Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant

December 25, 2012 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant
1 Harbourfront Walk
#01-98 VivoCity

391 Orchard Road
#05-32 Ngee Ann City


http://www.serenity.com.sg/


Great Ambience And Flavourful Spanish Food Let Down By Service

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 7
Value for Money: 6
Spent about SGD $75 per person.


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Wanted a unique but light Christmas lunch, so I brought her to Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant for Tapas.

Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant has very good ambience, located just next to the waterway and bridge to Sentosa. As such, they actually have more outdoor seating than indoor seating, and an entire section that can be opened up to the outdoors. They also have a small stage for a live band, great for chilling out with drinks at night.

I had some trouble with the service at Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant. The waiter who took my order seemed to have slight trouble understanding English, looking confused at times, and couldn't explain some items on the menu either. And while food is served quickly, I also had trouble attracting the attention of staff, even with waving. And the restaurant wasn't even crowded!

Food at Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant is very flavourful, and they stick quite closely to authentic Spanish recipes, though with some substitues in ingredients. However, prices are quite steep / expensive, with even small dishes costing an average of SGD $20 each. A meal for 2 will cost over $100, and a family meal for 4 will easily set you back at least $200. So while the food is good, fine dining prices make Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant difficult to visit on a regular basis.

I would probably recommend Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant for special occasions, though they need to improve on their service to make it worthwhile.


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Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant Menu 2012 Christmas Tapas


Erdinger Weiss Beer



The Tortilla Espanola - Spanish Omelette With Potato And Onion (SGD $10.80) was decent, though I felt the egg could be more prominent. This version is more like a potato cake with an omelette skin, but it was still tasty.

Tortilla Espanola - Spanish Omelette With Potato And Onion (SGD $10.80)


Tortilla Espanola Slice



The Salteado De Setas - Sauteed Mixed Mushrooms With Garlic And Olive Oil (SGD $12.80) was excellent. Tasty, fragrant and flavourful, I highly recommend this!

Salteado De Setas - Sauteed Mixed Mushrooms With Garlic And Olive Oil (SGD $12.80)



The Butifarra - Grilled Spanish Pork Sausage With Butter Beans (SGD $12.80) is served in a savoury brown meat sauce. The pork sausage was grilled nicely and presented in the Spanish Catalan style, though with butter beans instead of the traditional fava beans.

Butifarra - Grilled Spanish Pork Sausage With Butter Beans (SGD $12.80)



The Bunuelos De Bacalao - Deep Fried Spanish Cod Fish Cake (SGD $19.80) has flakes of fresh cod fish, packed tightly and then battered and deep fried. Delicious, while being light on the palate. This is a popular snack eaten throughout Spain.

Bunuelos De Bacalao - Deep Fried Spanish Cod Fish Cake (SGD $19.80)


Bunuelos De Bacalao - Deep Fried Spanish Cod Fish Cake


Bunuelos De Bacalao - Deep Fried Spanish Cod Fish Cake



The Esparragosa A La Plancha Con Jamon Iberico - Jumbo Asparagus With Jamon Iberico Ham (SGD $22.80) was a little small in terms of portion size, and not very value for money. But the ham was well seasoned with an intense flavour, and the asparagus was juicy and well-grilled with a nice smokey taste. This is a very popular Spanish starter because of its simplicity and ease of preparation.

Esparragosa A La Plancha Con Jamon Iberico - Jumbo Asparagus With Jamon Iberico Ham (SGD $22.80)


Esparragosa A La Plancha Con Jamon Iberico - Jumbo Asparagus With Jamon Iberico Ham



The Ventresca De Atun A La Brasa - Grilled Tuna With Caramel Onions (SGD $18.80) consists of a grilled tuna belly, served with peppers and onions. It has a sweet and savoury taste, and the fish is very fresh. This is typically served along the coastal regions of Spain, during the Tuna season from June to October annually.

Ventresca De Atun A La Brasa - Grilled Tuna With Caramel Onions (SGD $18.80)


Ventresca De Atun A La Brasa - Grilled Tuna With Caramel Onions



The Empanadillas Y Croquetas - Tuna Puff And Chicken Croquette (SGD $16.80). Not a traditional Spanish dish, but well done and tasty. Fillings are tightly packed with very little air.

Empanadillas Y Croquetas - Tuna Puff And Chicken Croquette (SGD $16.80)


Empanadillas Y Croquetas - Tuna Puff And Chicken Croquette


Spanish Chicken Croquette


Spanish Tuna Puff



The Albondigas - Home Made Beef Meat Balls In Tomato Sauce (SGD $18.80) were firmly packed and dense, yet still juicy within. The flavour of the meat comes through nicely, though I felt the tomato sauce was slightly weak, as it didn't have the intense taste of fresh quality tomatoes.

Albondigas - Home Made Beef Meat Balls In Tomato Sauce (SGD $18.80)



The Calamares A La Plancha - Grilled Squid In Extra Virgin Olive Oil (SGD $18.80) features fresh, large, juicy, meaty squid grilled to perfection. Well seasoned and well prepared, I highly recommend trying this!

Calamares A La Plancha - Grilled Squid In Extra Virgin Olive Oil (SGD $18.80)



The Churros - Spanish Doughnut With Hot Chocolate (SGD $10.80) here has a denser and more doughy consistency than the typical light and crisp Churros. While the flavour is still tasty, I didn't like the texture, which left the dough slightly dry.

Churros - Spanish Doughnut With Hot Chocolate (SGD $10.80)



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Update Aug-2015: Returned to Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant after nearly 3 years, because a friend wanted to try their famous suckling pig. So we got together a group of fellow bloggers, and made an advance reservation.

Update Aug-2015: Ambience at Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant largely remains the same, the spacious but dimly lit interior is great for casual, initimate dining, and the large outdoor area by the waterfront remains popular. Service, I'm glad to say, has greatly improved, staff are efficient and proactive, able to accomodate requests, proactive in serving, and knowledgable enough to make accurate recommendations. The large space still make it somewhat difficult to attract their attention though. Food remains decent, the Spanish cuisine on the menu has largely been unchanged, though prices still remain just as high as before.


Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant Signage


Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant Exterior


Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant Interior



The Pulpo A La Gallega / Grilled Spanish Octopus (SGD $19.80) features fresh slices of lightly grilled Spanish octopus, on a bed of boiled whole potatoes, garnished with paprika, salt, and extra virgin olive oil. Love the clean, slightly chewy texture of the octopus, and the dressing makes it fragrant and tasty.

Pulpo A La Gallega / Grilled Spanish Octopus (SGD $19.80)


Pulpo A La Gallega / Grilled Spanish Octopus



The Chipirones Fritos Con Aioli / Fried Baby Squid With Aioli (SGD $18.80) is satisfiyingly crisp yet not too greasy, with a loud crunch to the batter. The baby squid is fresh, with a slight chewy texture, a clean flavour, and goes down easily. Good enough without the aioli, which I felt was rather average.

Chipirones Fritos Con Aioli / Fried Baby Squid With Aioli (SGD $18.80)


Chipirones Fritos Con Aioli / Fried Baby Squid With Aioli



The Salteado De Coles De Bruselas Con Jamon Serrano / Sauteed Brussels Sprout With Serrano Ham (SGD $18.80) has perfectly executed, crunchy brussels sprouts, fresh and juicy. The gravy is slightly savoury, slightly sweet, and the lightness of this tapas dish is excellent to lift the heavyness of the other dishes. However, I wish there were more slices / chunks of serrano ham, because the sprinkling of it here is quite pathetic.

Salteado De Coles De Bruselas Con Jamon Serrano / Sauteed Brussels Sprout With Serrano Ham (SGD $18.80)


Salteado De Coles De Bruselas Con Jamon Serrano / Sauteed Brussels Sprout With Serrano Ham



The Paella Valencian (SGD $53) requires about 30 - 45 minutes of preparation time, and it's recommended to order this the minute you're seated. This classic Spanish dish features large, fresh tiger prawns, squid rings, half shell mussels, chunks of chicken, and slices of chorizo sausage, over a fragrant saffron bomba short-grain rice. Tasty, but as we had ordered 2 of these, I note some slight inconsistency, one had more gravy with a wetter texture, while the other was more dry and crisp in texture. Overall, I love the fresh, generous portions of seafood, and the dish is quite filling. But it's not the best paella I've had, being only above average in taste.

Paella Valencian (SGD $53)


Paella Valencian



The Churros / Spanish Doughnut With Hot Chocolate (SGD $10.80) still has that same dense, doughy texture, and below average taste, that I recall from about 3 years ago. But the portion size has gotten a lot smaller, making it even less value for money now. Skip this.

Churros / Spanish Doughnut With Hot Chocolate (SGD $10.80)


Churros / Spanish Doughnut With Hot Chocolate



The sole purpose, and star of our visit, was the whole Cochinillo Asado / Spanish Roast Suckling Pig (SGD $338), served with a trio of sauces; tomato cinnamon jam, brown meat gravy, natural pork drippings au jus, as well as roasted whole potatoes on the side. There is a 1 day advance order, as well as a 50% downpayment, for ordering this, along with a 30 - 45 minutes of preparation time when you're seated.

The suckling pig is marinated with sherry wine, white wine, vinegar, and herbs, then slowly roasted for over 6 hours, and served whole on a large wooden platter. Staff then slice the pipping hot pig using a ceramic plate. After the cutting is completed, a diner is then asked to smash the ceramic plate on a stone within a wooden box, which signifies throwing away of bad luck.

The pork meat is tender, with some gamey taste, but comes off the bone easily. The skin is savoury and wonderfully crisp, crunching loudly, and is the best part of the suckling pig. In fact, this is possibly the most crisp pig skin I've eaten thus far! The whole suckling pig is a generous portion, with a lot of meat, and suitable for sharing between 7 - 10 people. Well worth the money and the advance order!

Cochinillo Asado / Spanish Roast Suckling Pig (SGD $338)


Cochinillo Asado / Spanish Roast Suckling Pig


Cochinillo Asado / Spanish Roast Suckling Pig


Cochinillo Asado / Spanish Roast Suckling Pig


Cochinillo Asado / Spanish Roast Suckling Pig


Cochinillo Asado / Spanish Roast Suckling Pig


Cochinillo Asado / Spanish Roast Suckling Pig






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