Saturday – Day 5 and the final day!
After yesterday we had to prepare ourselves for the final day of the route, so ate little and rested a lot! Marie joined us and at 7pm we set off.
I have to admit that I hate having to walk through other restaurants to get to the middle ones, and feel a bit embarrassed when straight on through. However, the tables at Gambrinus were all nicely laid out and on arrival we were immediately greeted by the friendly staff who showed us to a table inside. We’d already heard good reports from friends on the quality of the food here, so were eager to see what they brought us. The didn’t disappoint! The cold was Maravillas de la Huerta, which consisted of a couple of prawns with peppers and sauce on what appeared to be a biscuit base, with an additional sauce on the side. I thought it was lovely, although Ian said he would have liked a bit more flavour. The hot was Locura de Pilpil. This was a piece of cod with sweet onion relish skewered onto what we think was pumpkin with mayo on the side. The flavour of the fish was wonderful, and the relish went so well with the pumpkin. Very well done to Gambrinus! [UPDATE: 2020 Gambrinus closed and has now reopened as part of the newly opened Hopscotch next door]
Next was O’Fado. I think this restaurant always seems to get missed out. Maybe because it’s name is so close to Fado Rock over the road? I don’t know. Anyway, it’s another that we had been wanting to try. Two girls were serving and they were great! Now, I have to apologise because we were talking so much that I completely forgot to take photos, so have had to show those from the poster! The cold was Puñetu de Bacalao, which was flaked cod mixed with onion and topped chopped black olives and with a salad garnish. Presentation was not as good as shown in their poster, nor was there any roe as depicted, so I found that a bit disappointing. Otherwise, the taste was just ok. The hot was a lot better and very tasty! Bacalao Madeira, which was as the name describes, cod in a very rich, dark Madeira sauce. Could definitely have eaten more of that, although presentation wasn’t the best. We were treated VERY well here, and when they overhead Marie mention that she wasn’t keen on the wine they offered to change it! The tapas came with warm bread rolls and there was even butter! But then they even brought us out a couple of little desserts along with a shot each! One of the desserts was coffee, which I dislike so didn’t try (Ian said it was lovely though), but the other one was gorgeous!
Smile Terraza del Mar
Onwards and right down to the beach and Smile Terraza del Mar. The presentation was very good. The cold tapa was Rosa de Mar, which was octopus on a crisp base. I have no idea what the purple sauce was, but that was delicious! Hot was Pacceri Smile. While this looked good I found the taste to be a bit bland.
Our next jaunt was a short walk next door to Aamares. Here the cold was Goisin Aamares, which was stuffed pancakes. Unfortunately, they were nothing special, and a couple of days later I can’t even remember what they were like, although at the time I thought them ‘ok’. The hot was Zeppelin Aamares , which were fish croquettes. These were tasty and nicely cooked, with a crisp outside and creamy inner.
Overall, we loved participating in this event, and it was a real eye opener! It gave us the chance to try places we had never been to, and some that we simply would never have tried! I do hope that it continues as an annual event, and if it’s on next year thoroughly encourage people to go on it! But bear in mind you must have your NIE number to participate.
I found it very difficult to mark up the scores on the card. In the end there were only 3 tapas that gained the top score of 5/5 from me, albeit there are a fair number who were rated 4.5/5 and some were very close. On the front of the card we had to name the best cold and the best hot tapa. That was even harder!
My personal top cold tapa was at Little Havana. Innovative, well presented and very tasty!
My personal hot tapa was El Luchador (Casa Tino Matoso). Another tapa that was different and extremely tasty!