Spain and its food are genuinely two of my most favourite things in the world.
It’s rather convenient for me, then, that guests at Cafe Andaluz restaurants across Scotland are invited to enjoy a taste of Spain’s southern coast as the restaurant brand introduce a special Fiesta Nacional de España menu in celebration of Spain’s National Day this October.
Until Thursday 17 October, guests dining at Cafe Andaluz at restaurants in Glasgow’s West End, Glasgow City Centre, Edinburgh New Town, Edinburgh Old Town and Aberdeen City Centre will enjoy a selection of the best Spanish tapas and wine around, from the best of Southern Spain and Andalucia region.
The Fiesta Nacional de España menu includes a range of Tapas; Tortilla Espanola is- a traditional mainstay of Spanish tapas, tortilla is a thick omelette filled with sliced potato. It’s perfectly seasoned and went down well, with the soft potato and egg a great combination, with a little bit of onion.
The ensalada Analuza is a salad of asparagus tips, artichokes and sun blush tomatoes with a sweet hinamin dressing. It’s beautifully presented and the flavour combination is fresh on the palate. Another Spanish favourite is patatas bravas, skin-on halved new potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce and alioli
For those who don’t eat meat, as was the case with one of our group, the Ensalada de Pinones comprises a salad of pearl couscous, cherry tomatoes and Spanish olives, tossed with lemon, olive oil, sea salt, fresh basil and toasted pine nuts. This brings a wonderful contast in textures and flavours to the mouth, and with the sweet and sour of the tomatoes and lemon marrying perfectly.
Some fish tapas are available, and we sampled the Lubina Con Salsa Mediterranea, a fillet of sea bass with slow-cooked red peppers, garlic, paprika, chilli, black olives, capers and anchovies. The sea bass was beautiful – perfectly moist, and the came apart perfectly on the fork. The flavour was subtle, while the base on which is was sat was another little taste of Spain.
The manchego cheese was lovely – presented with a fruity topping – was perfectly baked. Soft and gooey, and packed full of flavour. It’s not necessarily one I would have chosen, but now… it’s a definitely.
The real favourite with our group were the Gambas Pil Pil, hot roast king prawns with olive oil, chilli, paprika and garlic. These were perfect, huge prawns, and the sauce was lovely and warm, leaving a lovely aftertaste that materialised after about 30 seconds. It wasn’t too strong – but you knew it was there, with a little bit of heat.
We also sampled the seafood paella, which was, as you would expect, paella rice, with prawns and other seafood. This had a beautiful flavour, which had me dreaming of my favourite restaurant in Lanzarote.
We sampled several meat tapas too – including the sliced chorizo sautéed in red wine. It’s no wonder that this is a restaurant favourite, as the flavour is so rich and decadent – an authentic taste.
My personal favourite dish was the battered chicken, in a honey sauce. Honey and chicken is a flavour combination I rarely come across in the UK, and it’s a shame as it’s such a great doubleact. The batter cut with a crisp crack, with the chicken lovely and succulent inside. Dipped in the honey sauce, you have one of my favourite dishes ever.
We somehow found room for dessert. My choice was Pastel de Queso, a delicious homemade praline cheesecake with a salted caramel and honeycomb tuile. It was absolutely packed with flavour, but was light and fluffy, as the best cheesecakes are. The accompanying sauce was first class.
The Tarta Chocolate is a dessert that will leave you happy, but not needing more. The chocolate is on the darker side, and is very, very rich, but full of taste. The tart crumbled beautifully and kept its shape when divided, and was accompanied by an orange caramel, and vanilla ice cream.
The lemon posset is also of note. It it very light in texture but packed full of zesty lemon flavour, with a tart raspberry too. After the prawns earlier, this was the perfect way to remove any lingering heat.
Tony Conetta, director of the Di Maggios Restaurant Group (The DRG) said: ‘Cafe Andaluz restaurants recreate the magic and charm of an authentic Spanish dining experience with an extensive range of dishes showcasing the best of southern Spain’s food and drink. Our popular tapas and mouth-watering menus showcase the essence of the Andalusion region and highlight the rich and flavoursome cuisine that Spain is famed for.’
Diners can book a table now via a unique online pre-booking link for Fiesta Nacional de España HERE available until Thursday 17 October (inclusive) between noon-10.30pm across Cafe Andaluz Scotland
The menu available for a limited time only is priced at £24 and includes the choice of any five tapas and two desserts between two people. There are both vegan and vegetarian tapas options available as part of the dining offer as well as ‘Para Compartir’ (sharing plates) and tapas accompaniments from an additional £3.
Customers who book at Cafe Andaluz during this time will also be entered into a prize draw to win an all expenses paid trip to the Spanish region to soak up the very best of flamenco, fiestas, sherry, siestas, sun-gilded hilltop towns and shimmering sea.
To enter the online prize draw visit Cafe Andaluz facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/cafeandaluzdrg/