One of the newest ‘rice bowl’ establishments has recently opened in Raffles Place. Called Mercado, the concept of this eatery can be concluded as casual with spunk. Drawing on European, notably Spanish cultural influence.
Fuss free dining with quality ingredients, the food selection clearly reflects the concept being portrayed. Food at Mercado draws mostly on Spanish cuisine with some International & Western influences. This can easily be seen in some items offered such as bulgur, couscous and beetroot salad. Bordering on a healthy living approach, this eatery will not disappoint as well if you are into substantial portions.
There is a no frills approach to building up your meal over here. Basically a starch dish is chosen, either paella of the day (in which ingredients are changed daily) or items such as chickpeas, couscous, bulgur or quinoa.
Protein choices are then added on. Some include pulled pork and beef meatballs. Finally options of hot and cold vegetable dishes are added before being topped with a seed or nut of choice.
Drinks offered to go with include cold pressed juices, sangria and other alcoholic drinks such as red wine or beer.
To summarize the entire dining experience in terms of food, think healthy bowl eating with a Spanish influence utilizing a ‘chai peng’ concept. This is the easiest way a Singaporean can visualize how eating at Mercado is like.
Diners get to choose from one base, one meat, one hot veg, two cold veg, one topping and one sauce for $16.50. If you like to have the paella, one hot veg, two cold veg, one topping and one sauce goes for $16.50 as well.
The verdict? All protein dishes were well done. Paella tasted good. Cold vegetables dishes such as marinated tomatoes, pickled cucumbers and beetroot salads were tasty and tangy. May be too tangy for some but it was neutralized when eaten with other dishes. Charred vegetables really do have a roasted bitter aroma and the brussels sprouts also have that delightful nuttiness taste wise. On the whole, the variety of dishes offered and the overall combination marry very well with each other.
Cold pressed juice combinations were wonderful as well. The watermelon and beetroot juice was sweet and refreshing while the apple and cinnamon has a faint reminiscence of what apple pie sorbet may taste like. The Sangria had a very ‘straight to the point’ taste. To elaborate, you can taste the red wine and fruits added in it. It was refreshing and compared to many Sangrias found elsewhere, not sweet at all.
Like any newly opened establishments, there is definitely room for improvement, especially ventilation. It was rather warm and stuffy on that day we visited. Hopefully, that has been addressed.
Mercado is definitely a good amalgamation of health food. Even though there are many similar concepts in the neighborhood, Mercado’s Spanish theme makes it unique in its own right.
*This is a collaborated post in partnership with Mercado.
Mercado Spanish Food Market
50 Market Street, #01-27, Singapore 048940
Tel: +65 6532 2155| Website
Mon – Fri: 8:00 am – 7:30 pm