Good Eats

Pura Brasa @ Tanjong Pagar

Pura Brasa is an experimental tapas place opened as a showcase of the oven-grill maker, and they finally made it here in Singapore.

Pura Brasa was created by Josper, the internationally recognized brand of charcoal ovens, with the aim to be a place to give ideas to Josper’s customers and teach them how to implement the grills and ovens and the variety of applications they have. Eating at Pura Brasa is the best way to see how the Josper technology works.

With the Delta variant in full swing, the five per dine-in restriction was still in place, and the social distancing within the restaurants was supervised by these cute Safety Distancing Am”bears”sadors.

Tableware

Pura Brasa’s cuisine is based on quality products, with simple and original elaborations and the touch of Josper. The menu seeks originality and has been designed to include a wide variety of dishes: tapas, salads, burgers, fish and meat, all with the characteristic flavour of grilled cooking. 

Cocktails and cold beer

Patatas “Bravas” sauce

Patatas “Bravas” sauce

Patatas bravas are one of Spain’s most popular tapas. Like many classic Spanish dishes, an authentic bravas sauce recipe is based on just a few essential ingredients. Olive oil, seasonings, flour, and broth are combined to achieve the right flavour and consistency. The sauce is different in different restaurants and is guarded secret of the chef.

Mediterranean salad

Mediterranean salad

Almost like a Greek salad but without the cucumber. Mix lettuce, red onion, sweet corn, san marzano tomato, green olives, boiled egg and balsamic dressing.

Prawn casserole sautéed with garlic chilli peppers and olive oil

Prawn casserole sautéed with garlic chilli peppers and olive oil

Another tapas classic, gambas al ajillo (Spanish garlic shrimp) was perfectly salted and the olive oil and red pepper became a great dip with the toasted crystal bread. Crystal bread was developed and born in Barcelona, more specifically by the baker Jordi Nomen from Concept Pa Bakery, around 10 years ago. It has lots of similarities to the traditional ciabatta bread, which came from Italy, but just “holier”.

Homemade Spanish croquettes with chicken and pork ham

Homemade Spanish croquettes with chicken and pork ham

Spanish croquettes are the perfect representation of tapas. They come in a delicious variety of flavours. They’re almost impossibly creamy and rich. And they’re perfect for sharing with family or friends. These croquettes came with minced chicken with pork ham wrapped with mashed potato, breaded and deep fried. Topped with a freshly made aioli and you have the conversation piece that would be loved by young and old.

Grilled mussels, neither steamed nor a la mariners..cooked directly on the fire!

Grilled mussels, neither steamed nor a la mariners..cooked directly on the fire!

If you were expecting a sauce or broth to dip your bread into, this had none. The mussels were roasted in the Josper to retain all the natural sweetness. Nothing else.

Grilled octopus leg with potato truffle puree

Grilled octopus leg with potato truffle puree

Octopus legs are featured at both end of the Mediterranean Sea – the Spanish and the Greeks featured them in their cuisine, and prepare them almost the same way – grilled with aromatic spices like cayenne, paprika, etc. It was the mashed potato on the based that gave the wow factor with the truffle oil infusion.

Ibérico de bellota ham and bread with tomato spread

Ibérico de bellota ham and bread with tomato spread

The finest grade is called jamón ibérico de bellota (acorn). This ham is from free-range pigs that roam oak forests (called dehesas) along the border between Spain and Portugal and eat only acorns during this last period. The exercise and diet have a significant effect on the flavour of the meat; the ham is cured for 36 months. I find the carving of the ham required some more practice, most of them were uneven and breaking up in pieces.

Surprising the pan con tomate was really delicious and demonstrated the advantage of the Josper oven. It’s got only five ingredients—bread, tomato, olive oil, garlic, and salt—and requires barely any actual cooking, yet it’s precisely this simplicity and restraint that make it such a perfect dish. The Josper gave the bread the smokiness and char for extra flavours.

1/4 Spanish suckling pig roasted in Josper charcoal oven

1/4 Spanish suckling pig roasted in Josper charcoal oven

At first glance, my guests thought I ordered Filipino lechon. It actually has the same Spanish root to the roasted suckling pig. There are more herbs used for the Filipino version and the seasoning are stuffed in the pig’s stomach. The Spanish version depends on just a brine and then just salt and pepper to give it flavour in the Josper oven. The meat was fork tender and yet the skin remained crispy. Came with mesclun salad, its own au jus from the roasting, and fried garlic chips.

Charcoal seafood paella by Josper

Charcoal seafood paella by Josper

This is how I remember paella as they would serve it in Spain. Paella in Singapore has almost become like a risotto, but in Spain they are drier but each rice pearl has absorbed all the flavours of the stock. The best part is the rice and not the ingredients. The only concession they have made for the Singaporean palate – the rice is cooked softer and not al dente.

Spanish charcoal fideua with mussels and allioli sauce

Spanish charcoal fideua with mussels and allioli sauce

I had the best fideua in Singapore at FOC. Pura Brasa’s version used angel hair pasta and was more chewy and dry because of the grilling in the Josper. Still prefer the FOC version.

Desserts and Churros

From top: raspberry cheesecake, churros with chocolate dip and lava cake with vanilla ice cream

Well, the desserts were a bit of a disappointment, so it’s OK to skip it and order a couple more tapas. Or go next door for some Japanese desserts.

I was very candid with their manager when she came over to say hello. The food was good, the atmosphere relaxed, it would be a very successful happy hour drinking hole given the superb location. But the tapas list could be longer.

Restaurante Pura Brasa Singapore
5 Wallich Street, #01-16 Guoco Tower Singapore 078883
Tel : +65 6386 9678

Date Visited : Sep 2021

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