Lolla restaurant on Ann Siang Road that is, and yes, she was a showgirl. The prime dining area of Lolla is at the bar counter where 15 or so lucky diners get to see the chefs perform their craft at close range. The open concept kitchen means that everything in the kitchen was on display – from the culinary skills of the chefs to the ingredients that they were putting into the food.
Most diners, including ourselves, would prefer to be seated at the counter to watch the chefs’ performance. But for those who are not able to get a place at the counter, there is another dining area in the basement. Very dark like a dungeon, but it has charm and may appeal to some. The main negative is that there is only one large community dining table.
The menu at Lolla Singapore is quite simple – starters, vegetables, meat and seafood. Some additional dishes are spelt out on their chalkboard. Lolla refers to her cuisine as “inspired yet simple small plates combining the finest ingredients…with the influences of the Mediterranean”. Here is a portion of their menu. The full menu can be viewed online (the link is at the bottom of this post).
We ordered four small plates and a dessert. The first dish was the Spanish tortilla with smoked eel ($24). This dish which is a staple at Spanish tapas restaurants was well-made and was full of flavour. The smoked eel topping added another layer of taste and texture. This small plate was not that small. Very good.
There is a long wine list at Lolla, but only two types of beer. We tried the Vedett White beer ($15). A Belgian beer, it was light fruity and pleasant. Good beer.
Our second dish was the Grilled Avocado ($16). One avocado was cut into halves and grilled till it was charred at its edges. The various condiments such as onions, breadcrumbs and others that we cannot identify, combined with the creamy avocado to make an unusual complex taste. Very good.
The slow cooked short-rib was a chalk-board item ($27). The short-rib was a chunk of well cooked pork resting on a bed of mashed potato. A generous amount of water-cress help to reduce the heaviness of the dish. The meat was tender and easy-going, but unlike the first two dishes, there was no distinctive taste. Not bad.
Our last savoury dish was the lamb rack ($28). This was a plate with two small lamb chops. But what it lacked in size, it made up in flavours. It was a very tender and flavourful lamb chop. The sauce was superb and made the lamb and the kale taste even better. Excellent !
The four small plates were actually just right for the two of us. But we decided to try one dessert for the road. We decided on the Crema Catalana ($12) because the it was described to us so beautifully by the staff. We thought it would be a special kind of creme brulee. But in the end it was quite a plain-looking and tasting specimen.
It was an enjoyable lunch at Lolla and she does put on a good show. This Lolla was not flamboyant, no yellow feathers in her hair but she could still cha-cha and do the merengue. We can see why she has received rave reviews. The place is very simple but the combination of good food and friendly service is a winning one. The folks behind Lolla Singapore have opened another restaurant and called it Lollapalooza. We wished that they had named it Ricco instead.
“Her name was Lola”
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
22 Ann Siang Road
Tel: 6423 1228