For a restaurant located in Singapore, FOC gets quite a bit of flak for what it means. After all, in local slang, FOC typically means “free of charge”
However, a flip of the restaurant’s menu reveals that FOC means fire in Catalan which is a symbol of Michelin starred chef Nandu Jubany’s intest devotion to his craft.
Ok, at least the restaurant understands the need to put the explanation up front.
I remember that when the restaurant first opened, it was the talk of town for a while and reservations were hard to get. The Michelin star status is indeed a crowd puller.
Had the opportunity to visit the place on a weekday for lunch recently and I got the try the following dishes. The concept of the restaurant is based on a tapas/sharing menu and the waitress was friendly enough to recommend a few dishes for us first timers
Croquettes – Ham & Mushroom ($10). The ham and mushroom croquettes are sold as separate tapas but the waitress offered to help us get a mix of both in one tapas serving which allowed us to try both at one go.
Between the mushroom and the ham croquette, I would say that the mushroom croquette has the edge.
Sauteed cauliflower with pine nuts and spring onion ($14). We both ‘ahhhed’ at the pretty presentation. Very nice dish
Squid Ink Paella ($24) – The paella portion seems just nice for 2 people. The paella was cooked really well, with a nice bite to the rice.
We ordered another of the popular items on the menu: Octopus Galician style -Slow Cooked & Charcoal Grilled ($22). Unfortunately, I felt that this was veering towards the overcooked scale. Some parts soft, some parts chewy.
In any case, the grilled scallops with soy caviar & bonito stock ($16) made up for the earlier disappointment. Scallop was perfectly cooked and the stock was wonderful.
We were pretty full, especially as a result of the paella. However, as it is with dessert, there is usually a bit more space to enjoy it.
Chocolate Galaxy ($12) – the waitress excitedly described it as a mountain of chocolate. I had read about this dessert before coming to the restaurant and the first thought that came into my mind was that the concept seemed really similar to Pierre Herme’s ‘Sensation Infiniment Chocolate’ which is a specialty dessert found in their Tokyo Aoyama branch.
Indeed, the elements are similar. We were presented with a solid chocolate ball. The server proceeded to pour some warm liquid chocolate, thus melting the ball to reveal three profiteroles inside (I actually think she poured too much warm chocolate… the effect would have been nicer if she had left us half of the circle to appreciate the different textures). In the end, what’s left is a gooey chocolate mess to be consumed.
Points lost for originality? However, there is nothing against the combination of chocolate and profiteroles…
Overall, a pleasant meal, some hits and misses. Service was wonderful and credit must be given to the really friendly waitresses.
Add: 40 Hongkong Street