Panamericana: Authentic taste of the Americas with a generous spirit shuffle

When it comes to the options for watering holes, it's stiff competition in Sentosa. I mean, island life, if there was "The Kennedy Package" (cue Linus from 'How I Met your Mother') for PiƱa Coladas, I would be first in line.

The shiniest joint (and no doubt, the swankiest) to join the list is Bar-grill Panamericana in Sentosa Gold Club - it's a 6000 square feet destination that houses a brick-encased asador in the heart of the dining room, and there couldn't be a sales tactic more enticing than seeing whole meats grilled in plain view.

In this significantly flashy operation, the low and slow cooked meats are the stars of the show and we got first dibs with the Empanadas ($8++) , golden brown crackling shell filled to the brim with intensely smoky lamb spiced with harissa and potatoes. It's a rich affair to kick off the meal with, but where Central American cuisine is concerned, Empanadas are not to be missed. Two innocent looking bottles of hot sauce - Level 1 and 10, with the in-between forgotten - round off the spectacular affair. It's gusty, it's got spunk and boy will it athirst for the summer-friendly White Wine Sangria -  a concoction of pisco, sauvignon blanc, cointreau and tropical fruits.

Corn - Cuban Style, Chilli Citrus Salt and Manchego
Well, to be fair, the meats don't hog the limelight all the time. In fact, the carnivore in me is humbled by the vegetarian options on the menu. The warmish environment creating an ideal utopia for the vegetables to shine. Take for example the heartwarming molehill of Burrata ($29++) cheese drizzled in a spray of EVOO. It sits snugly in a pile of lush, deeply umamified greens from grilled zucchini, shallots. Bolstered by nuts and a litany of spices from the salsa verde, it's a compelling dish that's hard to dislike. Shallots were a tad long and tough to slice through, but that's a small grouse. Something that haunts me for days after is the Rio ($14++), the lesser known palm hearts and combined with beetroot cubes, cherry tomatoes and soft herbs and then tossed in aguachile Negra which carries in its wake, a deep resounding herbaceous vibrancy.

Other flavorful combinations include the snapper ceviche with papaya doused in leche de tigre or tiger's milk, a Peruvian citrus based marinade used to cure the raw seafood. The emblematic dish is then localised with a touch of coconut milk and chili to keep things familiar.

Burrata - Grilled Zucchini, Shallots, Salsa Verde
Ceviche - Snapper, Paw Paw, Citrust, Coconut Milk, Chili, Coriander
Freshly Squeeze Booze and Juice ($11++ each)
Also worth a special mention is the comprehensive beverage list at Panamericana. Beverage Manager Ricky Paiva is in charge of catering to the finicky taste buds of the modern drinker; curating a list that far extends beyond the regularity of classic cocktails or beach side staples. Parched? Give the Appleton Rum and Fresh Coconut a shot - it's a crowdpleaser and also a Casanova that might pose a (wallet imposition) problem if you're a heavyweight (of a drinker).  There's also the Bulleit Bourbon and Apple and Don Julio Blanco Tequila and Pineapple to fill in as thirst quenchers and Vitamin C meal tickets all at once.
Salt Baked Trout with Tomatillo Verde
Looking to impress, the Salt baked Trout  ($40++) will do just that. Peel back the salt flecked layers gingerly and you'll be enveloped in a cloud of steam. Few things in life are truly worth marvelling over, and one of them is the succulent flavourful pink flesh of fish done justice to. It's administered a nice smoky flame-licked flavour which is further heightened with freshness handed in doses by the accompanying tangy tomatillo salsa verde.

Grown up Fanta
I can admit now that tucking into all this gorgeous fare made me thirsty for more lively libations. The Grown up Fanta ($18++) couldn't have come in more timely. Everybody loves an Aperol Spritz, but here's a version that will tickle the big boys fancies. It combines Aperol, soda, lemon juice, orange and vanilla sugar with prosecco. That added sprig of rosemary? Inhale it as you tilt the bottle to your lips, it boasts a nice herbaceous note to the sprightly mixture.
Charred Brocollini with Chimichurri; Ribeye with Mustard seed caviar

The Rib Eye ($42++ for 250g) is a hefty, satisfying bruiser. The mustard seed caviar scattered over head makes for the perfect partner to the skirt steak which to my dismay, was cooked just a little under, so much so that it depreciates from the varied textures of smoky fats and tender flesh. It's evident from the rib eye and lamb, that teething issues are aplenty when it comes to managing the flames of the asador and we are sure, with a lot more time and experience under its belt. The kitchen will produce plates that will join the 'clean plate club' pretty soon.

Sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce; Churros with dulce de leche
Cool things down, or heat the dance floor up with Panamericans full proof dessert selection. Here, Sticky Date Pudding ($10++) is perfectly capable of breaking the resolutions of the most dedicated triathlete. The warm drapes of slightly salted butterscotch sauce over impossibly light pudding is intoxicating. However, you must save your calories for the Churros ($12++), they disintegrate in the mouth like a blitz of celestial tunes, each chiming to various themes - the crunch of granulated spiced sugar crystals, the soft splodge of piping hot springy dough, crispy ridges and that ethereal dulce de leche dip. I, sorry, We were enchanted.

Inebriation, along is a reason sufficient to sweep you onwards to Panamericana. However, when paired with the likes of engaging communal plates and sweeping views of the Singapore straits, Panamericana could very well be the perfect, weekend hideout. We assure you that it will remain hush-hush only for a short while, so make haste.

Sentosa Gold Club
27 Bukit Manis Road
t: 6253 8182

Operating Hours:
Wed - Fri: 12pm - 11pm
Sat - Sun: 9am - 11pm

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