District 10 Bar Tapas Restaurant at The Star Vista is The Bonta Group’s latest addition, featuring an open tapas and pinchos bar concept. Loyal fans of the flagship outlet at UE Square will find familiar favourites in the menu, although the menus are slightly different. One of the more distinct differences between the two outlets would be their comparatively independent brunch menu.
I visited the outlet at The Star Vista twice, once for a Sunday brunch, and another on a weekday evening. The vibes are rather contrasting. I will consolidate both dining experiences into a single post.
During the day, though partially obstructed by wine bottles placed in front of floor-to-ceiling window panels, sunrays spill into the restaurant infinitely through whatever little gaps that weren’t possible to elude from. The spacious dining room is naturally illuminated, bright and airy.
By night, the dim environment makes for a cosy and relaxing chill-out spot to nibble and tipple over long conversations.
The al fresco area turns into a vibrant tippling spot by night, with the young and hip and working executives with loosened ties filling up the seats, amplifying the volume with their chattering and clinking of glasses.
The main attraction of this place would be the customised see-through box, created for one to drink up and smash glass bottles and your stress into insignificant fragments (without hurting anyone).
Its all-day menu boasts over 35 selections of tapas and pinchos, alongside soups, mains, pizzas and a few desserts. Here are some of the items that I’ve tried:
Smoked Salmon with Potato Salad ($3.80)
Pinchos are small bites skewed on long toothpicks. Quite a number of pinchos on their menu comprise of a toast as a base. The Smoked Salmon with Potato Salad is a simple and fuss-free grub that requires little effort to score your affection.
Mini Black Angus Cheddar Cheese Burger ($7)
The Mini Black Angus Cheddar Cheese Burger is highly recommended. Despite its petite frame, the tender patty bursts with juiciness –one that only the perfect medium-rare doneness can bring forth. The quality of the beef shines with luminary and allure.
Jumbo Crab Cake ($14)
I ordered the Jumbo Crab Cake on both visits. My first encounter with it didn’t leave a stark impression –it was neither outstanding nor appalling. During my second visit, I was unfortunately horror-stricken by an unpleasant fishy stench. I wouldn’t recommend this dish, for fear the consistency might fluctuate.
Manchego Cheese and Jamon Croquette ($8.80)
Instead of the Jumbo Crab Cake, you can consider ordering the fail-proof Manchego Cheese and Jamon Croquette. Crisply golden brown on the outside, it is lusciously creamy with bits of Jamon on the inside.
Sautéed Mushroom with garlic and parsley ($8)
For something that will grasp the attention of your snout, the Sautéed Mushroom with garlic and parsley will mesmerise your sniffing organs with its constant aroma.
Spanish Potato Tortilla ($9.80)
The Spanish Potato Tortilla is a highlight. Paper-thin layers of potato are packed on top of each other, bound together in eggy custard to form the most intricate form of comfort food. It left me wanting more.
Natural Cut French Fries ($9)
The urge to wolf down the fries is surprisingly indomitable in this case. Natural cut fries are always better than factory-produced fries. Already good on its own, you can amp things up by ordering it with a truffle dip by topping up $3.
“Huevos Rotos” with Fries and Jamon ($14)
The “Huevos Rotos” with Fries and Jamon is topped with a sunny side up egg, which one would be more than excited to break the yolk, allowing it to bleed with its orangey-yellow goodness coating everything underneath.
Grilled Salmon with Vegetables skewers ($14)
There is also a selection of skewers on the menu. Predictably, I ordered the Grilled Salmon with Vegetables for the love of fish. I am highly satisfied with my choice, for the salmon turned out to tender and moist with an invitingly smoky hint.
French Onion Soup ($12)
Do not let the price of the French Onion Soup dismay you. This generous portion is good for two to share, but of course one of me can easily inhale it with not a drop left to surrender.
The flavour is intense –evidence that no efforts are spared in the cooking process. Fully extracting the goodness from the caramelised onions into the soup, between sips are tender slivers of onion that glide down your throat.
Rigatoni with Wagyu Meat balls in tomato sauce ($23)
For something more substantial, there are pastas and meats in the main course section.
Roasted Seabass in lemon butter sauce ($27)
The Roasted Seabass in lemon butter sauce did not disappoint one bit –probably one of the best-executed dishes of the night. Not lacking in tenderness and moisture, this marks the prolonging of my love for fish.
Hoegarden Battered Fish & Chips ($22)
The Hoegarden Battered Fish & Chips comes with mint mushy peas and tartare sauce as condiments. The pea puree didn’t quite fit in, although it is nice to see something different on a plate of fish and chips.
I enjoyed the fish so much that I ordered it again during my second visit –only to be slightly disappointed with the lack of salt. That however didn’t stop me from polishing off the consistently-tender-and-succulent fish. This is where the tartar sauce comes in handy.
Wagyu Beef Rendang Pizza ($28, Chef’s special, off the menu)
The most memorable dish has got to be the Wagyu Beef Rendang Pizza. I had expected the chunks of beef to be slightly dry and tough, but upon my first bite, its tenderness blew me away. On top of that, the beef is well infused with the richness of the rendang gravy. This is a must try!
District 10 Sour Cherry Sundae ($11)
Desserts were not exceptionally good or worth visiting for. The District 10 Sour Cherry Sundae for instance lacks oomph in terms of taste and texture.
Crema Catalana ($9.80)
The Crema Catalana is a classic dessert that’s decently executed –it’s basically smooth custard with a caramelised sugar crust. There’s no wow-factor, but I can’t fault it.
Warm Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream ($14)
The Warm Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream is probably my favourite amongst the three, but it is simply moist chocolate cake satisfying my chocolate cravings, and sweet-tooth-friendly ice cream to complement. There is nothing to shout about.
Moving on to the brunch menu:
At The Star Vista outlet, brunch is available only on Sundays, from 12 to 3pm.
Eggs Florentine Poached eggs on a toasted muffin with sautéed spinach and hollandaise sauce ($14)
The requisite molten yolk of a perfectly poached egg never ceases to delight me. What surprised me more was the fact that I actually adored the sautéed spinach that’s sandwiched between the egg and muffin. I ate my greens with no quibble.
Soft shell chilli crab omelette with spring onion ($15)
Soft Shell Chilli Crab Pizza ($25)
Pizza with mozzarella cheese, soft shell crab, chilli crabmeat and rocket lettuce
Pandan-coconut Pancake with Gula Melaka Syrup ($9)
The highlight of our brunch was the Pandan-coconut Pancake with Gula Melaka Syrup. It is one-of-a-kind with its quirky green tint, fragrance of pandan, coconut shavings atop, and the liberal drizzle of gula Melaka. The combination is impeccable. This is a must-order!
District 10 Bar Tapas Restaurant at The Star Vista
1 Vista Exchange Green
The Star Vista #01-42/K3
Tel: (65) 6694 2884
Fax: (65) 6694 3994
Opening hours: http://www.district10.com.sg/starvista/contact.php