Basque Kitchen Oxtail and bomba rice

Basque Kitchen by Aitor – One year and a star later.

{Update: 4 Aug 2020}

On account of my hubby turning the big 5-0 this year, his brother wanted to treat us to dinner, and he chose Basque Kitchen for the occasion.

We initially though it was quite fitting because we were supposed to have been in Basque Country this year in May, but on account of Covid-19, everything had to be cancelled.

So hubby and I were looking forward to a lovely evening, tasting Basque specialities.

And reading my old post below, you can assume that we were chuffed to revisit Basque Kitchen, after all, it clearly seems like we had a good meal last year.

While the company was engaging, the food and service left us a little wanting.

Having dined at the finest restaurants around the world, these days, it really takes that something special to impress hubby and I when it comes to the cuisine at Michelin-starred restaurants. And service becomes even more important at these places.

I must say it was disappointing that the restaurant did nothing at all, except to give my hubby a generic birthday greeting on a card, despite his brother having informed them when he made the booking that we were celebrating a 50th birthday, and providing the name of the birthday boy.

And this was despite ordering two extra desserts on the night itself and reminding them that we were celebrating his birthday. They said they couldn’t put a candle in the lacklustre Basque cheesecake due to it being a “fire hazard” but couldn’t they at least write a Happy Birthday message on the plate? What’s the excuse for that?

There are restaurants far less “accomplished” that do far more than this.

Basque Kitchen generic birthday card
I did think twice about putting this picture in, but hey, I wasn’t kidding about the basic card and the cheesecake.

And now, the snapshot of the items that we had as part of the $198 degustation menu.

(Just a note that the price of the degustation has gone up from $135 per pax to $198. I suppose that’s what a Michelin star will do to you).

Basque Kitchen Snacks 1
This, and the next 2 photos are of the snacks we had. There was a Fire, Earth, Water, Air theme going. They were mostly okay, save for the pork belly on what seemed like under-cooked dough.
Basque Kitchen Snacks 3
Basque Kitchen Snacks 2
Basque Kitchen cured Bonito
First course: Smoked and cured bonito, with a cucumber, jalapeno and piparra gazpacho, topped with a yuzu and lime snow. A refreshing start.
Basque Kitchen Tomato in tomato water
Tomato in tomato water with olive oil caviar. I suppose the intention was to be a celebration of Tomato.
Basque Kitchen Oxtail and bomba rice
The highlight for all of us, in a menu that was less than… special. This is braised oxtail in bomba rice, with a confit quail egg. Same as what I had raved about in last year’s review. I have a feeling everyone would have sacrificed some of the other dishes to have had more of this.
Monkfish Donostiarra style
Monkfish “Donostiarra” style. To think we were meant to be in San Sebastian in May, where we could have truly understood the nuances of Donostiarran cuisine. Well, if this is how charcoal monkfish is supposed to be… what can I say.
Mussels and Prawns
Quite tasty this dish of mussels and prawns, but how wrong can you go when you have a deliciously rich lobster consomme poured all over it, anyway?
Basque Kitchen Lamb
As the waiter placed this ode to lamb in front of us, he said, “and now, the dish you have been waiting for.” Was it? Well, the sweetbreads were the top pick of the 3 different lamb cuts we had in front of us. The lamb neck was good as well, wish there had been more because that rack? What you see is what you get.
Basque Kitchen Chocolate
Dessert course: I am a sucker for good chocolate, so yes, this was good. 85% chocolate but it wasn’t too bitter, it was just right with the banana ice cream.

Well, it certainly was a different experience from my first visit last year. I think I will just save my hankering for Basque cuisine when I am actually in the Basque country.


{Original Post: 13 March 2019}

Date night before hubby flew off to Seattle for a week saw us dining at Basque Kitchen by Aitor last Saturday.

Familiar as we are with the cuisine of Spain, we were nevertheless pleasantly surprised with a couple of not-as-commonplace dishes found in the many Spanish, particularly tapas, restaurants in Singapore.

Basque Kitchen Facade

Taking over the space formerly occupied by Mod-Oz restaurant Blackwattle at Amoy Street, this relatively new venture by the Unlisted Collection group, opened in the last quarter of 2018.

Jeronimo Orive, whose family hails from Basque Country, helms the kitchen and his expression of the Basque cuisine is a refined, elevated one.

Having had an overly indulgent brunch earlier in the day, we were not hungry, so we chose the 3-course dinner menu ($85/pax) instead of the 5 ($98) or 8-course ($135) tasting menus.

The Food at Basque Kitchen by Aitor

Basque Kitchen Amuse Bouche
A little amuse bouche that bursts in your mouth with flavours of lemongrass and pandan, with an oyster lip surprise.
Basque Kitchen Bread
You bet we asked for seconds of the wonderful sourdough and whipped smoky butter!

And now, for the 3-course proper.

Basque Kitchen Buri Tartare
Basque Kitchen Sardines

I had the Buri (amberjack) tartare, while hubby had the Sardines. The tartare saw chunks of fresh fish with a touch of horseradish for a punch.

As for the Sardines, they came swimming in a cucumber gazpacho, a refreshing choice especially if you were going for the mains below. Both of which are very rich.

Now, if you’ve been reading about Basque Kitchen By Aitor online, you’ll notice that several reviewers had raved about the Oxtail Bomba.

Basque Kitchen Oxtail Bomba

Conclusion? It’s rave-worthy indeed! The bomba rice is braised for 72 hours with the oxtail and with the confit quail egg yolk mixed in, you end up with a luscious plate of deliciousness.

Basque Kitchen Txuleta

The other main was the Txuleta – a succulent cut of prime rib, grilled on charcoal resulting in the much-appreciated charred and crisp edges revealing a tender bite within.

For dessert, we shared the Cheese Platter comprising Idiazabal (made from sheep’s milk, native to Basque Country), Murcia Al Vino (goat’s cheese with rind washed in red wine) and Valdeon (an intense blue cheese).

Basque Kitchen Dessert

The other was the Chocolates and Cherries, a relatively light dessert of chocolate mousse and cherry coconut foam, just right with which to end the meal.

Basque Kitchen Mignardises
Some mignardises to refresh us at the end of the meal!

A Final Note about Basque Kitchen

If you’re into wines from Spain, or you’re looking for something other than your favourite Burgundy, Basque Kitchen is the place to go to. They stock an impressive selection of wines from the big name labels to lesser known boutique producers.

You’ll notice a rare sight of an Indian lady (I thought she was Singaporean but when I called to check, they told me she was Malaysian, ok somewhat sama sama I guess) as the sommelier and you’ll hear her expressive, friendly voice from across the room too. She’s charming, funny and certainly knows how to entertain her guests!

As we didn’t do the wine pairing, we didn’t get to enjoy her service but she, together with the other lovely staff, will make you feel very welcome at dinner.

Definitely will be going back to Basque Kitchen!


Basque Kitchen by Aitor

Address: 97 Amoy St, Singapore, 069917

Contact: +65 6224 2232 or email: info@basquekitchenbyaitor.com

Website: https://www.basquekitchenbyaitor.com/

Opening Hours:

Mon-Fri: 12pm-2.30pm, 6.30pm-11pm

Sat: 6.30pm-11pm


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