Situated at the Marina Bay Financial Centre, OLA Cocina del Mar is a cozy 75-seater establishment that specializes in seafood-based dishes.
Helmed by Daniel Chavez of the now defunct Santi at Marina Bay Sands, the restaurant features several Spanish favourites such as tapas and paelas, all made with ingredients from the sea.
With plenty of exposure, chef Daniel has had opportunities working at Michelin star restaurants such as La Sucursal in Valencia, a stint at the renown Les Amis restaurant in Singapore and experiences in the kitchens of fine dining restaurants in Dubai, Spain and America. That said, his intuitive experience and creativity reflects in the food he lovingly prepares at OLA.
Gazpacho for $8. (Photo credit: Chua Si Ning).
Starting out with a tapas dish, chef Daniel serves up a bowl of cold Gazpacho. Featuring a three staple ingredients of tomatoes, cucumbers and olive oil, it’s quite a surprise how flavourful the soup was. The best part was that, despite its full on flavour, there was no heavy cream or thickening agent thrown into the mix. We truly like how that added tinge of cucumber made the soup much more refreshing.
Fideua Negra Con Calamares (Squid ink black noodle paella with calamari and alioli sauce) for $40. (Photo credit: Chua Si Ning).
Moving on, we had the Peruvian Fish Ceviche. Essentially, this was a cold dish of raw fish marinated with lemon juice and chili. Despite how much we love our sashimi and raw fish, a bunch of cubed Flounder in a simple marinate didn’t quite warrant its $25 price tag.
Instead, to get more bang for your buck, we highly recommend that you order the squid ink paella also known as the Fideua Negra Con Calamares. In place of rice typically found in paella, OLA uses thin short noodles that fills your tummy up without being too uncomfortable. We really like the aioli sauce that accompanied the crispy baby squid pieces.
Cochinillo “OLA” (Roasted suckling pig with sweet and sour sauce) for $65 (leg) and $50 (loin). (Photo credit: Chua Si Ning).
Another dish we highly recommend is the Conchinillo ‘Ola’; a roasted suckling pig dish with sweet and sour sauce. Despite being a seafood restaurant, OLA’s Conchinillo featured pork slices that had an unbelievably crispy skin resting atop of gloriously juicy and well-seasoned meat.
Ola Apple Salad for $16. (Photo credit: Chua Si Ning).
To finish off your meal, we strongly suggest you try the Ola Apple Salad. Despite its healthy name, this dessert comes with caramel cream, lemon jelly and green apples. We really like how this feels light in the mouth and isn’t too sweet, making it a lot easier to eat.
Overall, the cozy atmosphere and warm service staff that serve at OLA makes for an amazing dining experience. Not only are the staff members highly attentive, they also impress with their in depth knowledge of each dish. What’s more, chef Daniel often comes out to greet each guest that arrives at the door, making them feel highly important and right at home.
Coupled with good food and a warm atmosphere, it’s hard not to return to OLA.
Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3, #01-06, 12 Marina Boulevard Singapore 018982. +65 6604 7050.