One of the best dining experiences I had during my recent trip back to Singapore was at Gaig on Stanley Street. The two-year-old restaurant is the Singapore outpost of Barcelona’s 1-Michelin-star Gaig, founded in 1869. The Barcelonin Gaig is currently helmed by Carles Gaig, the fourth-generation owner-chef of the Gaig family that started it. His daughter, Nuria, manages the Singapore outlet - a pleasant, bright, little restaurant with a casual vibe.
We started off with some red Sangria, and Pa amb Tomàquet: toasted slices of crusty bread rubbed through with ripe tomatoes, then sprinkled with good olive oil and salt. The bread went perfectly with the ethereal leaves of Jamón Ibérico de Bellota - acorn-fed free-range Ibérico ham, aged over two years.
The bread was so good, we couldn’t resist ordering the Coca d’Esqueixada, which had salted cod in addition to tomatoes atop the bread.
The Bomba de la Barceloneta which followed was a taste sensation - the potato ball almost seemed tweaked to suit the Singaporean palate with its spicy minced beef filling:
Next up was Gaig’s specialty dish: their traditional Cannelloni, made from an original 1869 Gaig recipe. The pale, cream-coloured cannelloni was filled with delicious, melt-in-the-mouth mix of shredded pork and beef, covered with a thick, ultra-rich béchamel sauce studded with finely-chopped black truffles.
For me, the pièce de résistance for the meal has to be the Crispy Suckling Pig, with Coconut, Ginger, Dill and Apple. The golden, wafer-thin skin was crackling crisp, and shattered at the merest touch to reveal moist, pull-apart-tender meat. It was a taste sensation that I won’t soon forget.
The Seafood Fideuà was the next to follow. This was an excellent rendition - Catalonian Executive Chef Marti Carlos balanced his flavours perfectly, and the seafood broth used to produce the fideuà was light, yet flavoursome. I could eat this every day.
Both the desserts we had were also very good:
Catalan Crème Brûlée
Orange Ice-cream Soufflé
Very satisfactory meal indeed - well-executed from start to finish. Service was faultless, and the cooking was simply superb. Earlier, we had to decide between having a Basque dinner (at the much talked-about Basque Kitchen by Aitor, a mere two streets away) and this Catalonian option. No regrets that we chose here.
16 Stanley Street, Singapore 068735
Tel: +65 6221 2134
Opening hours: 12 noon - 2.30pm, 6pm - 10, Mon to Sat. Closed on Sundays.