There’s another new tapas kid on the block and so it certainly seems like tapas is having something of a moment in Singapore, and hurrah for that! FoodBar DaDa is one the latest additions to the tapas scene and also one of those great little places that you wouldn’t have the faintest clue existed unless you were particularly observant or someone had tipped you off….like City Nomads! It’s nestled very unassumingly in that little square in Robertson Quay alongside the likes of Smitten and from the outside looks like it’s some kind of private bar it looks so incognito. But be bold, go forth and ye shall be rewarded!
If you like your eateries intimate then you will love Foodbar DaDa. It’s of a similar size to Esquina – with the same concept of perching up by the bar tucking into tapas and wine. Accommodating only somewhere inbetween 18-22 pax (the latter would be a squish!), it’s warm wood interior, low level sultry lighting and clever use of space (you may see staff climbing up the ladder like a monkey to access supplies) endeared this place to us instantly.
The menu here is “curated” and changes on a daily basis with only 7 tapas dishes. So while it is not ideal for someone who likes a lot of variety, what I can say is that a) I basically wanted to eat everything on there – a rarity with me and tapas, b) Every single dish was delicious and c) It takes away the strain of chosing because you can basically just order the whole lot and be done with it while at the same time knowing it will be scrumptious!
Before we get into the food in detail, a quick word on the drink. While in my mind there is nothing that goes down as nicely with tapas as a good old glass of red wine – and a glass of red from the La Planta Cosecha ($15) is a rather nice way to begin….
you can also start things off with a bespoke cocktail – just tell them what type you prefer i.e. refreshing, spicy etc. and if you have a preference for a base spirit. So we ordered a refreshing vodka based cocktail and were delighted with the Dawa($19)- which is basically an African take on the Brazilian Caipirinha, its twist coming from the use of honey to delicious effect.
Now onto the food. We started off with the Josper Mussels ($8). These were absolutely beautiful, fresh like they just came from the sea, plump and juicy and somehow very pure in form. I was blown away by how the simplicity of this dish could create such a foodie-heaven effect!
I am not usually a huge fan of croquettes however the Dada Croquettes ($12 for 3) made up for all the bad croquettes I’ve had in my life. The texture of these were absolutely perfect. It can be so hard to get these right due to the nature of the ingredients. Sadly potato, cheese and breadcrumbs can often equate to bland and stodgy but these ones were light, delicate, smooth on the inside, crisp on the outside and full of flavour. YUM!
It’s been a long time since I’ve come across Padron peppers ($12) – small green peppers from the capsicum family which are simply roasted and salted. About 10% of these peppers are hot as hell and that’s usually the fun of eating them – running that risk. However I was told that sadly or perhaps fortunately none of the peppers so far had turned out to be in that 10%. In any case, they were done to perfection – literally melt in your mouth soft.
The Josper baby squid and egg ($18) was fabulous. So full of lovely garlicky flavour and the texture so incredibly soft which went beautifully with the delicious sauce – be sure to go the extra mile by mopping up with the bread once all the squid is gone. This for me was my absolute favourite dish – I could have eaten plate after plate of it it was so more-ish.
While the Black cod, green asparagus and tomato marmalade ($24) was nice – the cod and asparagus was once again cooked perfectly and the tomato marmalade was a beautiful accompaniment with it’s sweet tartness – this dish could have done with just a smidge more cod and then I would have really enjoyed it.
Foodbar DaDa is a cool spot for a catching up with friends and loved ones over light bites, vino and cocktails. Its intimate setting will have you chatting to your dining neighbours, and peeking curiously over the bar watching your tapas being made just like so….
I have to say I really quite love this place, and wonder if you will too….
Written by Ms Demeanour