Saturday, September 15, 2012

New: Lolla

Hi everyone!

I just want to say that the numerous posts with "New" in front means that the restaurant is new and that there's a review on it. If it's just "New Place" means there's no review about it, just a "notification" of sorts that something's open! I'll post this on my sidebar too!

The boy and I visited Lolla on Friday, 14 Sept and it was only 6 days old! Literally super duper new :) I love the beautiful tiles lining the store entrance.

The concept here is very much like FoodBar Dada, where you see the chefs cooking your food, preparing everything, and you sit arnd a bar-like place watching them cook + to eat your food. Seats are very limited, like 13 seats only! Though there's this super pretty private dining area (I guess) downstairs! Pic of that later!

They serve dishes tapas style here, meaning in small portions and mainly for sharing. But like Dada, the "table" you sit at doesnt really facilitate sharing unless you're like in a small grp of 2 or 3. But the chefs worked a way to work around this! They've already portioned things for you so you just take your portion and pass on :)

Jug of water for y'all to share

That's the steamed chocolate pudding to the left and the gratinated leek fondant (which our superduperrrrr friendly and nice server Nic told us!!)

Open-kitchen concept

Concept of what they serve

Sea Urchin Pudding

Omg this is DELICIOUS. 

 MUST MUST MUST TRY BEFORE YOU DIE. This is totally new and something I bet most have not tried before. I will totally go back for more of this!! Basically the uni doesnt really have much taste for me, even if you eat it individually. The squid ink custard below is more of what I'm talking about. Its magical I'd say. It has hints of saltiness, smokiness, and tastes that my limited vocabulary cannot describe. The texture is like chawanmushi but softer. Please guys, you've gotta try this! I promise you you'd be scraping that tiny bowl for more, like what we did HAHA. And what our dear server told us people did too :)

This is that good!

Oh yes, if there's a cross next to this, just ask them if its available! Cos that happened to us today and I asked and they said its available!! SO lucky it was hehe. Really made our night!  5/5

Beet Carpaccio

This was simple and fresh though not really worth $15 imo. The beet flavour really shone through with a simple sauce that looked like there was olive oil in it. Of course there's salt sprinkled on top too. Taste-wise, this was quite normal, 'cos you just taste beet haha. 3.8/5

Kumato Tomato Salad

This was supposed to be kumato tomato ie the jap tomato but they dont have it today so its heirloom instead! Really love love love heirlooms!!! All the weird shapes and colours (if I'm not wrong, tomatoes wasnt originally red, think they were green. Like the norm colour for tomatoes were green and they were ripe ones k!) So anyway this was made in the same way I think, as the beet, so the sweet tastes of the heirlooms really shone through! Good starter 4/5

 Hokkaido Scallop Carpaccio

Would have liked the scallops to be colder! This was lukewarm kinda temperature and I know carpaccios and tartares are like that but well to me, I dont really like lukewarm raw stuff :/ Anyway, scallops didnt really have much taste. Quite a lot of pieces given and the roe on top? Totally different texture from what you eat usually! It doesnt just pop super easily in your mouth! This one is firm and takes effort to bite through. 3.6/5

Spanish Tortilla w Smoked Eel

This tortilla isnt like your normal tortilla. Its much more liquid-ish in the middle and creamy! Chunks of potato within it has just the right texture. Somehow the combination of creamy eggs with the salty smoked eel goes very well. Sometimes you taste dashes of pepper which adds another dimension to this dish. A new combi that works I'd say. 4.1/5

Pan-seared Lamb Ribs

Mmm this was another star of the night. Marinated with paprika, mustard, and other secret ingredients, this lamb rack is seared in the pan then put in the oven. It is so good. Nicely charred top with just the right mix of fat and meat to give you the satisfaction of having a juicy succulent bite of the meat. Dont worry about the lamb-taste, this doesnt have any! It was so good that the boy and I just picked it up to bite the parts of meat off the ribs. Dont worry abt being unglam, the people behind this restaurant want it to be casual and relaxed so they're totally fine abt you using your fingers!!! Go ahead is what they say :) Enjoy it! Trust me, you'll give up using the fork and knife to eat the parts near the rib haha. 

The meat is still v soft and not that hard to chew. Still brimming w its own juices and sigh just awesome. Heard other diners saying its really good as well and our dear server told us many people love it too! She knows cos she always goes around asking for opinions about the food :) Only thing I dont really like is the cherry tomatoes cos they're a lil too salty for me but otherwise, great lamb! 4.8/5


Glimpse of how the crema catalana looks like!


Other observations of items on the menu & how the dishes look to me:

Goose fat potatoes looked and smelled amazing. Basically its like small cubes of potatoes cooked w small chunks of goose!

Quite a lot of people ordered the baguette w Echire butter (At first I thought the butter was cheese cos of how they slice it, or maybe it really is cheese!)

Oh yes, the specials for tonight were mozambique prawns (huge prawns cooked w butter and drizzled w white wine sauce), the pan seared lamb ribs we had and fried sardines. The sardines were v popular tonight and so were the lamb ribs!

Scrambled eggs w Bottarga looked really awesome! The scrambled eggs looked super creamy and fluffy and the shavings of bottarga looked like truffles but orange coloured ones! 

"Eggs sunny side" up w Chorizo Iberico is literally 2 sunny side up eggs atop chorizo, which looked heavenly btw. 

Super pretty private dining room!!!!! (am assuming it is)

I must really commend the service here. I know I gush about service often but overhere? They totally crossed the "oh just be polite and helpful" border. They're kinda like friends?? Thats the feeling I get. Its like going to someone's home and eating what they cook for you. People check and make sure the food's okay, be extremely amiable and approachable about things, make sure you know what's available and what's good. The chef even recommended us to get the tomato salad w a seafood dish 'cos it says they pair well together. The owners are super friendly to talk to. Felt the warmth there and it was a good night :)

They guy I was talking to, he's also the owner of lollapalooza, a shop in Spore selling unique special champagnes/wines/etc, and lolla's secret suppers and then he decided to open this! Glad he did else I wouldnt have been able to try the sea urchin pudding.

I would definitely go back there but the incentive to go back will increase if their menu changes! Oh yes, in case you're wondering when you go down to the restaurant and see their coaster w corsets and stuff? Lolla doesnt have anything to do w it k, its just decor that the design team thought was good to use!!

Final note: prices are a little on the high side and they're small portions so you might go away still feeling a little hungry or at the 80% full stage. Everything's mainly above $10, even appetisers etc.

No. 22 Ann Siang Road
Mon-Sat: 5pm-Midnight
NO RESERVATIONS pls take note!!!
Website (click for menu and map! Read the produce & purveyors page to see where they get their food from!)


  1. how did you find out about this place?

  2. this place looks like a total esquina rip-off. from the decor right down to the food that is served.

    1. Is it? I've yet to go to esquina, hence I'm not sure about that!

  3. yup. they even adopted the SAME no reservations policy like esquina. the website is also a copycat version.

    1. oh okay thanks for sharing! does esquina serve the squid ink custard too?

    2. nope. but they have the tomato salad, beetroot carpaccio, scallop carpaccio, spanish omelette, eggs with iberico, ribeye etc. of cuz esquina's versions are more well-thought out, with tasty sauces & more elaborate platings.

    3. ohhhh okay thanks for letting me know!!! :) i've not been wanting to try esquina cos of the long queues :/ but after what you've said, I'll prolly head down soon! :)

  4. objectively speaking, both esquina and lolla look like versions of tapas bars from the uk.

    I don't think it is fair to comment and use words like "copycat" or "ripoff", or even pass judgement until you've

    i) actually been to both these places and tried the food
    ii) understood the influences that are so obvious in both these establishments. Jason Atherton is a documented fan of Barrafina in London, for example.

    (side note: there are common items on their menus that people like in joints like these, and a good businessman goes with what the crowd likes. that being said, there are also obvious differences in the food, something a past patron of both would agree with)

    Your comments seem defensive. Are you a member of the staff at Esquina?

  5. Can't wait to try out Lolla's!

  6. I came here because I was looking for Lolla's menu. I don't get the bashing of Lolla because of its similarity to Esquina, thats like saying Esquina ripped off the entire food industry of San Sebastian

  7. I visited Lolla yesterday and i have to agree that the menu feels like a copy & paste of small bites from here and there
    and in particular Esquina: the menu layout is undeniably similar, and the website too.

    But more importantly, the dishes lacked depth and composition:
    - items #1-8 are all "bought": iberico, olives, manchego, baguette from Mayson Kaiser with Echire butter - it's about the purveyor, not chef/ cooking
    - tomato salad, beetroot carpaccio, scallop carpaccio, chutoro-tartare - quite hard to get this wrong
    - etc.
    i can go on but i think the point is clear.

    There is nothing wrong with the food there, but to be rated as the World's Best 50 or Top 10 Tables - i didn't find anything that was original at all. (This is more a comment targeted at the reviewers than the restaurant )


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