by Qian Leung
@ 30 Jun 2017
Located in Robertson Quay, Foodbar Dada is helmed by Chef Jordi Noguera (pictured), formerly of three- Michelin-starred restaurant Arzak in San
Sebastián, Spain. “Working there influenced me a lot,” says the Catalan chef. “Because I came from a small town, and we like traditional food.” He also learnt to keep a sense of the main ingredient in his dishes. About 80 percent of the dishes that he serves are prepared in the bar’s charcoal oven. “It is the soul of the restaurant,” he says. For example, in the tangy dish of wilted artichoke, the cooking oil used in the almond vinaigrette is smoked in the Josper grill, lending it a smoky edginess.
He does a Galicia-style octopus, but instead of traditional potato discs, he serves it on mashed potatoes instead, and seasons it with paprika, olive oil, sea salt, and chives. Try the escalivada toast, which is delicious, with a base of crunchy toast, topped with anchovy and red pepper in two forms escalivada (“roasted” in Spanish), and foamed. “It is good to know the technique,” Chef Noguera says. “If it enhances the taste of the ingredient, I will use it.” When talking about the cod puff, Chef Noguera seems to hold a specialfondness.
The cod puff is a typical Catalan dish. Instead of milk or water, he uses the water from boiling the cod fish, to intensify its aroma. The pâte choux is shaped into balls with two spoons, before being dropped into the deep-fryer. In the mouth, the morsels delight with a spectacular, cottony fluffiness. A dessert of hot crumble pastry over apple, served with cinnamon ice cream, is also worth checking out. The narrow slip of a bar seats only 14 people at any one time, but pray hard, and you may just get a seat, and catch the good-looking chef in action!