Tapas with local touch at new bar A.T.O.S

The vibrant interior of A.T.O.S, Royal Plaza on Scotts, which serves tapas with an Asian touch.
The vibrant interior of A.T.O.S, Royal Plaza on Scotts, which serves tapas with an Asian touch. -- PHOTO: A.T.O.S/ROYAL PLAZA ON SCOTTS
Aromatic Chicken Rice Balls with Chilli Coriander are an all-round success.
Aromatic Chicken Rice Balls with Chilli Coriander are an all-round success.-- PHOTO: A.T.O.S/ROYAL PLAZA ON SCOTTS
Chicken Skewers marinated in Indonesian spices have a tangy chilli kick.
Chicken Skewers marinated in Indonesian spices have a tangy chilli kick. -- PHOTO: A.T.O.S/ROYAL PLAZA ON SCOTTS
Dragon's Breath, a refreshing drink of mint, red dragonfruit, soursop and Havana rum.
Dragon's Breath, a refreshing drink of mint, red dragonfruit, soursop and Havana rum. -- PHOTO: A.T.O.S/ROYAL PLAZA ON SCOTTS
For dessert, try the Crispy XO Durian Fritters, served with salted gula melaka.
For dessert, try the Crispy XO Durian Fritters, served with salted gula melaka. -- PHOTO: A.T.O.S/ROYAL PLAZA ON SCOTTS

Last month, I visited A.T.O.S (Asian Tapas On Scotts), which opened at the Royal Plaza on Scotts hotel in August.

One of the newest entrants to the local tapas scene, this Asian tapas bar offers reinterpretations of both Asian and local flavours. Just think small-bite spins on chicken rice, chilli crab and durian-based desserts.

I thoroughly enjoyed the bar's Aromatic Chicken Rice Balls – deep-fried chicken risotto rice balls with confit of chicken, prepared in fragrant oil infused with garlic, shallots, ginger and pandan leaves. The accompanying chilli coriander dip was simply delightful too: I slathered the aromatic mixture of spring onions, coriander and green chilli all over the rice balls. Like me, you definitely won't stop at one.

The bar's Chicken Skewers were also yummy, with its tangy chilli kick as I bit into juicy and tender chunks of grilled chicken, which had been marinated with Indonesian spices. The chunks were interspersed with pieces of green chilli and pineapples, which will give you either an even more fiery flavour or a touch of sweetness, depending on which part you bite into.

If you have space for only one dessert, I'd highly recommend the bar's Crispy XO Durian Fritters, served with salted gula melaka.

I'm not a big fan of durian because it's too heaty for me. But I decided to give the fritters a shot as the salted gula melaka called out to me.

I found myself totally satisfied, especially with how the durian was surprisingly prepared. The mixture of deep-fried breaded durian paste and mascapone cheese was coated with cornflakes, resulting in the mushy durian texture balancing well with the crispy cornflakes.

When I dipped the fritter into the salted gula melaka, the pungency of the durian was immediately overcome by the salty-sweetness of the palm sugar. Wonderful.

Wash all of this down with one of the bar's Asian-inspired cocktails. I had a Dragon's Breath – mint, red dragonfruit, soursop and Havana rum.

I loved the drink's intense fuchsia hues, thanks to the red dragonfruit. The fruit also lent bite to the drink because of the bits of flesh and seeds that came loose during the pulping process. The result: a refreshing, visually exciting drink. Other to-trys on the drinks menu include drinkable Chendol and Mango Halia.

With glowing fittings and contemporary furniture in bold colours, A.T.O.S is the perfect place to unwind and have a few great bites and drinks. The place has a fun, cheerful vibe, the servers are attentive, and locals and tourists who want to try local food with a few playful twists will not be disappointed. What say you?

Join me on my lifestyle adventures snap by snap on Instagram @brybrybanana

A.T.O.S (Asian Tapas on Scotts)
Royal Plaza on Scotts, 25 Scotts Road, Lobby Level
Open: 6pm to 1am (Monday to Thursday), 6pm to 2am (Friday and Saturday)
Info: Call 6589-7799 or e-mail atos@royalplaza.com.sg