There’s no debate when it comes to Singapore as a foodie destination. You’ll find all kinds of cuisines here, even from as far flung as Colombia.
Most people know the South American country for its coffee but thanks to chef-owner Fernando Arévalo, we can now get a taste of the country. At his newly opened restaurant Bacatá, Arévalo aims to “replicate a small part of Colombia in the heart of Singapore”, and showcase the vibrancy of his native Latin American culture through the rich cuisine, bold interior design of the restaurant, and indigenous artworks.
Bacatá, located at Frasers Tower on Cecil Street, makes a statement with help from award-winning interior design firm greymatters. Walls are a black canvas peppered by splashes of colour from handmade indigenous pieces and brass details. A reflection of Arévalo’s life journey and love for Colombia’s heritage, there are also life-sized vases and decorative mask figurines displayed around the restaurant, giving each diner an experience of Latin America.
It is here that the former chef-owner of Preludio (a contemporary restaurant has since closed) presents his unique style of Colombian cuisine that weaves in modern techniques and international ingredients.
The result: A surprising combination that provides diners with a sampling of rich Colombian culture through his lens. Inspired by the diversity of Latin America, the dining experience starts with robust yet refreshing notes, and progresses into stronger flavours that are suitably umami or lend a spicy kick.
The seven-course Chef’s Tasting Menu ($158++) showcases seasonal produce at its peak. Starters include the Chipiron that features fresh Japanese cuttlefish layered with chimichurri; and the Lengua, which is braised veal tongue with white and red beetroot in blackberry sauce.
Seafood lovers should be pleased with the Tiradito, a dish that’s also on the a la carte menu. Spanish Mackerel is paired with smoked cod liver cream and served on a homemade walnut tart. It is finished with whipped Leche De Tigre – a citrus–based, spicy marinade used to cure fish for ceviche.
The Arroz Caldoso features Arborio rice served with a mixed seafood broth made flavourful by uni cream, smoked eel and N95 caviar, with some crunch from crispy rice.
The Langosta is another example of Arévalo’s unique culinary style. Inspired by ajiaco (a classic Columbian stew made with chicken and potatoes), the dish uses Boston Lobster instead of the conventional chicken, and is poached with beurre monté before being cooked with three types of potatoes.
For dessert, sweeten up your dinner experience with Platatinos Con Queso, a sweet plantain with rum, dates, and burrata.
Bacatá is at Frasers Tower, 182 Cecil St, #03-01/02, Singapore 069547. For more information, visit bacata.sg.