Tonito Latin American Kitchen | Jewel Changi Airport’s Hippiest Restaurant
Still not keen on taking a long flight out? Fret not, Tonito will transport you to Latin America – think Mexican, Brazil and Peru – with its Latin American inspired staples and street food. To celebrate another year since it found its spot in Jewel, Tonito is showcasing new dishes on its menu. Apart from tacos and quesadillas, you can expect dishes like stews, grilled meats and vegetables – all with quality and fresh produce.
Start off your meal with this Tiradito Nikkei ($26++). Norwegian salmon is brined in salt water, thinly sliced to resemble sashimi then macerated with japanese tiger milk (a combination of soy, mirin and ginger), finally topped off with tobiko and crispy quinoa. Very refreshing and appeals to most palates.
I love my salads, and this Ensalada de Quinoa ($16++) was satisfying and healthy. Red and white quinoa is first boiled then deep fried till puffed (to give that crisp texture when bitten into), tossed with a honey mustard dressing and mixed with cucumber, pomegranate, tomato, radish and coriander.
This was one of the more interesting desserts – Yuca Fritas ($8++). Casava is first boiled in salt water, then mashed and rolled into balls before deep-frying and topped with sweet and spicy paprika powder served with a side of chipotle mayo. It was a mix of french fries and potato balls. Do share with your friends as this can fill you up.
A Central American favourite, Frijoles ($8++) are kidney beans braised in a tomato base. Tonito packed its frijoles with other veggies like celery, carrot, corn, onions and bell peppers before topping off with chimichurri sauce and cojita cheese. You are sure to get your fix of greens.
Moving on to the mains, this Arroz Con Pato ($28++) was a pleasant surprise. Not usually a fan of duck, I thought be rather dismissive of it. I’m glad I gave it a try because the duck leg is first confit then finished a la plancha until a crispy skin is achieved. The meat does not have that much of a gamey aftertaste, and the accompanying coriander-based rice is very flavourful – we were later told that the rice was cooked in stout!
The meat lovers have to get this Mariachi ($35++). A typical dish of Peruvian cuisine, pork ribs are marinated in paprika overnight and served atop a bed of mashed potato and spiced kidney beans. The pork ribs are very tender and well-seasoned. It is a fairly generous portion too.
As with most Latin-American places, you can expect to find Paellas. Tonito’s Paella De Cerdo ($28++) is cooked with chicken stock and tomato, baked for ten minutes until socarrat (crusty crispy bottom of the paella) is produced. Served with kurobuta sausage, iberico pork jowl then salted and peppered. Yum.
We ended our meal with their mainstay dessert – churros with chocolate dip! We recommend heading to Tonito with a group of friends so you are able to try more dishes (and you should!). Budget per person: $30 – $40 per pax