Okay, I have a new, local culinary addiction. And not just me. Most of my colleagues and I are currently obsessed with Chef Travis Masiero‘s newest venture. The wunderkind, baby-faced chef-owner of Spruce has taken over a small shack in an obscure corner of Phoenix Park (where Spruce is also located) and opened (from what I can tell) Singaore’s first Taqueria. As in taco stand. And a pretty damned awesome one to boot.
The new Spruce Taqueria is agonizingly open only from Monday to Friday and from 12pm to 3pm. It really is not much more than a tiny hut in which the chefs work and from which you place your order (everything here is self-service). There’s a tiny shaded area with some outdoor furniture and a few more tables along the side of the building. This is no-frills eating. That said, this is no-frills gourmet eating, as you would expect from a talented chef like Masiero.
The menu is tight but pretty awesome. Tacos or quesadillas with your choice of beef tongue, short-ribs, pork carnitas, grilled snapper or Poblano chile and mushrooms. There’s also a “Tacqueria” salad with guacamole and sour cream and an Aboylito Mexican rice bowl with the same toppings as the tacos and quesadillas. There are a number of sides ranging from chips and guacamole to cilantro rice. Plus a couple of drink options, including a fabulously refreshing, fresh watermelon and lime aqua fresca.
My colleagues and I descended (that really is the best choice of word) on the Spruce Taqueria earlier this week. We tried almost everything on the menu (save for the beef tongue which Travis refused to serve, saying that it just wasn’t up to his standards that day). I loved the short-rib quesadillas and the pork carnitas taco, which I pretty much wolfed down. But the real winner, and the thing that’s going to keep us all going back again and again was Travis’ amazing guacamole. I challenge anyone to eat just one helping, it’s that good. In fact, several of my co-workers have already nicknamed it “crackamole”.
Spruce Taqueria is a great little gem. I’m looking forward to visiting often in the coming months. Plus, I’m doing my very best to convince Travis to open a branch closer to either my home or office. Which doesn’t seem likely. But we can always dream, yah?