It's about time we posted about Esquina again. For those of you who are averse to their no-reservations policy, good news - they now accept reservations at lunch time! That, combined with a wallet-friendly set lunch ($33 for 2 courses, $40 for 3), should be more than enough to convert any Esquina cynics.
The set lunch is definitely a great deal - sitting at the counter watching the dishes come out of the kitchen, I can vouch for the fact that just as much care goes into preparing and plating the set lunch dishes as the regular a la carte ones.
A had the gazpacho with black olive burrata and heirloom tomatoes, and I had the slow cooked egg with curried rice and potato foam. A liked his dish because he likes all forms of gazpacho, but my egg and rice dish was exquisite. The curry was pronounced but not overpowering, and the oozy egg yolk from a perfectly slow cooked egg... mmmm.
A's main course was the roasted rump steak, and I had the pan fried snapper with sauteed prawns and a prawn bisque. Mine definitely was much better than A's, which was more ordinary. The snapper was perfectly cooked and really flavourful with the prawn bisque.
We had the same dessert though - the chocolate tea ice cream with a sacher sponge. Pity we couldn't swap the other set lunch dessert (the sliced manchego cheese with toast) to the very enticing-sounding churros on the regular menu. We'll try it next time.
We wouldn't be atetoomuch if we didn't add something to the set lunch selection. We ordered an additional dish - the honey chicken wings with artichoke foam and a bacon and oat crumble. Another classic Esquina-style dish, with intensely flavourful components and a killer sauce.
Quality is still excellent, but I hope it doesn't get too crowded at lunch time now. It's still my default go-to place whenever I have a precious day off work.
Still my favourite place to eat (lunch) in Singapore.