Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tapas week in Tarragona 2

Second hit of the Tapas tour of Tarragona went as follows:
We started at L'Etoile on Calle Union.
Dau de bacallà sobre brownie de botifarra negra amb compota de verdures i pols de pernil ibèric.
Cube of Salt Cod on black pudding brownie, pea and asparagus puree and ham dust.

Very striking and vibrant. When eaten all together the flavours were interesting. But have to say it was all disappointing. A classic bit of 'style over substance'. The black pudding didn;t benefit from being turned into a chewey brownie, and the overall taste experience was quite unmemorable.

The next place, however, heralded a contender for BEST TAPA of our entire experience:
"Cómete el Rabo" "Eat the tail"
Braised Oxtail wrapped in sliced ham with crispy artichokes and leeks and vermouth reduction.
It was FANTASTIC. Like the best steak pie filling you've ever had with a great presentation, (ie. it looked like delicious food, not art) We all wanted seconds!

Next was Ramon's, an unassuming local workers bar. I had actually tried this tapa when the owner was deciding what to serve, so I knew what to expect. He called it Black and White and it consists of Morcilla (black pudding) form Jaen and scrambled egg with aioli sauce and raspberry ketchup (!?)
Sounds a bit wierd but it was my all-time second favorite. Served warm, the cinnamon and allspice flavours of the sausage matched really well with the earthieness of the dish. The two sauces together just really worked. Bloody lovely! Who would have thought ..... raspberry ketchup..... and they say Tarragona is provincal!

The last tapa we tried turned out to be our all time favourite, and I think it will win the overall competition. (you can vote online for your favorite)
Cruixent de guatlla amb bolets
Filo pastry parcel of guineafowl with porcini mushrooms and a herb salad. (the first time I have seen anyone use dill in nearly 2 years here) and a light soy sauce.
We had to wait a bit but it was worth it. Fragrant, moist and tasty guineafowl with the rich accent of the awesome boletus wild mushrooms and the savoury soy for extra umami and a modernist nod.

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