Today I discovered a different side to the quiet and laidback area of Jalan Jurong Kechil. Lorong Kilat runs a lane before Chun Tin Road (where the homely Sup Sip & Vis-a-Vis resides) and is slowly welcoming new F&B establishments like Don Quijote which I visited for lunch today. Don Quijote has been around since January 2009 and will soon have a new neighbour – U.d.d.e.r.s opening on 19 June 2009. The Spanish restaurant is tucked away behind Shell station and faces Poh Tai Kok Temple on Lorong Kilat. Enticed by rave reviews about their paella and sangrias, K and I made a trip to satisfy our long-overdue paella craving. And I must say, we were not disappointed. Don Quijote has branches in Singapore and Macao, and their menu boasts more than 25 tapas and traditional Spanish fare like Paella Valencia, and the rare Jamón Ibérico (Iberian ham).
After placing our order for Don Quijote’s Special Paella [****.] for 2-4 pax ($54), we were told that preparation and cooking will take 20-25 minutes…which is totally understandable because they use really fresh ingredients and paella is always made to order. For a moment I considered ordering some tapas to start us off, but recalled the waitress telling us their medium portion was pretty big. In any case, our waitresses for the day were very attentive and furnished us with another basket of bread the moment we were done. What they said was a 20-25 minute wait was really a lot shorter.
And to my delight, the rice was yellow. Not orange or red, but yellow. Which can only mean that they definitely used saffron. Hence the price tag. If it were tomato-based, the rice grains will be orangey-red which is typical of some of the many variations of this popular staple in the Spanish diet. Earlier on, we could choose to have our rice done al dente or soft, and we picked al dente. However, it turned out rather soft though it was still very good.
I loved the rice which was thoroughly infused with savoury flavours, light spices, and rich broth. Every grain oozed seafood goodness. The assortment of seafood comprised clams, mussels, king prawns, and squid rings. Beneath this pile of seafood you see here, the rice was mixed with small chunks of chicken and yet more prawns. A real hearty seafood meal. The best part for me was the bottom of the pan where the rice grains were slightly charred (not burnt) and the small prawns that absorbed the myriad of flavours. Every mouthful had the succulent taste of fresh seafood.
So despite the price, we were getting great quality paella in generous portions. By the end of the meal I was too stuffed for dessert or more tapas, and I believe I speak for K as well. Don Quijote has 3-course lunch sets and other promotions, so do check out their website for more details. Well, one thing’s for sure – I’ll definitely come back for more.
Taste – 8/10
Price – $$$
Service – 9/10
Ambience – 8/10
Accessibility – 6/10
[$]-cheap like peanuts: ($10 & below/person)
[$$]-average Jane ($15-$25/person)
[$$$]-you might wanna tke tht card out..($30-$60/person)
[$$$$]-extremely exorbitant ($70 & above/person)
[* to *****] – rating(s) for individual dishes
Open from Tuesdays to Sundays
Lunch: 11.30am to 2.30pm
Dinner: 6.00pm to 10.30pm
Sunday Brunch: 11.30am to 3.00pm
Dress code: Casual or Smart Casual
Nearest MRT: Clementi
Buses: 985, 157, 61…