May 29, 2009

A Spanish evening

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It's Friday and I'm drawing a blank on where to go for dinner. I told my friends that I would come up with some ideas, but by early afternoon I still had nothing. I discussed with my friend and we decided to continue with the Spanish theme of our last couple of meals. Tapeo was full, I was told. I called up Uno Mas, which had just been reviewed by the South China Morning Post. Of course they were full, too...on the Friday after the review came out.

As a last resort, I called Olé. Yes, they could accomodate us right away. And what did I say to that? Olé! of course... We were seated at a small table by the door, which turned out to be the only table free for the evening. Lucky us!

We started with a 2007 white from Marqués de Cáceres. Made from Viura, the wine was a bit minerally, oaky, and smelled even a little of cheese mold.

Of course we would order a string of tapas, and the first one that showed up was boquerones en vinagre. The anchovies were marinated in vinegar and topped with lots of yummy garlic. Not bad.

Croquetas de bacalao has always been one of my favorites. Always soft and creamy inside and nice and crispy outside.

The salpicón de mariscos was excellent. Clams, calamari and shrimps were chopped up and mixed up red and green peppers, onions and drizzled in olive oil. Fresh and wonderful.

The highlight of the evening was surely the gambas al ajillo. The bowl came with shrimps buried in hot, bubbling olive oil. The shrimps were fresh and delicious. The oil was something else entirely. The olive oil was infused with the flavors of shrimps, garlic and chilli peppers, making it pure nectar in my world. I kept scooping up spoonfuls of this oil so I could soak it up with bread. I would have happily given up eating the rest of the dishes just to finish drinking the oil...

Pimientos rellenos de bacalao is another favorite of mine. Once you cut open the pepper, all the melted cheese and bacalao comes out and mixes with the garlic and pepper sauce. Yummy yummy.

We pop open the 1998 Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin Combe-du-Dessus, and it was beautiful as always. Minty nose with grilled meats, smoke, bacon and other smoked meats, chocolate, a bit of forest and sweet fruit.

A plate of jamón de bellota "JJJJJ" was delicious. The restaurant had just broken out a new leg, and it was fresh and moist. You can always count of these guys for good jamon

The conchinillo asad a la Segoviana was awesome. This was just about the best suckling pig I could find outside of a Chinese restaurant. The meat was incredibly moist, falling off the bones as I poked it with my knife and fork. The crispy skin and the layer of fat underneath were heavenly. I was happy.

The manager offered us an after-meal drink, and I chose the Pedro Ximenez. Wonderfully sweet and grapey. A perfect ending to a perfect meal.

We walked over to Tapeo for our second round. These guys were still fully loaded close to 11pm on a Friday night, and we congratulated Piero on their success.

We ordered some churros for dessert, and I greedily scooped up the yummy chocolate sauce and coated the churros. At this moment, nothing beats the combination of fried dough, sugar and hot chocolate sauce...except the addition of a glass of Nectar Pedro Ximenez!

Finally satiated, I bid my friends goodnight and headed home to dream land...

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