Update: This restaurant has ceased operations. They are now located in a coffeeshop at 18 Toh Yi Drive #01-97 Singapore 590018.
Whenever I need a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life, Dempsey is always the place that comes to mind because the area is just so quiet and tranquil in the day even on weekends. Perfect when you just want to while away time while enjoying a really good brunch.
Decided to treat the husband to a brunch buffet at Don Quijote as he had been craving for Spanish food. There were 25 items on the buffet menu – not a huge selection but good enough as it had all the tapas that we wanted. For the price of $38++ per person, I thought it was rather value-for-money because if you look at the regular menu and order the tapas separately, the bill would probably be more than double of what we paid.
Juices and soft drinks were included in the $38++ package so we ordered Pineapple Juice and Lime Juice for a start which were obviously from cartons or bottles but at least they weren’t overly sweet or artificial-tasting.
One good thing about having this buffet is that each dish comes in a small shareable portion so we can order more and try most of the items on the menu. And because it’s ala carte, everything is prepared upon order so they arrive at our table, fresh and hot.
The Aguacate con Cangrejo is a crab, scallop and avocado dip served with slices of crusty bread. The bread was crispy but not brittle at all. The dip tasted predominantly of crabmeat which had a rich and sweet seafood flavour. Not bad as a cold starter.
The Albondigas is a meatball dish with a tomato-oregano sauce. The meatballs were quite hard to bite into (probably because they were made in advance and then re-heated) but the tomato sauce was nicely flavoured – tangy and not overly tomatoey with traces of concentrated paste.
The Gambas al Ajillo is perhaps one of the most well-known tapas which is basically stir fried shrimps with crispy garlic. The shrimps were fresh, crunchy and sweet and the garlic bits just imparted so much aroma to the whole dish. Loved it!
The Crema de Calabaza y Puerros or Cream of Pumpkin & Leek was creamy and well-seasoned. I would prefer it to have a more intense flavour of pumpkin though.
The Crema de Setas or Cream of Mushroom on the other hand was slightly watered down though there were plenty of mushroom bits in it. Very homely but just needed some thickening up.
The Chorizo Asado or Barbequed Spicy Sausages tasted better than I expected. Didn’t like chorizo before and we ordered this because Hubby is a big fan of it. It was like a cross between our Chinese lup cheong and those processed chicken frankfurters but with a bit of spice.
The Rollitos de Berenjena y Gambas are garlic fried shrimps rolled in eggplant. Shrimps were crunchy and all we could taste was the garlic flavour in the oil.
The Patatas Bravas or Fried Potatoes in a Spicy Tomato-Chilli Sauce was less inspiring and definitely different from the ones I had in Barcelona before. The potato cubes were soft, tender and moist but the sauce was just ordinary with not much kick.
The Calamares Fritos or Fried Battered Squids was my favourite dish of all. The squids had a really crispy coating that easily fell off but overall it was quite light and not as oily as I thought it would be. They were just so tender, almost effortless to chew. Definitely worth having seconds if you’re a fried calamari fan!
The Croquetas con Jamon were Croquettes with cured Spanish ham. Again, another winner for me. Not just because it had my favourite ham in it but because the sauce was so delicious. Good ratio of potato to filling so when we bit into each croquette, we could taste the salty ham and the creamy mash that really went so well together in terms of both flavour and texture. The exterior was also extremely crispy. Yum!
The Rollitos de Esparragos y Beicon or Asparagus rolled in Bacon was so-so. Nothing to shout about.
If you think those small-portioned tapas are not going to fill you up, there are also pastas if you want something more substantial. This was the Pasta con Ternera y Setas en Salsa de Nata or Beef and Mushroom Pasta in Cream Sauce. Surprisingly, this was one of the better cream pastas I ever had. Sauce was rich and creamy but not in a cloying manner. The beef slices were tender and the mushrooms just added on an earthy flavour. Must order! It’s a great accompaniment to go with the rest of the tapas.
This was the Manitas de Cerdo con Garbancos or Stewed Pigs Feet with White Beans. It was the only dish that I felt was a misfit with the rest of the menu because it tasted like a homely braised dish that would go best with rice, lol. Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty good, just that it didn’t match with everything else. The pigs feet had more fats than meat and were so tender that they just melted in the mouth. Really resembled Chinese style stewed pig trotters but just that this sauce was more starchy.
Setas al Ajillo or Garlic Fried Mushrooms. Simply stir fried. Pretty normal.
Revuelto de Esparragos y Gambas or Scrambled Eggs with Asparagus and Shrimps. Beautifully executed as the egg was still a little runny, creamy and moist. It had really crunchy prawns in it. Can I call this Spanish-style Egg Foo Young? 😉 Yum.
Alitas de Pollo al Ajillo con Salsa Picante or Chicken Wings in Garlic and Chilli Sauce. This had the same sauce as the Patatas Bravas so it was a little tangy and spicy at the same time.
Pollo al Chilindron or Slow Cooked Homemade Chicken Stew. The meat was so tender that it easily fell off the bone. The sauce was more tomato-based. Another pretty good homely dish.
Rollitos de Repollo con Arroz or Rice, Bacon and Nuts rolled in Cabbage. The way this was presented, I thought they looked like mini bak chang (rice dumplings), lol. This was the only dish that I didn’t like at all. It had a weird flavour and the filling was very salty.
There were only 2 types of desserts available. This was the Pastel de Naranja y Queso or Orange Cheesecake. Typical cheese cake with a biscuit base. Not overwhelmingly cheesy but because I already had too much before this so it was still a little sickly to eat. Hubby loved it though.
This was the Pudin de Pan y Mantequilla or Bread & Butter Pudding. Very enjoyable one. Moist and soft bread pudding with a not-too-sweet custard. Just wished the bread pudding was served warm instead of chilled.
Overall, we enjoyed our meal tremendously as the dishes were more hits than misses. Service was good as our glasses were frequently topped up and empty plates promptly cleared. Great atmosphere too. We definitely see ourselves returning for brunch. Highly recommended!
Block 7 Dempsey Road, #01-02
Tel: +65 6476 2811
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/donquijotespanishrestaurant
4.00pm to 10.30pm (Mon-Wed)
4.00pm to 12.00am (Thu-Fri)
11.00am to 12.00am (Sat) (Brunch 11.00am – 2.30pm)
11.00am to 10.30pm (Sun) (Brunch 11.00am – 2.30pm)