaurant has since revamped its menu to showcase a wider range of cold and warm Spanish tapas.

La Taperia by Les Amis

La Taperia (former Terry's) - Semi-Open Kitchen - Review by Gourmet Adventures

La Taperia Outdoor Balcony - Review by Gourmet Adventures

The 58-seater restaurant is intimate and cozy, sectioned into smaller spaces that make it a comfortable spot for first dates—casual enough for one to lighten up and have fun without worrying one’s date might arrive inappropriately dressed.

La Taperia by Les Amis

La Taperia Private Dining Table - Review by Gourmet Adventures

On our subsequent visit, we noticed a drastic change in service—thankfully for the better. Our first visit left us disappointed with a lack of competent and helpful service, but our return was warmly greeted with a new replacement. Our server Ivan, was genuinely friendly and helpful, but what we appreciated was his proactive nature to offer help before our request. Really, there ought to be more service staff like this.

Off to a good start, our meal begins slowly with cold tapas of piquillo peppers ($16 for three) stuffed to the brim with chunks of dry tuna flakes, its sweet skin embracing the savory-sweet anchovy remoulade with a touch of saltiness. We reckon this would pair beautifully with a glass of Riesling; the natural fruitiness of the wine enhancing the sweetness of the pepper.

Piquillo peppers ($16 for three) at La Taperia by Les Amis

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Drawing one into the comforting arms of authentic Spanish cuisine is the fried egg with iberico chorizo ($18). Piquillo peppers star here once again, this time with deep fried straw potatoes, crunchy cubes of chorizo and a picking of mushrooms—oyster, shiitake and brown button mushroom—tossed in a piquant and robust tomato-based sauce over broken eggs. It’s amazing how something so simple could taste so delicious. We especially love this with an Estrella Damm ($11); the caramelized fruitiness of the Spanish lager makes for a great pairing with the acidic tomatoes and rich golden yolk.

Fried egg with iberico chorizo ($18) at La Taperia by Les Amis

La Taperia - Fried Egg with Chorizo - Review by Gourmet Adventures

What we’re really looking forward to is the squid ink seafood paella ($30 for regular; $52 for large)—a widely regarded national dish of Spain whose authenticity a restaurant is based upon. Short grains of sticky rice are coated entirely in squid ink, absorbing its flavors from a myriad of seafood like prawn, squid and clams, braised and simmered in a rich seafood broth for 40 minutes. The dawdling ritual of simmering is rewarded for in rich flavors of the sea sans fishiness, its authenticity extending to crusty bits of soccarat we so adore.

Squid ink seafood paella ($30 for regular; $52 for large) at La Taperia by Les Amis

La Taperia Squid Ink Paella - Review by Gourmet Adventures

 

An alternative option is the lobster paella ($66), which, while may not be a typical Spaniard dish, offers a robust succulence extracted directly from the natural sweetness of fresh Boston lobster, boosted by a touch of saffron. A whole grilled lobster seats comfortably atop the paella, egging one on to be greedy and gobble it up—as if it would be needed.

We’re less ambivalent about the Galician style octopus ($20), its overly soft texture feeling blanched a minute too long. A puncturing bitterness coated the briny creature—a common bitterness from over grilling—so mild it might be missed it one didn’t know better.

Galician style octopus ($20) at La Taperia by Les Amis

La Taperia Octopus - Review by Gourmet Adventures

Adding a little heat to our evening was the garlic chili prawns ($18) that arrived sizzling in its dish, thoughtfully de-shelled for one’s convenience—or sheer laziness; which we’re not complaining about. Sautéed in olive oil, garlic and dried chili padi, these prawns delivered a chocking kick of spice that thankfully, was short-lived. While the chili heat works wonders for the fragrant garlic oil, be careful not to bite into the seeds—that’s the punch that will knock one out. Watch them sizzle in our video here.

Garlic chili prawns ($18) at La Taperia by Les Amis

La Taperia - Garlic Chili Prawns - Review by Gourmet Adventures

Less impressive was the seafood croquetas ($15 for four)—beautifully crisp with meltingly creamy bechamel; perfect if only the promise of shrimp and scallop could be unearthed.

Seafood bechamel croquetas ($14 for four) at La Taperia by Les Amis

La Taperia Seafood Croquetas - Review by Gourmet Adventures

Croquetas ($14 for four) at La Taperia by Les Amis

La Taperia (former Terry's) - Ground Shot Tapas - Review by Gourmet Adventures

Mustering perfection is the 12-hour charcoal grilled lamb ($25) that simply must not be missed—the level of one’s satisfaction revolves around this. Beautifully charred (and evident in its smokiness) is the lamb ribs; no gaminess whatsoever, glazed with a sticky sweet confit of honey mustard that bears resemblance to that of barbecued honey short ribs, with more earthiness that complements the smoky, fork-tender chargrilled meat. We recommend savoring this with the amontillado de príncipe ($15 per glass; $70 per bottle) whose sweet caramelized notes of honey and oak blend harmoniously with honey mustard confit to draw out the imbued smokiness of the meat. Absolute perfection, if we do say so ourselves.

12-hour charcoal grilled lamb ($25) at La Taperia by Les Amis

La Taperia - Grilled Lamb - Review by Gourmet Adventures

It’s hard to come to terms with another meat worthy dish, having just been wowed by the grilled lamb, but this deserves equal consideration. Worthy of setting diet plans aside is the suckling pig confit ($46). A gelatinous layer of unctuous fat can be found beneath the crisp skin of the suckling pig, its sweetness further emphasized by caramelized white onions sharply flavored with sherry vinegar. Lamb or pork? It all boils down to your preference of white or red meat.

Suckling pig confit ($46) at La Taperia by Les Amis

La Taperia (former Terry's) - Suckling Pig Confit - Review by Gourmet Adventures

Sadly, the meal dwindles down upon the arrival of the much-anticipated churros ($14) that were overly fried and claimed to be dusted with cinnamon. Its light and powdery interior fell apart in the mouth, leaving behind a trail of dryness in the palate as evidence of its getaway.

A saving grace is found in the velvety smooth and rich chocolate marquise ($14) that’s absolutely divine, accompanied by crunchy bits of baked almond praline brittle. Order it. While a single portion is good to share among two, we reckon chocolate lovers would have no qualms finishing it themselves.

Chocolate marquise ($14) at La Taperia by Les Amis

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La Taperia, #02-10/11, 1 Scotts Rd., 6737-8336. Open Sun-Wed noon-2pm, 6:30-10pm; Thu-Sat noon-2pm, 6:30pm-2am.

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Categories: Alcohol, Alfresco, Business Lunches, Communal Dining, Dining, Gastrobar, Nightlife, Restaurants, Reviews, Small Plates, Spanish, Tapas

2 Comments on “Dig Into One of The Best Chargrilled Lamb Ribs in Singapore at La Taperia by Les Amis, Formerly Known As “Terry’s Singapore””

  1. March 5, 2015 at 4:26 PM #

    the lamb ribs are fantastic! When talking about the octopus, do you mean “more,” not “less ambivalent”?

    • Mandy Lynn [Gourmet Adventures]
      August 30, 2015 at 10:09 PM #

      It’s “less” ambivalent.

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