Hong Kong Street (HKS) is one of the small, parallel streets criss-crossing two main thoroughfares of South Bridge Road and New Bridge Road. Once a dingy, dirty street with many dry goods 海味 shops only frequented by restaurant owners buying ingredients for their shops, and home to a very famous street side tzechar store called Zhen Ji 珍记. It went into oblivion for a while when URA decided to revamp this place and landlords up the rentals. Zhen Ji moved on into the heartlands, and the fabric of the place changed.
What the rental hikes have done was to push out many of the old business in the area. Modern day HKS is now home to many yoga studios and hipster bars. Just check out what’s available here. One of the newcomers to this old street is FOC by Nandu Jubany.
FOC was the brainchild of Michelin-starred Nandu Jubany of Can Jubany in Barcelona. Together with Chef Jordi Noguera and mixologist Dario Knox, they came up with this tapas bar that served bold interpretations of traditional Spanish tapas. When does a bartender become a mixologist? When a cook becomes a chef 🙂 Tapas made atas (classy).
We started with “Coca de Foie” with Caramelised Apple, Strawberries and Port Wine – pate of duck liver on toast served with caramelised apple bites and chopped up fresh strawberries with a dash of Port with mesclun. The taste was well-balanced with the saltiness of the pate that was made more palatable with chunks of sweet and sour of apple and strawberries. But overall nothing to shout for – I was hoping for a warm toast with cold pate, that would be a wake-up call for the palate.
Next up, Fresh Oyster with Ponzu & Escabeche. Escabeche is the name for a number of dishes in Mediterranean and Latin American cuisines which can refer to a dish of fish marinated and cooked in an acidic mixture and usually colored with pimenton or saffron. ( Thanks Wiki) So while I was expecting a cold oyster dish, here’s a warm oyster in escabeche. So the use of ponzu and escabeche in the same dish is like calling lemon sour.
In close up, you can see the citrusy liquid that the Belon has been poached in, and a dash of brown ponzu that added the salty and sour. I quite enjoyed it, despite I never really liked warm oysters.
Next, “Patatas Bravas” FOC Style. This is a modern twist to the classic patatas braves – cubes of potato in spicy, tomato sauce. Here in FOC, this dish had become a combination of the fresh mozzarella and tomato and potato crisps, drizzled in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The tomato has been cooked and poached in a slightly spicy sauce. The overall taste was like the classic, but better. I loved this!
You can order the croquettes based on the number of people you have on the day. Nad from left to right, we had ham, chicken and mushroom croquettes with fresh aioli. Yummy.
The next dish was Heirloom Tomato Salad with Basil, Green Olives & Tuna Belly, the ceviche of the evening. You can’t really differentiate the tomato and the tuna because they were all cured in the very good olive oil.
And instead of the usual paella to fill our stomach, FOC served a very rarely found Suckling Pig & Scallops “Fideuà” – or what my old sister called crispy char bee hoon. Crackling of the pig was combined in the crispy fideua (a bit like bee hoon) that was fried to shreds.
From the serving, it really looked like badly fried bee hoon that my mother would frown on. “How can you fry bee hoon until they all break up like this?” my mom would exclaim. But here, it lived in a really wok-hei noodles that had that umami satisfaction with every mouthful.
One more warm dish, Board Beans, “Ibérico” Ham foam & Baby Squids. Don’t really like the overcooked squids and lack of ham.
And for a sweet ending, FOC Mini Chocolate Burger – no it’s not Free Of Charge, it’s actually $12 each for a dessert about the size of a baseball.
Overall, I would recommend FOC for an after office drink and some snacks. But getting one filled in this place would take a bit of ordering (and costs), and not recommended for big group (because of small tables) and romantic dates (because the ambiance was quite quirky).
40 Hongkong Street, Singapore 059679
Tel: +65 6100 4040
Date visited : Sep 2017