Singapore – A gathering of foodies at Limon Restaurant

Brad (of ladyironchef.com) recently organised a food outing at this quaint restaurant which whips up cuisine from the rather intriguing marriage of Spanish and Thai.

Limon - interior and exterior

So on that faithful night, 30 of us turned up and gorged on a pre-set menu by Limon. Not knowing what to expect, as Thai-Spanish fusion is uncommon; almost unheard of rather, I was pretty excited and had my expectations set a wee high. After all, I’m in Singapore, famed for its mid to high end dining options.
I was darn sure that it would be a feast both to the palate and senses.

the starters

The opening course of soup, set on my table in a shooter glass & aptly named A Shot of Gazpacho con Vino Blanco did not manage to begin the night on a good note.
The traditional Spanish cold soup with a mild white wine twist had a funny raw aftertaste and the group of us struggled to make out whether it was carrot or pumpkin. However, we definitely detected white wine in it.
Perhaps I didn’t know how to appreciate such creation, I shrugged, & waited patiently for the next course to be served.

The free flow beverages that night were the Limon’s House special Sangria or Lemongrass mocktail, of which I chose the later since I don’t do alcohol.

* * *
After a sip, I asked for plain H2O. Ermm..do I still need to describe the drink for ya?

Ah, I guess not.

Gazpacho and Lemongrass Mocktail

The Combo Tapas came next.
Champinones con ajo: Sauteed garlic mushrooms with lemon sauce
Chorizo con curry verde: Spanish Bibao (Sausage) in Thai green curry sauce
Moo Curry: Pork & potato cubes pan-fried with red curry sauce, tomato sauce & red peppers

Limon - appetisers

The Moo Curry ended up to be chicken instead of pork as stated on the menu. (by the way, isn’t ‘moo’ supposed to be a cow??)
It was a very normal red curry dish, subpar even to our Malaysian hawker/food court versions.

I swore there was nary a drop of lemon zest in the mushroom and it is basically sauteed only in olive oil and garlic. The Spanish bibao (sausage/chorizo) with green curry is a match not meant to be made, cos simply put, it does not match!

Moving on, The Soup.
Tom Kha Gay, uhh.. I meant Guy: Classic Thai sour & mildly spiced coconut soup with chicken meat.

tom yum

Almost faintish from hunger by now since I could barely stomach the earlier cold soup and also cos the tapas was in such cute-sy portions, I was relieved to find that the soup was actually pretty appetizing.
The chicken cuts that came with it was another story all together. Just think hot soup and chunking the chicken pieces minus any seasoning into it for a few minutes and then serve. None of the soup’s robust flavour was in any way permeated into the meat. I strongly recommend that the chef to be sent for another crash course on cooking.

The mains took a while to be served.

Bacalao: Pan-fried blue cod fillet dressed in olive oil, black pepper, chopped red & green peppers & white wine tomato base sauce. Accompanied with boiled asparagus & mashed potatoes with sides of Gambas al ajillo de moda thai: King Prawns cooked with olive oil, lemongrass, garlic, black pepper, nameko mushroom, broccoli & basil leaf garnish, Som Tum: Mango and papaya strips in sour and spicy sauce, and Garlic fried spaghetti.

main - cod fish

The prawn passed. Fresh, crunchy and juicy.
The spaghetti was edible.
The mango salad was left untouched since I can’t take sour dishes.

The cod…what can I say.. Hmm

For one, it was very bland. Which was surprising, for I have expected the natural sweetness of the cod to come forth from its moist oily flesh.
Instead, it was alike eating plain boiled fish, devoid of any taste. The white wine tomato base sauce lacked body, and couldn’t elevate the dish. The texture of the fish was slightly rubbery too.

Tom Yum Paella (4 persons to 1).

Tom yam Seafood Paella

I admit this was the dish that I was counting on to salvage the dinner that night. After all, a bit of tom yam paste can often work wonders. The spices, the tamarind, the robust flavour. Could render any dish, especially a rice based one from boring to appealing.
Think Tom Yam fried rice or tom yam fried noodles, whether it is thin like vermicelli or wide like rice sheets (hor fun), one can’t mess up with tom yam paste… … or can you?

Well, yes you can. As per the dish here. Simply by not adding enough of it!
Or maybe, it is supposed to be so? Just a hint of tom yam? But but…it was so tasteless! Paella are meant to be flavourful aren’t they? With all the sea briny goodness taste no?

Even the seafood was ‘carelessly’ laid on top. I said ‘laid’ cos it was definitely not cooked together. They tasted like they were boiled and then piled on top of the rice after it was done.
It’s only saving grace?
The crispy, caramelized, toasted/charred bottom (like our local claypot chicken) rice bits & the seafood (mussels, salmon, squid, scallop and prawn) was fresh.

Dessert Combo:
Crema Catalana con frescas
Flourless Almond Lemon Cake
Lemongrass Jello Shot

DEsserts

The almond essence was overpowering in the cake, which can be a real put off especially if you are not a fan of almond.
The Crema Catalana tasted like creme brule and the mushy lemongrass jello was very strong and tasted weird to me.

The above set menu is at $32nett per person. Everything is done in sampling portions so that we got to try a variety of dishes.

Limon Restaurant
7 Purvis street #01-01
Tel: 02- 6333 9004

To get there: Alight at City Hall MRT station. Come out and walk towards Raffles Hotel. It’s two streets after Raffles.

Perhaps I had psyche myself up too much, having anticipating it to be more distinctive, as I thought the idea of marrying Spanish & Thai influence really innovative and with me being in Singapore and all, I had expected the food to excite my bored appetite and thrill my jaded tastebuds.

Too bad it wasn’t so. But nevertheless, it was a fun outing..as with all foodies gatherings and I hope to be back in Sg soon to discover more of what its legions of cafes and restaurants has to offer!