Contrasting Croquettes in Singapore

Catalunya, Singapore (Photo: Rachel Tan).


By Rachel Tan
Hapless Intern


They are oblong parcels of delicious ingredients. Some might say, an upscale Hot Pocket. The croquette is both deep-fried and delicious; these Spanish delicacies are omnipresent in the slew of tapas restaurants opening up around Singapore. But like most classic food items, some stand out from the rest.


Jamon croquettes at Catalunya are playful and elegant in presentation (Photo: Rachel Tan).


Meet the jamón croquette at Catalunya, a contemporary Spanish restaurant helmed by el Bulli and Drolma-trained chefs. Housed in a glass pavilion overlooking the waterfront, consider it for a night out in a space large enough to be dramatic and intimate enough to be romantic.


The presentation is creative. Five thin-shelled croquettes are casually gathered in a miniature deep-fry basket with no garnish. Each bite is tightly focused on flavor and texture. Like a lightly whipped mashed potato studded with bits of chunky Spanish cured ham, this is balanced on the palate. Most ham croquettes are too crusty, but these croquettes are not salty. Light and airy, they won’t spoil your appetite for more robust flavors around the table.


A modern plating method adopted at Salt Tapas Bar and Grill (Photo: Rachel Tan).


Salt Tapas Bar and Grill introduces a marriage between the concepts of fish & chips and croquette. These fritters are also thinly coated. Inside, minced cod retains all its tenderness without losing its flavor to oil. Cod being an oily fish in its own right, this surprisingly does not interfere or add to the fried nature of the dish. Almost as if it were dabbed on a napkin, what’s left is only the fish’s texture that contrasts elegantly with a crisped shell. The bright celeriac puree is also a nice, fresh addition to the plate, elevating the dish from snack to entree.


So when you’ve exhausted the food hawker stalls and crave something simple, bite-sized and fried, convince yourself that you’re making a healthy choice – why not try a protein-filled croquette?

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