Rio Tapas Lounge
We’re not big fans of restaurants that are in the middle of malls, mostly because of that animals-in-a-zoo feeling you get as shoppers stroll past. (Hint: the shoppers aren’t the animals.) However, with its lamp-topped wooden tables and glass ceiling so high that the feeling is almost alfresco, Rio Tapas (attached to Carnivore) doesn’t look half-bad at night. The perfect setting for a few cocktails and light bar snacks, you might think. Unfortunately, indoor seating for Rio Tapas is in a more brightly lit area in the back, where the CD of the evening when we visited recently was bad covers of Elton John. On repeat. Which really is inexcusable when you’re paying $15-20 for cocktails or $100 for a bottle of wine. The drinks list features most standards, but the bartenders at Rio are most skilled doing dessert-like floats and shakes; try the Bailey’s Root Beer or Caipirinha, or a Brand-nana made with brandy and chestnut sorbet (all $16). Rio serves breakfast and lunch, while the tapas menu only available after 3pm. Here “tapas” is the modern interpretation meaning “small plates” as opposed to your traditional standing Spanish deal. We give high marks to the truffle fries ($9), and passing grades to cubed beef tenderloin ($18) and grilled squid with squid ink pasta ($16). But other attempts at creativity were failures. The spiced crab cakes were paired with an ill-advised peanut sauce ($12), scallops with passion fruit ponzu ($16) were small and chewy, and oxtail soba in shiso broth infused with truffle oil ($9) was an embarrassing mushy mess. Like the music.
|Address:||Rio Tapas Lounge, #01-77/80 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Ave., Singapore, Singapore|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Thu 11:30am-11pm; Fri-Sat 11:30-1am|
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