I lived in Spain for a short stint back in my early 20s, and whilst I enjoyed the food there, I tended to find it a bit stodgy and same-y, and so Spanish (mainly tapas) would never feature high up on my list of favourite cuisines. That said, since then every time that I have been out for tapas I have ended up really enjoying it (usually helped by a decent amount of red wine), and each time I’ve left reminding myself I was wrong about not liking Spanish food. Delicacy on Gemmill Lane has certainly helped to influence that mindset.
Delicacy’s doors are far from ‘just opened’, the restaurant having been there since mid-2015, but I hadn’t noticed this unassuming white-fronted shop house as I’ve been trying out all of their recent new neighbouring food joints. Luckily our friend The Captain saw their menu and thought it was worth a try. Delicacy is a creation of parent company Food & Wine Merchants, who specialize in importing European wine and food such as charcuterie and cheese directly into Singapore. Perfect for a small group of our European friends for an end-of-week get together.
It actually turned out to be a celebratory evening since The Captain had proposed the weekend before, and so we thought it only right to start with a bottle of champagne. Delicacy has an interesting imported wine collection on show in wine fridges at the front of the restaurant, and it transpired they only had one type of champagne. Not a known brand but really delicious. We polished that off between the 6 of us and then picked out a very tasty Rioja from the collection to go with the selection of food that the newly fiancée-d member of the group had chosen for the table.
From there came a steady flow of delicious tapas, all the traditional culprits you would expect, but they were done really well and (apart from the cold cuts) served piping hot and fresh. In no particular order came a simple wooden board of Iberico jamon, deep in flavour, salty, it took me straight back to my time in Spain. Padron peppers were hot and charred scattered with coarse maldon sea salt.
The croquetas we chose were studded with little chunks of more jamon and were crisp on the outside and creamy in the middle. Sticking with the Spanish pork theme we chose the chorizo tortilla which has to be one of the best Spanish omelettes I’ve had. It was still slightly runny in the centre and came with a gorgeous garlicky aioli.
The meatballs were good enough for us to order another portion, and we used the fresh bread from the pan con tomate and the simple but delicious patatas bravas to help mop up the slightly spicy tomato sauce (and soak up what was now the 3rd bottle of Rioja).
Lastly were the more ‘main’ courses – octopus with potato and capers, and a sizzling pan of ‘Rice Bomba’ aka paella. We chose the meat one which was full of chicken, pork and chorizo, and was so tasty that we decided to order another, but this time went for the seafood version which was stacked with prawns, squid and covered with salty little clams. If I had to choose I’d say the meat one was slightly better, but both very very good.
By this point we were very full of food and red wine so called it a night, but not before the wonderfully friendly staff gave us a round of some sort of digestif to send us on our way. So yes, I do like Spanish food. And this is a good place to eat it in Singapore.
Delicacy, 10 Gemmill Lane, Singapore