Tonight, instead of doing my Spanish homework, I fled the noise of the Chinese New Year celebrations (day 3 of 19) and went to Binomio, a Spanish restaurant on Craig Road.
It’s a strange location. Over the road is a traditional shop house, next to a fenced-in football court, both loomed over by an enormous, fifty storey tower block. To be sat there, eating tapas, far far far away from the Iberian Peninsula, is a little odd. But then it’s warm and it’s not raining, and the child is slumbering at home, despite the high-volume celebrations below. What’s not to like?
We ordered six different plates. The waiter seemed a bit worried, as if he doubted our ability to deal with this much food. Was he not aware he was confronting a pregnant woman and a man who hadn’t eaten for eight hours?
Before any food, I had a beer. A beer made with sea water, although like most lager, it tasted just like lager, so I’m not sure what difference that was meant to make.
We started with asparagus (which in Spanish is known as "asparagus" but pronounced with a novelty Spanish accent). This was fantastic, smoky and rich in flavour. I followed up with mushroom croquettes, which were good but felt a little too creamy after the eldritch powers of el asparaguuuus. Then a bowl of patatas bravas came, a bowl of chicken stew for my wife, and a plate of pimientos patron – green, salty peppers. It was greatly enjoyable for me to encounter all these foods that we covered in my Spanish class last week.
Finally, a bowl of olives, something I’d expected at the start, but in this topsy turvy world who can complain if the normal rules of olive delivery are defied? Some of the olives were a bit cold, which I didn’t like so much, but I let it pass.
I was of course holding on for dessert, a crema catalana. This was the only disappointment for me; though the bowl was warm and the top crispy, the innards were cooler than I felt they should be, as though it had too recently emerged from the fridge. Given everything else was so good, this seemed a strange failing. Perhaps I’ll have to go back and try it again to be sure.
We got home at ten. The music was still reverberating around our apartment. It was doubly strange to be snatched back from Spain and into the loudest version of China anyone in Singapore has imagined. I will quite miss it when I go.