The newest concept by Unlisted Collection — the group behind Burnt Ends, Esquina, Cheek by Jowl, and more — is a contemporary take on Basque cuisine, headed by chef Aitor Jeronimo Orive. If you think his name sounds familiar, it’s probably because the Spanish-Australian was formerly head chef of one Michelin-starred Iggy’s in Singapore.
Now taking the reins at Basque Kitchen by Aitor, he finds inspiration from his time in Basque Country, reinterpreting traditional dishes into modern, refined renditions. Pop by in the afternoon, and you’ll find set lunches and a la carte orders for the working crowd. Dinners, on the other hand, are a longer affair, with three-, five-, and seven-course tasting menus.
Updated the recipes may be, but they still possess the homely and comforting feels of Basque flavors, with signatures such as txuleta, an Angus prime rib that’s grilled on charcoal until it’s crisp on the outside and rare and juicy on the inside. As for chef Aitor’s version of marmitako, the tuna and potato stew is a mix of bonito crudo, potatoes, peppers, and Basque stew.
Then there’s the oxtail “bomba” rice, influenced by gyudon (Japanese beef bowl), using Spanish bomba rice to replace sushi rice, braised with Angus oxtail and onions for a risotto that’s topped with confit quail egg yolk.
Peruse the wine list of Spanish bottles — from renowned producers to boutique ones — or find your preferred Spanish gin or Basque cider to pair with your meal.
Basque Kitchen by Aitor is at 97 Amoy St.
6224-2232. Mon-Fri 12:30am-2:30pm, 6:30pm-11pm; Sat 6:30pm-11:30pm. Closed Sundays.
MRT: Telok Ayer