PEr FYI

January 19, 2020

Pez Vela, Barcelona… irrefutable proof that God exists and wants us to be happy

Paella, Spain’s most famous dish — mountains of yellow rice cooked with seafood, chorizo, and/or chicken in big lidded pots called calderos, enough to feed two or three hungry diners. Where can you get the best paella in Barcelona? This is a really common question for visitors coming over to visit this beautiful city.

Luckily for you, I’ve already covered that question!

Upon entering the warm, welcoming Pez Vela, the surroundings are immediately evocative of the Mediterranean. When the mouth-watering and hearty brothy rice with lobster landed on the table, it was belt-bustingly big so that the red crustacean seems to be crawling out of the caldero. Unlike paella, the rice here remains immersed in boldly flavoured broth and actually portioned to share.

Perfect paella. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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January 4, 2020

Los Caracoles, Barcelona…lots to like here, and lots more that could be better

I bloody love a snail. Dig in with the tiny fork. Probe the crevices of the now empty shell with your tongue. Then get to work with torn-off pieces of bread, dredging and dredging again at the garlic butter. Being such a fan of escargots, I made a beeline to Los Caracoles for the Spanish version of special snails.

The Special snails – Caracoles especiales are served on small plates from a big dish where they are kept hot in their sauce. The spicy touch they have makes them different from other snail recipes. I wouldn’t call this dish a triumph. Less satisfactory was the garlic shrimps – gambas al ajillo but the Catalan roasted 1/2 chicken – 1/2 pollo a l’ast was a return to form. The Paella “Los Caracoles” was pretty average

There’s lots to like here, and lots more that could be a little better. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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February 10, 2019

Abe, Manila…a bit meh

It’s fair to say Filipino cuisine is not on the map internationally. The food is a medley between Malay, Chinese, South American and Spanish. In short it’s a mixture of cuisines from any country who has invaded or attempted to colonise the islands.

For everything under one roof, Abe serves up a hearty (sometimes hefty) array of traditional Pinoy fare from biringhe to knockout knuckles – Ang Hang take on the traditional fried crispy pata to sugpo sa gata – prawn simmered in coconut milk and spices. I ate these things on your behalf. I know. I am selfless.

But I’ve had more inspiring food – character, taste – from a bag of nuts. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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March 1, 2011

Sevilla, Claridges, New Delhi…I was spellbound by the uniqueness of the ambience.

The overall setting and ambiance of Sevilla is definitely is a great date place. If you are one of those people who loves the open air, this is going to be your heaven. A fancy fire and open flames and in winter deep troughs provided the warmth. The private canopied seating near the waterfall is the best table in the house however I was expecting more authentic Spanish fare.

Ambience aside, there are few “Ole”moments with the food and beverage. The traditional spanish Sangria de Cava is Dead seamissing from the menu. We were told they have a wide selection of vodkas, so we tried the next best thing: order a bottle of Pinky (which was being offered in the menu). We were sadly told they ran out of stock as a private party drank the bar dry the night before. We eventually settled for a pitcher of Sangria and a bottle of sparkling wine …to make our own Sangria de Cava.

All three tapas we ordered seems to be prepared in the Dead Sea. They were overwhelmingly salty. It was inedible and we sent them back to the hell from which they came from.

My local Indian friend had to call 6 times to try to make a booking for a table. it’s a pity the rest of the experience doesn’t match the hypnotic magic they’d created with the setting because it’s a delightful spot in Delhi. One must note that it is open only for dinner from 7.30 p.m. to a bit beyond midnight. This is the true truth because I am still saying it as it is…

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