The warm industrial-leaning space—especially the basement communal table—is one of our favorite respites from the throngs of Ann Siang. Another supporter of the small plates movement, Lolla’s portions may be modest, but the simple, Mediterranean-style dishes deliver plenty of fireworks, limited not just to their legendary sea urchin pudding. Their egg dishes are a triumph—try the Spanish tortilla with eel—as are desserts like the doughnuts with lemon curd. Their exciting wine list has several lovely, well-chosen bottles. Come by on Sundays, too, for their brunch menu that includes grilled avocado and charcoal grilled grass-fed ribeye steak.
The whole small plates movement is gaining serious traction, what with more and more restaurants adopting this philosophy. Another supporter of this cause is Lolla, a recent arrival in the happening Ann Siang/Club Street enclave. It’s a nice space, located in a shophouse with the main dining area centered on an open-concept bar counter/kitchen so you can watch the chefs at work, and a semi-private dining room with a large communal table in the basement. The décor is de rigueur industrial chic, with gray concrete surfaces and metal bar stools that’s reminiscent of spots like Esquina, just don’t expect espumas and dishes with more than five components. Food here is simple, which is where they excel with items such as well-executed scrambled eggs crowned with generous shavings of bottarga ($22) and understated yet scrumptious duck fat potatoes ($15). That being said, portions—even for small plates—are conservative, which would be fine except prices run high considering what you’re getting—like four petite, tasty lamb ribs for $28 or three pieces of beef tongue escalopes for $25. A unique smoked dark chocolate ice cream ($9) or donuts with lemon curd ($12) make for a good end to your meal. Those into vinos will be pleased with their impressive collection of artisanal wines and Champagnes, not surprising considering one of the partners owns a wine business and plays a part in underground dining club lolla’s secret suppers. And while the chefs didn’t seem keen on any interaction, it’s the patchy service that won them no points. Yet despite all that, they’re packed almost every night, because there’s a good time to be had, so long as you’re willing to fork out a decent amount of moolah.