Esmirada @ The Pier

To be frank, there is no lack of food choices when you’re in Robertson Quay. Just throw a stone in any direction in this laid back part of the Singapore River and you’ll probably smash a restaurant’s window. Any discerning foodie will be hard pressed for choice when they’re here, so perhaps it’s natural that the Esmirada Group decided to open an outlet here after CHIJMES and Orchard Hotel. Like all the other food places here, this homey Greek tavern is a good place for a quiet, lingering dinner, with its rustic and ornate furnishings, soothing ambiance and friendly staff. The atmosphere here is very welcoming with a team of staff who are only too happy to help you out with wine choices and recommendations, and they were all spot on. The tortilla espanola (Spanish potato omelet) and the corbasi—a Turkish soup made with potatoes, cabbage, onion and paprika—were excellent. Ditto, the gazpacho with crispy ham and we never even liked cold soup to begin with. Its garlic bread was the best one we’ve ever had and it came fresh off the oven. The most interesting and enjoyable part of the meal will be the crowd favorite—the Esmirada skewers and in our case, the lamb chops. No trip to an Esmirada joint is complete without sinking your teeth into these perfectly grilled pieces of meat. The taste and quality was very consistent with the other two outlets and the delish tzatziki sauce added kick to the meat. You’re bound to order more (like we did). For desserts, end your meal with its to-die-for Kahlua-laced tiramisu which is a hot seller at this joint and then wash it all up with a glass of heady Sangria. All in all, this was an endearing dining experience. Combine food consistency with fine service and a nice welcoming vibe, and Esmirada is still one of the strongest contenders in the dining arena.