Don Quijote: More than just Suckling Pig

Time goes faster than you blink. Nothing's ever was like it was.

But you and me, babe, we still have a special thing going on.

Don Quijote, 5 years ago you stole my bleepin' heart with a plethora of goodies ranging from Squid Ink Paella to the much less ostentatious garlic wild mushrooms (read more about it here), this year on a surprise return trip to common grounds, I was equally dazzled. I refer to it as a surprise because I unknowingly trudged into the restaurant with no clue that the establishment had relocated to its new residing grounds located on Dempsey Hill. 

Swankier, with higher ceilings and mosaic tiled bar counters; Don Quijote seemed to have metamorphosed into something a little more upmarket. Falling in the footsteps of most of its next-door vendors, but still retaining the same humble and warm Spanish hospitality vibes throughout. This is highly evident from the framed photos documenting the food driven journeys of owner, Mr Ken Lim and his family though Spain. Each one of which withholding some lingering tale in its wake.

If you're a sangria enthusiast, here's something that will put you in good spirits: the sangria at Don Quijote is available in three forms, the usual suspect - red wine, white wine and prosecco versions. My preference lies with the former, the usage of a good bottle of red wine for the base sans the excessive tannic assault, pulling the weight of the fruit mixture effectively.

When reviewing the specials menu, don't be intimidated by the assortment of fresh seafood tapas selection, there's no sucking or gnawing required here. Just remember, you best bet lies there forth. Start the ball rolling with the Gambas Al Ajillo ($18), entirely civilized with fresh shrimp de-shelled and de-veined and then flash fried with garlic in olive oil. Best dish of the night till it got knocked off by the following sacrifice - the Almejas al Vino Blanco ($29) - Manila clams steamed in white white sauce. Grab a bread roll with that and commence in shameless dipping after all the clams have been taken care of.

Let's not forget the Squid shall we? There's Grilled Squid ($16), Baby Squid in Black ink sauce($15) and Battered Baby Squid ($15) to suit the whims and fancies of any squid aficionado. The grilled squid looks straight-up amazing and the same goes for the other two, I'll have all of them. Now breathe. Then there's Huevos Estrellados ($15), broken eggs with chorizo and potato wedges. My perfect idea of a brilliant breakfast, if only the potatoes weren't so goddamn salty! Before you tuck in, hold up. Any foodie would know that this is a mere distraction from the prize. Trust me, the kitchen is testing you. As tempting as it may seem, don't make a rookie error; wait for the next dish like a pro. Your patience will pay off...

See what I'm talking about? the glistening flat mess of Fideau Negra ($65) robs me of coherent speech as I struggle between strings of comprehensible words and relentless shuffling from my plate to the digging of crisp treasured finds at the bottom of the cast iron pan. In case you were wondering, Fideau Negra is essentially a Catalan dish made with cuttlefish or squid and noodles ,somewhat similar to a seafood paella but it's clearly persistent of not being confused with the latter. In fact, the Fideau Negra triumphs the Paella Especial Don Quijote ($167) in the taste department - great for seafood lovers since it bears an arsenal of serious weaponry such as lobster, scallops, mussels, prawns, chicken and clams. If you're not really, truly hungry - do yourself a favour and come back for this another, more ravenous day.

With slightly blurred vision at this point, we go wild about the Asado de Cochinillo Espanol ($169) that arrives at our table. Roasted Spanish style suckling pig, this was so good at every point from nose to tail that even if you had no room left, you'll artlessly acquire some ninja skills to burrow a space in there, somewhere.

After we start rejecting the onslaught of meats (rest assured, we gave it a damm good run), the crew started dishing out the desserts. 4 of them to be exact. You've got to be kidding me. If there was room in there, I would have shoved more of that irresistible fideau negra in there. Still, you make an attempt at it, only because to prove that you can.  The Cream Puff with Chocolate Sauce ($19) steals the show, golden pillows of puff pastry encasing a torrent of warm vanilla custard is bathed in a mudslide of bittersweet chocolate sauce. Turn down for what? It is with regret that I could only take a single bite of the remaining dishes, the Budin de pan Y Mantequilla ($8) Bread and Butter Pudding, Churros ($16) and Leche Frita ($9) Fried milk with cinnamon syrup haunting the next few sleepless nights with the thought that maybe I could have eaten just a little bit more.

Don Quijote
Blk 7 Dempsey Road
t: 6476 2811

Operating Hours
Mon - Wed: 4pm - 10 30pm
Thurs - Fri: 4pm till late
Sat: 11am till late (Brunch 11am - 2 30pm)
Sun: 11am to 10 30pm (Brunch 11am - 2 30pm)

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