Holy Crackamole

Posted on May 5, 2010 by Aun

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?

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his bouncing baby boy!

What Others Are Saying

  1. Dave May 6, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Hi,

    Have you been to Mexico? … If not you have to go there, as it is a country of culinary delights ….

  2. Joy May 6, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Only open from Monday to Friday and from 12pm to 3pm?? No hope for those who don’t work near to town….like me! But I’ll note to drop by when I take a day off from work!

  3. Victoria May 6, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Finally! A decent taqueria in Singapore – I most definitely look forward to that. There’re tons of awesome taco bars in Manhattan and just none I can seem to find back home!
    Judging from the pictures and your positive feedback on Spruce’s taqueria, I think it’s high time locals are introduced to some authentic tastes of Mexico…
    … and not from some commercialized mass-produced ‘tacos’ from Taco Bell…

  4. Magdalena May 7, 2010 at 5:01 am

    Great. And I am especially curious about that beef tongue, as I love beef tongues. Pity you could not try that.

  5. Ashlee May 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Wow that looks delicious! Wish I had known about this when I was in Singapore last week, I haven’t had Mexican in a real long time.

  6. Renita May 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Wow. This looks pretty amazing and your description of this “crackamole” is making me salivate! I would love more decent mexican restaurants here in Sydney.

  7. Shirlene May 25, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    thanks for the review! bf whisked me away to try this during lunch today. we had the carnitas and ribs. verdict – seasonings on the meat were good, although the radish and guac in the taco lent it a more upscale than “taco stand” character. lose the radishes, leave the guac on the side, more onions, and the meat should be oilier/wetter, in smaller pieces, and more generous. well, that’s imho, and that’s if you’re looking for something more traditional. great guac, and the amazing aqua fresca really needs some alcohol in it – it’s so zingy and refreshing!

    hungrygowhere has good reviews on the mexican taco bar in changi, have you tried that? only opens 9-5 on weekdays, so i haven’t had the time to swing that far east for a workday lunch.

  8. johanna May 29, 2010 at 2:41 am

    ah! i was wondering where to get my mexican fix in singapore! although i like to cook my own mexican family recipes, nothing beats a taqueria as you would never indulge in that sort of variety when cooking at home. it looks like i need not worry, you seem to be able to get everything and anything in singapore… a veritable food mekka!

  9. AJ June 2, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Thanks for the tip! Absolutely can’t wait to try. Singapore can’t have too many Mexican restaurants

  10. EC June 11, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    tried it today! love the short rib, ice lemon tea & the chips…..the salsa is Yumz!
    Very nice relaxing place too…totally a great spot with good food

  11. Rj June 13, 2010 at 1:02 am

    I recently went to eat at the Spruce Taquiera and i am impressed with the Food Taste and the Price. The Hours are bit worrisome but I managed. The Mexican Taco Bar at Plaza by the Park is great as well with hours that fit everyone. Enjoy!!

  12. KK July 19, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Mexican food in Singapore has left a lot to be desired in my opinion, especially for the wallet. But from the look of the pictures, these tacos look like the real deal, and I imagine the prices are not bad either? Thanks for the review…I’ll have to check it out sometime!

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