Friday, September 11, 2015

Don Quijote Spanish Restaurant @ Block 7 Dempsey

What was the first thing that came to mind when someone says Spanish food. Was it Paella? Cochinillo? Tapas? Churros? Sangria? Ok, technically, the last one doesn't count but it is one of my must order in any Spanish restaurant. Old habits die hard, I guess. Had the good fortune of being invited for a tasting at Don Quijote recently and yes, I had a glass. Very drinkable red, with some cubed fresh fruits and that was about it. Kept simple, and it was one of the best Sangria that I had thus far.


The restaurant is pretty spacious and the place was pretty busy on a weekday night. Reservations are recommended. Liked the decor for its cosy intimate ambiance. Candles would be lighted up as soon as evening sets in, at about 630pm.


If you must dine in a private room, Don Quijote does have one. Do note that there is a minimum spending required for the private dining room. A higher rate applies during the weekends. On the night of visit, the private room was occupied. Managed to sneak a picture before the guests arrived.

a peek into the private dining room

The many pictures that adorn the walls in Don Quijote, were actually captured during the business owners' yearly trips to Spain. The photographs lend a certain charm to the restaurant.

Thirsty? Let's start with a Sangria de Cava or Sparkling White Sangria. Sweet but where had the bubbly gone?

Sangria de Cava @$17++ per glass or $70++ per jug

The tapas menu alone consist of about 40 items. On top of that, there is also the chalkboard Menu del Mercato (Market Menu) where some seasonal live seafood can be enjoyed by guests. Talk about spoilt for choice! Sampled the live prawns from the Market Menu, and it tasted as good as it looked. Very simply seasoned with salt and pepper, drizzled with olive oil and topped with fragrant fried garlic bits.

Market Menu: Live Prawns Ajillo style @$18++

Or, how about some live clams in white wine sauce? Served piping hot, and goes so well with the bread. Yums! Liked the bread for its slightly crisp exterior and so fluffy on its inside. It came served with a side-dish of herbed butter which tasted really good with the bread. Major plus points for meaty clams.

Market Menu: Live Clams @$29++
break a fluffy bread and soak up the white wine clam sauce

Next up, we sampled three different variations of squids.Grilled squid that has a little extra kick, courtesy of the picante spice that was sprinkled so generously on the tender squid. Was surprised by the level of spice in that picante.

Grilled Squid @$16++

If you're not into slightly chewier texture and spicy heat, how about a serving of battered deep fried baby squids. These were well-fried till nicely golden and tasty on its own. But the best, is yet to come. For beer, there's San Miguel on tap.

at the bar

Chipiron @$15++

For the Chipiron baby squids, guess what was the best cooking style? For me, it tasted best when cooked in its own ink. Not much of a looker with those blackish hues, but nicely garnished with tasty oily crunchy golden brown garlic bits. A bite into those squishy babies, and the mouth welcomes a dose of umami'ness. Good texture, good flavour.

Chipiron (baby squids) in its own ink @$15++

For non-seafood item, Don Quijote serves up the Madrid favourite of Huevos Estrellados or also known as 'Broken Eggs' with Chorizo and Potato Wedges. Served hot, and best to eat it together with the potato wedges. Sadly, am not a fan of chorizo though.

Huevos Estrellados @$15++

We can tapas all night long, but hey, it was time to bring out the big boys. But, let's have some more drinks. Sangria Red, highly recommended. SiHaN, can I say you approves? Heehee~

Sangria Red @$14.50++ per glass or $60++ per jug

Drinks on hand, appetite comfortably stimulated and we are ready for our next course. A dish that requires two days advance reservation; the Asado de Cochinillo Espanol or affectionately known as the Spanish Suckling Pig. Yep, the piglet is from Spain.

The meat was tender, and surprisingly lean. Flavour profile was clean tasting. The pork collar/neck part was slightly more flavourful. This one's for the meatatarian in us. Growl.

Spanish Suckling Pig (half) @$169++
thick cut tender meat, crispy skin, mostly lean

If you have not tasted Fideuá before, then you might be missing out! It is a Valencian dish that is similar to paella ala cooked in a pan, but using pasta noodles instead. Fideuá Negra is a pan of bee-hoon like noodles cooked in squid ink with ingredients such as shrimps and squid, garnished with some diced tomato. Tomato was just to add a dash of colour, probably. Squeeze those lemon wedges and buen provecho! The bottom of the pan held crusted bee-hoon, and if you like wok-hei flavour, this was it. Yummy.

Fideuá Negra (L) @$65++

Again, for seafood lovers, there is a paella dish that has everything. Introducing the "Paella Especial Don Quijote™"  Also known as the DQ Special. An abundance of seafood such as prawns, scallops, mussels and clams. And, as if that's not enough, diners are free to add "live" boston lobster to it (subjected to availability). Lobster is at market price, so do enquire with the staff if interested. The lobster that we had was priced at $69++ for one.

Paella Especial Don Quijote™ (L) with one live Boston lobster @$167++

The rich essence from the seafood was well absorbed by the rice. Enjoyable and it was one impressive looking pan. Luxurious, indeed.

side profile view

With more than enough food in our bellies, how could we take in more? Could we say no to desserts? Probably not. Let's see what we had.

Yes, the must-have churros mantra we adhered to. Churros at DQ is served with Spanish chocolate sauce. It was a gentle kind of sweetness. Loved the chocolate sauce.

Churros @$16++

The fried milk (leche frita) is served in a rectangular block. There's also the Choco Puff, pastry sandwiching a scoop of ice-cream and drizzled with those Spanish chocolate sauce. The bottom puff pastry layer had custard cream in it as well.

Leche Frita @$9++
Choco Puff @$19++

My favourite dessert at Don Quijote? The not-quite Spanish but rather English; Bread and Butter Pudding. It does have a Spanish name though, the Pudin de Pan y Manteqilla. Soft, fluffy spongy bread generously drizzled with sweet milk cream sauce. So good.

Pudin de Pan y Manteqilla (Bread and Butter Pudding) @$8++

It was a night filled with good food, good company where one could unwind and just enjoy.

Many thanks to Ken, for sharing with us your love of Spain and your philosophy when it comes to food. Thank you HGW team for the invite and to my fellow diners, was great to see you again. Till next time, happy eating!


Don Quijote

Address: 01-02, 7 Dempsey Road, 249671, Singapore
Contact+65 6476 2811


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