PUBLISHED October 1st, 2013 12:46 am | UPDATED May 9th, 2018 03:13 am
The small plates dining concept is mushrooming across Singapore’s dining scene, with at least 15 of such eateries having opened this year. It is hardly surprising in a place where eating is considered a national pastime. The small plates concept fits in the ‘not hungry, but peckish’ mode, where people can get a nibble with some tipple.
Joining in the fray is three-month old Platitos, which serves a smattering of international cuisines, from Filipino, Italian to of course, Spanish on saucers (the bar’s name means ‘small plates’ in Spanish). The alcohol-friendly grub consists of around 15 ‘small plates’, such as anchovies bruschettas and meatballs, and 20 tipples from sangria to wine.
What sets Platitos apart from the dime-a-dozen ‘tapas-styled’ eateries is wallet-friendly prices, which start from $4.90 for a bowl of mixed olives – from my tapas bar-hopping experience, small plates are typically priced from $8.
At a space-starved 250 sq ft, Platitos is one of the more petite bars around. It can sit up to 26 customers on its high tables and bar counter. Its nifty Tanjong Pagar location also gives it easy access to office rats in need of a watering hole to chill out over after-work drinks and bites.
The bar is co-owned by six Filipinos, in their 30s who met at an expat dragon-boat team five years ago. Having been to Spain for holidays, they wanted to import the breezy, convivial concept of tapas bars here. Except that they expanded serving just Spanish fare. Despite holding full-time jobs in various industries – finance, IT, Interior Design, the co-owners trade business wear for aprons at night to tend the bar. Coupled with culinary expertise from a partner, who was a former chef from Wine Connection, the food doesn’t play second fiddle to the drinks.
True to its namesake, quaint-looking saucers adorn a gigantic chalk board that serves as a larger-than-life menu. These saucers hail from Spain, Italy, the US and Dubai, as souvenirs from globe-trotting friends.
The Pulled Pork Sliders ($5.90) are a snazzy update to the Philippine staple, Adobo (braised pork shoulder), which is usually eaten with rice. Cushioned by two pillowy buns are tender pork shreds, which ooze with a strong salty tang – due to being slow-cooked and simmered for two days in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic. The caramelised onions inject a sweet contrast against the wave of saltiness.
Forget black pepper, cayenne pepper should be the seasoning de jeur for fried chicken. The Five Chicken Wings ($5.90) are marinated in this hot chilli pepper, perfectly fried and dusted with more cayenne paper. The result is a very piquant flavour, and a lingering warm sensation that permeates in the mouth and grows on you. My favourite dish of the night, hands down.
Slices of cured sausage, Chorizo ($6.90) are pan-friend with copious amount of garlic and onions, which emanates an intensely smoky aroma. The maroon-coloured morsels are very moreish and unami-rich, which melds well with beer. However, a pool of oil greeted me as I wiped out the chorizo slices.
For a seafood twist, go for the Gambas ($6.90). Eight bite-sized shrimps are sautéed with paprika, chilli flakes and black pepper. The prawns are drenched in a very appetite-whetting hue of orange-red chilli oil, boasting a savoury sweet and spicy blend.
Wash it all down with the invigorating Beer Sangria ($8 per glass or $28 per jug), a unique concoction of beer, vodka and grape juice, which is the only place that serves it here, according to the co-owner Jeffrey. The sunshiney yellow tipple is light and refreshing, and studded with soaked apple, orange and lemon slices for a fruity and floral burst.
The bar also serves Paninis in seven flavours from tuna ($7.90) to roast beef ($9.90) for lunch, which is served until 2.30pm.
Written by By Kenney Lornie
On this occasion the meal was compliments of Platitos