Singapore’s culinary history is as diverse as it gets. A blend of Chinese, Malay, Indian, Indonesian and European influences has given Singaporeans a strong affiliation with cuisines from all over the world, and a passion for high quality food at that. However, it’s only in recent years that lesser-known styles of dining have been making their mark on the Singapore gastronomy scene. One such cuisine is Spanish tapas... This Mediterranean favourite has well and truly found its home in Singapore, with tapas restaurants springing up all over the city. Tapas restaurants in Singapore offer the city-state a slice of Spain that fits in perfectly with the post-war, colonial charm of Singapore. But for those still getting to know this style of dining, read on, because we’ve got some good tips and information on how to navigate the Singapore tapas craze...
Since the small plates and tapas concept reached Singapore a few years ago, it has shown no signs of slowing down, and is only going from strength to strength. So what’s the fuss all about, then? Tapas have an interesting history, with several different arguments as to how they came to be. Some say it was King Alfonso X who found eating small meals helpful in his recovery from illness, others say tapas were a way to curb the people from drinking too much, and others argue they were invented to help keep insects out of drinks, as you could use the small plate to cover your glass. Whatever the true origin, tapas are popular across the globe nowadays, and with Singapore’s food culture as strong as it is, it’s certainly no surprise that tapas are Singapore’s latest favourite dining option.
So we’ve already talked about how tapas in Singapore are where it’s at. But we should probably talk a little about where they’re at… literally. While you’ll be able to discover tapas spots all over Singapore, here are a couple of our favourite places to relax, nibble and share with our closest friends and family. First up, Singapore tapas institution, My Little Tapas Bar. These Iberian specialists offer the true taste of Spain, and, like their sister restaurant My Little Spanish Place, they only offer the best when it comes to tasty cuisine and expertly made drinks. You’ll find them on Ann Siang Hill in Club Street, where you should absolutely try the gambas picantes (trust us here). Next up is, of course, Sentosa By The Sea, where (as the name suggests) you’ll be treated to seafood dishes like no other. With incredible views of the Sentosa Marina, relaxing here with small plates and several sangrias is of the best things to do on a balmy Singapore evening. And finally we simply must recommend, Barraka Bar & Restaurant, where their chargrilled peppers stuffed with codfish and potatoes combined with a buzzing atmosphere and live music make it one of the best spots in the city for some informal eats.
Tapas, at their very core are all about sharing. Sharing food, sharing time and in some cases, sharing drinks – jugs of sangria, anyone? So when you’re thinking about visiting a Singapore tapas restaurant with your nearest and dearest, what should you eat then? Some of the most famous dishes on offer at Singapore’s tapas eateries start with croquetas, filled with manchego, jamon or cod, patatas bravas which are fried potatoes served with chilli sauce, albondigas of pork or beef meatballs in a tasty sauce, gambas al ajilo of grilled prawns served in a flavoursome garlic sauce, and the ever delicious Spanish omelette made with potato, egg, cheese and in some cases, onion as well. Going hand in hand with a cocktail, sangria or red wine, an evening in a Singapore tapas restaurant is one you’re unlikely to forget. Treat yourself, and enjoy!