Sunday, March 31, 2019

Restaurant review: El Patio at Holland Village, Singapore

I've realised it has been ages since I posted a restaurant review so here goes!

Last Friday afternoon, I found myself in one of my old haunts in Singapore to catch up with a friend I hadn't seen for long. 

During the 5-6 years that I was studying and then working in NUS, I would visit Holland Village (or "Holland V" as we endearingly call it) at least once every two months with my colleagues to enjoy the delectable nosh that this Bohemian enclave is known for. Sometimes me and my husband would meet up there after work for dinner. Wala Wala, Hatched, La Nonna, Fatboy's, Al Hamra and NYDC used to be eateries I'd frequent. Not to mention, the mandatory pit stop at Provence to tapao my favourite milk pan *sighs*. Being the foodie that I am, it is one of the few aspects of NUS life that I miss the most ­čś×

Whether you want to chill out with a drink, are hungry for a hearty dinner, looking for in-between meal nibbles or crave sumptuous desserts, Holland V has something to offer for everybody. Every time I visit, I find a new and interesting place to add to my growing list of eateries to try. The vibrancy of the location, quality food establishments and laid-back vibe makes this hipster neighbourhood popular with both the locals and expats alike. 

Not having any agenda as to where to go, me and my friend walked around taking a peek at a few of the menus of the eateries dotting the streets. Finally, we settled on the Mexican restaurant El Patio. My love for Mexican food runs deep and having been to both El Patio and its neighbouring Mexican establishment Cha Cha Cha in the past, I knew that vegetarian options were available and the quality of food would be decent. I will say that I still don't think Singapore has any mind-blowing Mexican restaurants which is such a darn pity! Of the lot, my favourite continues to be Margarita's. 

El Patio is a medium-sized restaurant that serves Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes in an alfresco setting. The restaurant has a cozy and chilled-out vibe and is well-maintained. The interiors are eye-catching, dominated by a Mexican-inspired bold color palette, wall art and decorative elements. 

The restaurant happened to be quite empty when we arrived. We picked a table of our choice and poured through the menu.

We were served a complimentary basket of nachos and salsa which was good and it took care of the immediate hunger pangs.

It was a hot day (as usual!) so I ordered a cold guava flavoured Jarritos soda. It was quite sweet but refreshing nonetheless. My friend had a bad throat so hence ordered a hot chamomile tea. 

For starters, we ordered Jalape├▒o poppers which came served on a bed of salad with a chile sauce on the side. The poppers were fresh, hot and crispy with a creamy cheesy filling and dipped in the flavourful sauce, it made for a tasty starter indeed. 

We then ordered the mushroom and spinach quesadilla. The quesadilla was served with salad, guacamole, sour cream and tomato salsa. The quesadilla itself was alright but not remarkable. I was missing the cheese and silently chastised myself for not ordering the cheese quesadilla. The sliced jalape├▒os in the salad added a nice touch. I liked the guacamole but I did not like the salsa. It lacked flavour mostly consisting of small cubes of tomato  mixed with red onion and it didn't have the consistency to serve as a dip. 

For the main course, we ordered the vegetarian fajita. It came with four soft flour tortillas and condiments including salad, guacamole, sour cream and tomato salsa. The sizzling platter consisted of onions, zucchini and cottage cheese (I'm guessing) smothered in a moreish sweet and sour sauce. This dish was the highlight of our meal. It was packed with flavour, delicious and satisfying. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a good vegetarian dish in the area. 

Since the restaurant was not crowded, we enjoyed a quiet and peaceful lunch chatting away non-stop and reminiscing about the good old times whilst sharing a common love for Mexican food. 

Although quite full by then, I had decided not to eat till I was bursting at the seams because I really wanted to sample the signature Acai bowl at Project A├ža├ş located nearby. We wrapped up our lunch at El Patio and settled the  bill. 

My concluding remarks,
Located in the beating heart of Holland V, El Patio is a quaint little restaurant serving reasonably good Mexican food. The menu has an interesting mix of dishes and there are a few vegetarian options. When we visited, the service was fast, courteous and efficient. The portion-size  of the dishes were sufficient, ingredients fresh and the quality of food was mostly good (however, I cannot vouch for the authenticity). I found the prices to be quite reasonable and I'd say you would need to fork out around $30-35 per person. Overall, a nice place to enjoy a meal.

I'd recommend this restaurant for couples, families and small groups of friends or colleagues. 

My rating for this restaurant is

El Patio
Address: 34 Lorong Mambong, Holland Village, Singapore 277691
Opening hours: Mon 1pm-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Tue-Fri 12pm-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Sat-Sun 11am-11pm
Tel: 6468 1520


P.S. - This is not an invited or sponsored post 

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