Friday, March 6, 2015

12th Anniversary Dinner @ Milagro Spanish Restaurant, Orchard Central

On Monday after work, we headed down to Milagro Spanish Restaurant at Orchard Central to celebrate our 12th anniversary together. I can't remember the last time we had Spanish food so was pretty excited to try this new-to-us restaurant out!

Actually, Milagro {which means "Miracle" in Spanish} is overall, pretty new too since it just opened a year ago. As we don't often go to OC, we didn't even know Milagro existed until I saw it in The Entertainer App :P I'm so glad we came and crossed one more restaurant off my list of 10 Must-Try Restaurants with the app!

Milagro is just beside the entrance to the carpark on Level 8, so even though OC can be such a crazy maze, this restaurant's pretty easy to find. Lil Pumpkin took this photo of us.. not bad right??

Milagro is pretty spacious and modern. Not much of a "Spanish feel" except for the soft background music, but that's ok. We arrived just as they were opening so it wasn't crowded at all {started to get busier around 7pm} and we got a good table near the floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of Orchard Road.

Unfortunately, there's no children menu available, but the friendly service staff are happy to recommend some kids-friendly food or even whip up something off the menu e.g. fish & chips if you'd like.

The owner, Raymond, went around attentively to all the tables to check whether the food was ok, or if the customers had any feedback so we had some time to chat with him. He is pretty soft-spoken but his passion and knowledge for Spanish cuisine shines through.

When he was an exchange student in Denmark, Raymond traveled to Spain and took up some cooking classes there. He fell in love with the food and after returning to Singapore, turned his love into this thriving business. Together with his chef {also Singaporean}, they whip up delicious home-style Spanish fare from various regions of the country at affordable prices. It tastes so good you won't even know they weren't made by a non-Spanish!

We ordered some tapas first since our paella takes about 20 mins to cook. The Padrón Peppers {S$11} are wickedly delicious peppers from Galicia {province in north-western Spain}, fried in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Most Padrón peppers are non-spicy and safe even for Lil Pumpkin, but some can be mildly spicy. They reminded me of Piman {ピーマン}, which are small green Japanese peppers that are sweet and usually served in tempura. Really yummy stuff. 

Pan Con Tomate with Jamón {S$5 each} is a classic Catalan tapa of fresh Roma plum tomatoes rubbed over toasted bread.

We couldn't get over how tasty the Jamón ibérico {cured ham} was and ordered a Cheese Platter with Jamón ibérico {think it was S$26}. Raymond actually came over to explain from which Spanish region the various cheese were from, but all I can remember is how much I love the blue cheese! :P Lil Pumpkin ate all of the crackers, of course haha.

Nom nom nom... Milagro has an extensive list of cocktails, mocktails and Spanish wine but since the boy and I don't {usually} drink, we enjoyed our glasses of Spanish iced latte instead :) Not as sweet as Vietnamese coffee, but I still found it pretty sweet and delightful. 

The Galician Slow-Cooked Octopus {S$18} is boiled octopus drizzled with olive oil, paprika and sea salt. It was really tender and the salt helped to bring out the sweetness in the soft octopus.

The Chicken A La Catalana {S$19} is one of Raymond's favourite dish and came highly recommended so even though we were having a chicken paella, we couldn't resist trying out the chicken leg braised in apricots, pine nuts and white wine. The meat was soooo soft it just dropped of the bones, just the way I like it :)

Lil Pumpkin ate very well during the whole meal. So glad her fussy food days are over. I really love watching her eat. Is it a mummy thing?? :P

Milagro offers many kinds of Paella, a rice dish originating from Valencia {east coast of Spain} such as Paella de Marisco {seafood paella, S$59}, Arròs Negre {squid ink paella, S$59}, Paella de la Primavera {vegetarian paella, S$53} and even Lobster Paella {S$98}. Each of their Paella can serve about 2-8 pax.

We had the Paella Valenciana {S$47}, a classic paella with chicken, French beans, saffron and spices. I read that a key feature of authentic paella is that the rice is unevenly cooked. Good paella takes a long time to cook because stirring of the rice is not allowed. The rice forms distinct layers with important qualities: top layer is "al dente" and firm, middle layer fully absorbs the rich broth, while bottom layer caramelises perfectly to form a socarrat - that crunchy rice crust we looooove to scrap from the bottom of claypot rice :P

Our paella certainly had all these qualities and was so incredibly rich in flavour. It was certainly enough to feed all 3 of us very fully!!

But of course, there's always room for desserts and we had the Leche Frita {S$7} and Hand-pressed Churros {S$5}. I've been craving for churros for a very long time and was delighted to finally munch into this delicious choux pastry topped with cinnamon & sugar with a salted caramel dip. Served hot and crispy {not too doughy}, the portion is just right to keep you satisfied, yet not bursting at the seams from a full dinner.

This was the first time we tried the Leche Frita, or Spanish fried milk fritters and I was curious to know how they fry milk??! Apparently the secret lies in the flour... The boy really loved it, which is quite surprising since he doesn't usually like desserts. Although pretty tasty on its own, I liked it better with the zesty orange whip cream it came with.

When I was studying in Ryukoku, we used to have house parties pretty often. Some of my uni dorm mates were Spanish exchange students who loved to share their cooking and of course, Sangria {a type of punch made with wine, chopped fruit, sweetener and brandy} and brought it along to the parties. It was a crazy fun time and feasting the home-style Spanish cuisine at Milagro brought back those happy memories for me. I certainly want to go back again to try their Braised Beef Cheek and Black Peppercorn Crab Pasta!

Such a wonderful anniversary dinner with the family and I'm feeling so so blessed. Look forward to exploring more new-to-us restaurants for the rest of the year! Woohoo~!

Promo: 25% OFF new dishes that are added to the menu every month. Includes salads, soups, tapas, main courses and cocktails.

Milagro Spanish Restaurant
#08-06/07 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road
Open daily: 12 noon to 2.30pm, 6pm to 9.30pm
Tel: 6238 6248
*No GST or Service Charge

Disclosure: This is a review for Milagro Spanish Restaurant. All opinions are my own.



Lucy @ Bake Play Smile said...

Gorgeous photos!! The food looks divine! I love jamon - so tasty!

An Apel a Day said...

WOW that looks like a great place to eat! What great pictures you got!

Masshole Mommy said...

What an awesome restaurant. I love Spanish food.

mail4rosey said...

I've never heard of fried milk either. I'd try it. :) Happy you got out and about to celebrate your big day!

Ai Sakura said...

Lucy: yeah it was sooo good!

Alissa: thank you :)

Masshole Mommy: I think I'm going to have more of it from now on ;)

Mail4rosey: thank you!

Grace said...

All that amazing food!!! Hand pressed churros? Does it get any better?
Happy Anniversary to you and your gorgeous family x

Stacy said...

Isn't that a lot of food for 3? You have some lunch-mates hidden somewhere? :)

I'm happy when my kids eat well too! It doesn't happen often with mine.