Tucked away in an old vintage refurbished shop house in the middle of hip and trendy Hong Kong Street in downtown Singapore lies FOC (pronounced “fok”, not F.O.C). This unusual moniker of a brand name satirically sounds a smidgen like our favourite F-word when uttered with a stiff upper lipped British accent. FOC means “fire” in Catalan. Unknown to most, Catalan is not a dialect of Spanish, but a Latin-derived language unique to Barcelona, Andorra, Valencia, and the autonomous northeastern regions of Spain.
Interior of FOC
FOC is the collaborative and collective brainchild of Michelin star chef Nandu Jubany, master chef Jordi Noguera and award winning mixologist Dario Knox. Catalonia is famous for its excellent gastronomy characterised by fresh seafood, fine wines of international repute, and traditional cream based desserts. Because of that, FOC aims to serve up authentic Catalan recipes with aplomb and flair. Impeccably presenting these time-tested traditional dishes in a fun atmosphere and contemporary setting. Chef Jordi who hails from a family heritage of cooks, sums it all up with FOC’s motto of “Fine Fun Food”.
Master Chef Jordi Noguera
Past the glass sliding door entrance, we were greeted by a whiff of a redolent, appetite-inducing aroma. Amidst the hustle and bustle of FOC’S kitchen, a blaze of fire flares up the stove as the clanking of cooking utensils clatter faintly in the air. Patrons can sit along a bar top table counter and take in a full frontal view of the busy open kitchen and be entertained by watching several hard-working chef hands and skilfully diligent bartenders collaborate in unison to whip up delectable culinary delights and cocktails to satiate the gastronomical demands of the hungry customers.
Appetiser of skewered Anchovies and Smoked Sea Bass
To kick-start our dining experience, we were served with appetising skewers of anchovies and smoked sea bass, alongside warm toasted bread topped with puréed tomatoes that are lightly drizzled with olive oils imported from Spain. The strong salty taste of the vinegar-cured and brine-marinated anchovies, makes one inevitably reminisce of the sea and the freshest oceanic catches. Life’s simplest pleasures are oftentimes the best.
Roasted Pumkin Pudding with Smoked Eel & Foie Gras
For potato fans, the “Patatas Bravas” is a must try. The layers of flaky deep fried potatoes are paired with spicy tomato aioli and mayonnaise, and then topped with a generous sprinkling of spring onions. Much to our amazement, the ominously peculiar “Roasted Pumpkin Pudding with Smoked Eel & Foie Gras” was mouth-wateringly scrumptious. All the textures and flavours harmoniously combine together in a piquant manner, prompting us to ravenously empty every edible morsel on the plate.
Black Mediterranean Squid Ink Paella with Prawns & Squid
Watermelon Gazpacho & Smoked Olive Oil Ice Cream
A personal favourite dish at FOC has got to be their exclusive signature “Black Mediterranean Squid Ink Paella with Prawns & Squid”. The black paella was mildly moist and crispy with finely chopped up squid embedded into the rice. As a palette cleanser, the refreshing and cooling “Watermelon Gazpacho & Smoked Olive Oil Ice Cream” had a revitalising zesty zing with subtle smoky undertones.
The mini Chocolate Burger dessert
To end off our lunch on a sugary high, “Spanish French Toast & Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream” leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy. Giggling with amusement at the mini chocolate burger, this odd dessert creation is unique to FOC. You will definitely leave the restaurant feeling so immensely grateful and gratified with full bellies that you might simply skip dinner.
40 Hong Kong Street
Contributed by Luke Elijah, Spiritual Coach
Photo credits: Luke Elijah