Escape to the Basque Country When You Dine at The Alkaff Mansion
The Basque Country, which straddles the border between northern Spain and France, is a gourmand’s dream destination for good reason. Its third biggest city, San Sebastian, is home to the most number of Michelin-starred restaurants per capita in the world. It’s also worth noting that the independent nation has gifted the world with delectable dishes—some of the more popular ones are the quintessential pintxos (tapas), txuleta (steak), and, of course, the world-famous Basque burnt cheesecake.
While the current pandemic makes it impossible to visit this food mecca, you don’t need to fly all the way there for an authentic dining experience. Right here in Singapore is the refurbished The Alkaff Mansion, home to Una restaurant serving inspired Basque and Spanish fare.
You’ll be able to enjoy the delicious offerings in the al fresco area, a well-ventilated garden conservatory surrounded by lush greenery, as well as inside the main dining room.
Ensuring the dishes stay true to the spirit of Basque cuisine, the restaurant has partnered with Basqvium, an organisation that advocates Basque cuisine and culture outside Spain. The restaurant has the Spanish Cuisine Development team made up of Basque chefs, who work closely with head chef Tom Kung to whip up signature Basque dishes and other Spanish favourites.
Immerse yourself in its vibrant culture, starting with unique Spanish wines (some of which you can only find here) and innovative tipples. The Tinto de Pintxos—concocted with red wine, pisco and sweet vermouth—is the perfect sundowner and is a great complement to the robust flavours of the cuisine.
(Related: 5 Reasons To Dine At The Alkaff Mansion)
The country’s proximity to the water translates to a breadth of mouth-watering seafood dishes. And there’s no better way to start the meal than with the pulpo a la parilla, featuring pristine octopus tentacle slow-cooked to ensure the meat remains moist and tender. It’s simply grilled over charcoal for a slightly charred and smoky finish, and served with baby potatoes and a flavoursome coriander and paprika sauce. There’s also the paella de marisco, a classic seafood dish of bomba rice jam-packed with ocean-fresh prawns, clams and mussels, and finished with a touch of saffron spice.
(Related: A Food Lover's Guide To San Sebastian, Spain)
For your dose of protein, the must-try dish is the cult favourite—txuleta. While the locals in Basque use a cow aged between eight to 18 years old (for its complex flavours), the chefs at Una prefer a five- to eight-year-old Wagyu beef with beautiful marbling and tender texture. To enhance the rich flavours, the beef is grilled with a bit of salt and served with a potent piquillo emulsion—a concoction of piquillo peppers, olive oil and garlic.
Enjoy these delectable offerings à la carte or in a set menu with optional wine pairing. The latter lets you tuck into traditional favourites including arroz de carabinero, comprising bomba rice tossed with chunks of grilled carabinero prawns and octopus, and grilled pluma Iberico pork accented with padron peppers and potato foam. Whatever you choose, the meal here serves as your gastronomic ticket to eating well in the Basque Country.
The Alkaff Mansion | 10 Telok Blangah Green, S(109178) | 6773 0070 | email@example.com