When it comes to Tapas, The Bloke and I are particularly enthusiastic, so when we were invited to go and sample the dishes on offer at El Borracho de Oro in Birmingham, we were delighted.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I know, it’s a tough life.
What struck us both as soon as we entered the restaurant was how great the atmosphere was. We visited Barcelona in September last year (and had a fantastic time), eating at several little restaurants away from the tourist areas in the city, and I was instantly taken in by El Borracho’s open space and authenticity, from the decor to the music. Everything was beautiful – even the water glasses were interesting (and The Bloke has made it his mission to find and purchase some). The glamorous Emma, the co-owner, went out of her way to make us feel welcome and recommended particular dishes that she thought we might enjoy based on our general food preferences.
We were given a huge variety of tapas to choose from.
We started with the Catalan-style Pan Tumaca – toasted bread rubbed with Raff tomato. This was then followed with a whole host of dishes, that were brought over in stages rather than piling everything onto the table all at once.
Patatas bravas, with homemade spicy tomato sauce and alioli
Albondingas – beef and pork meatballs
Marinated chicken skewers
Raff tomato salad, with avocado, spring onion and olives
Each dish arrived promptly and was perfectly cooked with fresh ingredients. Simply gorgeous.
We then tried some of the speciality tapas:
Mushroom cannelloni, with spinach, shallots and wild mushroom sauce. The pasta was so thin, and the sauce didn’t overpower the lovely mushrooms.
Sweet and sour glazed rack of pork ribs, with apple purée. These came recommended, and I could see why – they were falling off the bone and are the best ribs I’ve ever had.
And to top it all off:
Fideua de Marisco – a Catalan seafood noodle dish.
Seriously, this is something you must try – it’s truly one of the nicest things I have ever eaten. It is very similar to paella, but the rice is replaced with noodles and it is topped with a beautiful alioli that is mixed in before the dish is eaten. Some of the noodles were soft, some were crispy and the seafood was cooked beautifully. So beautifully, in fact, that The Bloke (who has only tried mussels once in all the years I’ve known him and has despised them ever since) quite happily ate all of the seafood and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Of course, I had to finish the meal with the Churros and chocolate sauce. Yum.
A truly fantastic night, with exceptional service, and one of my new favourite restaurants. It was so great, in fact, that I’ve already started organising a meal with some of my friends there – and I’m looking forward to working my way through the rest of the menu!
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