Tinto Paella de Mariscos

Tinto – Party it up with a Spanish feast!

Tinto is the name of the game here but first, a little preamble about Spanish food in Singapore.

When I think about Spanish food here, there are two names that come to mind. Chef Jose Alonso and chef Daniel Chavez. These are the two protégés of esteemed chef Santi Santamaria of 3-Michelin starred El Raco de Can Fabes near Barcelona, which closed in 2013 after 32 illustrious years.

After Chef Santi’s sudden death following a heart attack in his restaurant Santi at Marina Bay Sands in 2011, his two protégés continued to make their own waves, opening up Spanish restaurants in Singapore.

I’m not here to discuss the triumphs of chef Alonso (Binomio, Lumbre, Kulto, Tapas Club and more), this is all about chef Chavez, or should I say, chefs Chavez.

The Chef Couple Chavez!

That’s right, this is a real-life love story worthy of every grain of bomba you can throw at it.

Chefs Tamara and Daniel are the husband-and-wife owners of Tinto (Spanish) and Canchita (Peruvian) – both at Dempsey.

I’m more familiar with chef Daniel’s portfolio, having first experienced his flair years ago at Ola Cocina del Mar which used to be at Marina Bay Financial Tower 3.

The ambience was fancy (I remember thinking that the dark woods and leather befitted the CBD banker-set) but the food was soulful. I could just feel the warm and welcoming nature of the chef in the classic Spanish dishes.

However, chef Daniel is Peruvian, and the restaurant he opened next at Duo Galleria, Tono Cevicheria was a purer showcase of his ethnicity.  

Next, he mixed it up to show off chifa cuisine – Chinese-Peruvian, something borne out of Chinese immigrants introducing their culture to Peru. My review of Tonito at Jewel here.

Somewhere along the way, chef Daniel must have met chef Tamara, and together, this Peruvian-Mexican power-cooking couple have gone on to open Canchita and now, Tinto – two restaurants I’d wholeheartedly recommend for anyone looking for a fiesta. In fact, between the two restaurants, I’ve celebrated a couple of friends’ birthdays.

Now, chef Tamara is the boss in the kitchen while chef Daniel is the host with the mostest. Tinto features all the Spanish classics – fideua, paella, tapas and more, and as I read in chef Daniel’s interview with Tatler, it is a tribute to his mentor Santi.

Well, enough of me spelling out their journey, let’s talk about my adventure in Tinto!

Kicking it off with Tapas at Tinto.

I decided on Tinto for my husband’s birthday dinner and we were there with another couple, so we managed to order up a feast and tried many dishes.

Tinto Grilled Spanish Octopus 2
You know me, I always have to try the Grilled Spanish Octopus when it’s on the menu! Tinto’s is cooked perfectly, you can see it for yourself and this was served on a bed of Catalan Lentils Stew. ($32).
36 mths aged Iberico Ham
36-mths aged Iberico Ham with crushed tomatoes and toast. My friends had ordered this, of course it was good, but, at $48, I’ll skip it the next time.
Broken Omelette
“Broken Omelette”. Topped with mushrooms a la plancha and smoked Idiazabal cheese. ($24). Prefer this version to a classic tortilla, anyday.
Tinto Baby Smelt Fish 1
The Spanish version of shimano, Baby Smelt Fish, another item I like to order when I see it on menus. The Catalan Romesco Sauce and Aioli were great dips for this fried treat. ($26).

Paella or Fideua at Tinto?

Trick question. Don’t force yourself to choose, try both! The menu has them in two different sizes, so even if you’re just a couple, skimp on the tapas and choose one of each of the carbs, you won’t regret it.

Tinto Paella de Mariscos
Tinto Paella de Mariscos ($36). Spanish saffron rice with seafood, tomato sofrito and garlic aioli.
Tinto Fideua de Cerdo et Coliflor
Tinto Fideua de Cerdo et Coliflor ($32). Noodle “paella” with roasted pork, chorizo, cauliflower, chickpeas and chestnuts.

Me, I am a seafood lover, so I preferred the paella, but my friends loved the roasted pork fideua. I loved scraping the bottom of the pan!

Capping off a wonderful birthday celebration!

I didn’t manage to take pictures of our churros dessert as we were too distracted by the appearance of a slice of birthday cake and song accompanying it. Suffice to say we had a lovely celebration at Tinto and I look forward to my next visit!

A little tip:

The ambience is great all-around – warm service, just the right amount of convivial spirit going on. The space is split into two, and I personally prefer the tables towards the back of the restaurant, you have to walk through another door to get to the “indoor verandah” and once in, it feels even more exclusive and lush.


Address: Blk 10 Dempsey Rd, #01-21, Singapore 247700

Contact: info@tinto.sg,+65 9729 5002

Website: https://tinto.sg

Opening Hours:

L: Thursday to Sunday: 11.30am to 3.00pm

D: Monday to Sunday: 5.30pm to 10.30pm

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