Spanish Tapas at La Fuente
A few months ago, we heard some downers about La Fuente. So we didn’t rush to go there. Nonetheless, when a European friend insisted that they make great tapas at great prices, we went to try a small range of tapas.
Bread, bread, and bread! As long as you order tapas, you get an “all-you-can-eat” basket of high quality bread. It was as if the Lord Jesus fed two people with 5,000 loaves of bread. Needless to say, we were really impressed with the unlimited bread, and it was proper, good quality European bread.
Pollo Al Ajillo
We ordered two Pollo Al Ajillo as recommended by my dining partner, who loves their sauteed chicken breast with buttered onions and herb sauce. You’ll love it if you like lean meat, but if you don’t, you probably won’t. Saying that, the butter sauce was divine though! The portions were so generous we really should have just ordered one instead of two sets. The price? An affordable RM 6.90 (US 2.30). Check! That’s £1.40. Double check!
The only comment I have is that their day time cook, and evening chef makes this dish a little different. The one for lunch makes the sauce darker and the one in the evening makes it lighter. Both tasted fine but I’d just like to highlight that that kind of inconsistency may become an issue with people who eat this dish repeatedly.
We also ordered a cold tapas dish, a Tortilla Espanola. The thought of a Spanish omelette with scalloped potatoes made me miss the Frittata at Kensington Square Kitchen(KSK). I ordered it out of nostalgia really, even with full knowledge it could never compare with KSK sans jamon.
The omelette looked and tasted good. I can see how some people might prefer it warm like a Frittata, but it was fine cold. It packed a flavorful punch, possibly because Sabah eggs tastes more intense than British eggs. For RM 6.90 (US 2.30/£1.40) and a fabulous ambiance, I feel I don’t have the right to complain, even if their potatoes were slightly undercooked in the center.
You couldn’t even get a sandwich in London with that, and in the edges of North Borneo, TAPAS! The combination of ingredients brought back fond memories of the quiet brunches I used to have at KSK with Gary Barlow sitting two tables away… *daydreams*
Berenjenas Con Salsa De Pimientos
On our second visit we ordered a Berenjenas Con Salsa De Pimientos. Translation: Eggplant with Dried Chillies.
Fabulously generous portions! The slightly sweet sauce of the Spanish eggplant dish, matched with the fragrance of dried chillies do go well with the lightly-toasted white bread above. However, I personally prefer Malaysian Brinjal with Sambal Sauce. This is because our crustacean-based sambal sauce gives the eggplant a more flavorful taste, which this vegetarian version does not have. Nevertheless, the Berenjenas would fare better with the European tastebud since it is much milder. Would I order it again? Sure. If I’m craving for eggplant, I would! Again, I’m not going to complain for RM7.90. That’s a steal compared to La Bodega and possibly the cheapest tapas in the world!
Every time I order Patatas Bravas, I’m really hoping to have a love affair with the right potato. When eaten this way, it can’t be as powdery as a Russet, or sludgy like a red potato. I’m guessing they used an all-purpose yellow, so the texture was as good as it can get for the ingredients they can source. I would have liked the crust to be a little bit more chippy (personal preference). The tomato-paste base was fried with onions, chillies, sugar and herbs.
If I were to suggest points for improvement, I recommend that they bring some extra virgin olive oil to a smoking point to fry the onions, then turn the heat down immediately right after (prior to adding the tomato paste). This is so that the paste won’t burn and darken, while the sauce retains the faintly smoked olive oil. This way, the sauce will taste fuller-bodied and still feature the fresh sweetness of sun-ripened tomatoes. Doing so will change the dish from being “acceptable” to addictive! The faintly smoked olive oil will give the potatoes personality. Then again, For RM 6.90 do they really need to pay attention to those details? Reality check… That’s £1.40. Plus, they are the only Spanish restaurant in town. In all honesty, it was nice to be able to have this in KK.
We love La Fuente!
The place plays great salsa music and they are exceedingly generous with their portions. It’s also very affordable. More people should support them so that we can continue to have this beautiful place to enjoy for years to come. The food is good and their service is better than most. If you were on a budget, you could technically order one dish at RM 6.90 and have baskets of bread until the cows come home. But please order more so that they can continue to exist for our pleasure!
WHERE TO GO
La Fuente Spanish Restaurant
G-816, Ground Floor, 1Borneo Hypermall
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 88400