May 30, 2015

Tapas on a terrace

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I'm watching a movie tonight at a theatre in The One, and figured I'd use the opportunity to check out one of the restaurants here.  In all the years it has been open, I've only eaten in The One once.  In fact, I don't even come here... thanks to the stupid and annoying system of elevators.  And yes, tonight showed definitively, once again, how annoyingly stupid the elevators are.  It was faster for us to take a set of elevators to go down from 18th Floor to Upper Ground Floor 2 - and then take another elevator from Upper Ground Floor 2 up to 6th Floor - than to take another set of elevators from 18th Floor down to 6th Floor...  WTF.

In any case, I decided we should check out Tapagria.  This was one of the restaurants whose claim to fame was having a famous Hong Kong actress as a shareholder (I have no idea how much of it she owns, nor do I really give a damn...)   Since we only had at most an hour and a half to go through dinner, I figured tapas would work.

As the sun was setting soon and it was no longer scorching hot, we decided to sit on the outdoor terrace.  Our table had a great view of Victoria Harbour, and the periodic gusts of wind kept things pretty cool.

Langostinos tigre a la plancha - pretty big tiger prawns, and the flavors were pretty familiar.  These were fine.

Croquetas de jamón VIC - croquetas with jamón ibérico filling, with a slice of jamón on top.  Heavily seasoned thanks to the jamón, but pretty good.

Coca catalana con anchoas y pimientos - the flatbread itself was thin and crispy, but there was simply a lot of bell peppers on top... so eventually the flatbread became a little soggy in the center.  Flavors were pretty good, but I thought the proportion of peppers to anchovies was off.

Mousse de bacalao en aceite de oliva crostini - I love bacalao, and something like this would never escape my attention.  Love the texture of the mousse, and the crostini was pretty crunchy.  Bread soaked in olive oil?  Bring it on!

Cochinillo asado con manzanas caramelizadas y salsa de mostaza - it's almost obligatory for me to order suckling pig at any establishment serving Spanish fare, but this was probably the most underwhelming piggy I've had in a while.  The meat itself was... and the crackling was not the least bit crispy.

Tortilla y hamburguesa de cerdo ibérico con pimentón abumado, ensalada verde mixta y patatas fritas con salsa romesco - now THIS was an intriguing idea... Take the classic Spanish tortilla - the pan-fried potato omelette - and use it as the bun on a hamburger.  Pretty cool, huh?

Well, the reality turned out a little different than imagined.  First of all, it's not so great to be grabbing onto something that's absorbed a good amount of oil during the frying process.  Makes for very greasy fingers.  Second, unlike a burger bun or some other type of bread, the torfilla can fall apart in your hands.  Eating hamburger is inherently a messy act, and this just got a lot worse.  In the end, I had to use a knife and fork to eat my burger.  Not ideal.

The final nail in the coffin, though, was that the whole thing was just too under-seasoned.  The tortilla was so bland that I had to rub a lot of romesco on it.  Yes, I ordered this to satisfy my curiosity, but it turned out to be a regrettable decision.

A little word about service...  I was afraid that being seated at the far end of the terrace - what I'd usually refer to as "being in fucking Siberia" - would mean we were totally ignored.  Thankfully that was not the case, especially after 2 other tables were seated next to us.

We did have a little trouble getting our drinks, though... and when we flagged down a waitress to chase after our order, we were told the drinks would have to take a little longer, because "they had just finished filming inside".  HELLO?!  You are open for business, so your first priority should be to serve your customers, not filming whatever it is that you think is more important.  How does this filming problem justify me not getting my drink?

Well, eventually the bartender did get around to making my drink.  Unfortunately for me, just when the waitress was about to get it to me, a gust of wind came and topped my drink on her tray.  So the drink had to be re-made... and I stayed thirsty for a little longer.

Yes, I do seem to have a penchant for ordering "girlie drinks"... Sulu Sea sounded nice with lychee, lime, and Blue Curaçao, and came like a blue frozen daiquiri.  It was pretty refreshing, though, and was just what I needed on a night like this.

We finished dinner quickly and made it in time for the movie.  Food-wise this place delivered pretty reasonable results, but what made the experience a little more enjoyable was sitting on the terrace and taking in the view.  It was so nice that I momentarily thought about wasting my movie tickets and just sitting there for an hour longer.  Well, maybe next time...

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