Sunday 29 November 2009

NOOO BODY Expects The Spanish Inquisition

Almendras (Roast Almonds)

Pa Amb Tomàquet con Fuet
(Catalan Tomatoed Bread)

Chorizo en Vino
(Spicy Sausage in Wine)

Garbanzos en Cidra (Roasted Chick Peas In Cider)

Pimientos De Padron (Russian Roulette Peppers)
Ensaladilla Russa (Potato Salad With Cured Tuna & Quails Eggs)

Ajo Blanco (Traditional Garlic Soup)

Tortilla with Salsa Picante (Potato Omlette)

Pescado y Jamón Ibérico con Mandarin & Basil (Monk Fish Wrapped In Serrano Ham W/ Basil & Mandarin Sauce)
Cardinal Fang's Ice Cream

Click Here For Review By Isabella Fiore

Review By LELUU

I have a real love for Italian food and therefore have always had little regard for Spanish food. My friend Thilo and I always say Spanish food is "fried oil". That is until I met Simon who changed my opinion forever! (well, lets say I will only chose to eat Simon's Spanish food)

Simon's native food is his real passion and had worked on his menu for weeks previous. I kept hearing, "Almendras, which are roasted almonds, Pa Amb Tomàquet  Con Fuet which is a beautiful Catalan rubbed on tomatoed bread...."

We even went to Barcelona to buy some ingredients, did some research and a test run on friends and family. Simon's food is incredibly fresh and balanced and I love it. Mind is changed.

The tortilla is the best I have ever tasted, he used sweet potatoes instead which gave it just the perfect complexion, sweet and eggy flavour. My favourite dish on the menu  is the Russian Salad with Quails Eggs & Cured Tuna which he used Maris Piper cooked for 7 mins and mixed in delicately so that it does not all fall apart and remains fluffy and velvety, gelling all the other ingredients together like hands being held. My favourite!! 

...Until I think of the Black Squid Ink Rice with Parma Ham (we decided that Serrano is too salty) Wrapped Monkfish. I don't think anyone managed to take a picture as they just saw it and had to devour it! The black rice, the pink ham and the white fish flesh inside with the greens made you fall in love at first sight. Biting into the different textures of rice, meat, fish, crunchy sugar snaps and the wonderful madarin gravy was like being lucky enough to find your soul mate. We should definately be repeating this dish!

My least favourite and the only ever unsuccessful dish was the cold Garlic Soup. I didn't like this but thats because I don't usually like cold soups and need to acquire. But this was the first time we had a lot of unfinished items to clear. Booo... The mistake being, Simon did not have time to test this soup out and he will blame me because I wouldn't let him go home to get the ingredients list for it when we did a test run in Barcelona because I wanted to eat lots of tapas (and stupid me thought the ingredient is just garlic)! So we didn't test it til the day! We have learned to never do that again!

O, I just remembered the Cardinal Fang Ice Cream he made! OMG... Cardamon & Pineapple - what a great combination we found in Barcelona - made by my friend Julia. Ever so cleansing and fresh. Each mouthful is like opening out into a beautiful Spring day into a blossoming garden. I am not exaggerating! However, we should have made the ice cream over night as was a bit runny. Sorry everyone.
We also should have served coffee to half our guests who decided to stay on leisurely.

Overall, a great night! Another success with many thanks to my beautiful friend Anja who came over from Berlin just to help out, taught me how to carry more than 2 plates, took some nice photos and helped us decide things that needed to be decided in the kitchen - saved us!

It was also really nice to know how some people really enjoyed meeting other guests and became friends. We are already getting a lot of repeat diners which is really nice to see faces we know and to place them with people we think they will get on with.
For once, I didn't do any shopping or cooking which is great! Thanks Simon! x

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