by Xu Zheng Xiang
@ 30 Jun 2017
Spanish for ‘the corner’, the correlation between Esquina and its location at Jiak Chuan road is one visitors notice instantly.
Executive Chef Andrew Walsh under the direction of Michelin-starred Chef Jason Atherton serves mainly morden spanish tapas at Esquina, which comes with an in-house Spanish bar to boot. A commanding chef who openly converses with customers without restraints or unneeded formality, Chef Walsh selects an astounding opener for an ice-breaker.
Chef Walsh’s marinated beetroot salad pairs the sweet earthly taste of soft beetroot with finely mixed pinenut crumbles to contrast the flavours and textures. Honeycomb burrata consisting of well-whipped cream and fragrant mozzarella, is elected to serve as a vehicle for both pinenut crumbles and beetroot. Combined in a single bite, the ingredients are delicately melded for a succinct effect whereby the sweetness of the beetroot is made distinct by the presence of the light burrata and the soft monotony broken by crispy pineapple crumbles. Sufficing to induce optimism in the most skeptical pessimist, this is one dish which cannot be missed for visitors to Esquina.
At Esquina, their kingfish sashimi is served almost wholly untouched with barbecued cucumber and an optional sea urchin mayonnaise. The purity and freshness makes it a dish that can never go wrong.
Beef tartare is a dish not easily mastered and a chef has to deal with negating the heavy umami of pure raw beef in a manner that does not impact the positive qualities desired. Chef Walsh elects for a self-created recipe of spicy ketchup to serve as the counterweight, an unorthodox but intriguing approach which introduced spiciness and sweetness in moderation. Topped off by egg yolk and frozen foie gras, the lifting of the heaviness of beef tartare is convincingly done in taste, texture and appearance.
Aside from a refreshing and pleasant approach to Spanish tapas, the dishes from Esquina’s are also conjured with a high level of aesthetical artistry. Perhaps for once, it is indeed good things are just around the corner. XZX