Sunday, 24 March 2013

Tapas bar-hopping in Malaga

The Gentleman is definitely my deserted island person. With him everything just is so much more fun. And one of the most fun things with him are our downright legendary lunches in Malaga.

The tapas of San Sebastian are widely considered the best. But for tapas bar-crawl Malaga is pretty damn fantastic. The streets around Calle Granada and Calle Calderería are perfect for it. One tapa here, another one over there and - what was that? More wine, you say?  Claro que si!

This time we were after a new kind of tapas experience though. Dani Garcia is a legendary chef and runs a Michelin-starred restaurant in Marbella. He is the ambassador of new Andalusian cuisine and has a tapas bar called Manzanilla in Malaga, where he reinterprets traditional Andalusian delicacies with a modern and innovative twist.

How would you like foie gras and goat cheese millefeuille with apple crisp and grape yoghurt? Even crisps here are served with truffle mayonnaise...

Restaurant's cherry gazpacho has reached a cult-like status and has actually been trademarked. The innovative streak is evident in ingredients, but also in presentation. What a brilliant excuse for the foodblogger to go crazy with her Canon! And I wasn't the only one... "Doesn't anyone just eat anymore?" The Gentleman exclaimed, exasperated.

These chocolate truffles were in fact croquetas made with squid cooked in its own ink and came with yuzu mayonnaise.

These olives, presented in a quail egg container were stuffed among other things with salmorejo, cold, garlicky tomato soup.

Overall the flavours were in perfect harmony. From Vietnamese-inspired lettuce rolls I initially expected a bolder bite, but the spiciness and mild mintiness surprised the palate just a second later. Tuna had unfortunately already run out in this wildly popular restaurant, so tataki with soy and grated tomato  and tuna tartar with passionfruit juice were treats I had to go without. Maybe next time...

Señor Garcia had just opened another Manzanilla in New York and coincidentally we found ourselves sitting next to a New Yorker who had just visited the place prior to getting on the plane to Spain. "This one is miles better" was her verdict.

We ate more than we intended and drank more than we remember, but the bill still came at under €50. And they say good doesn't come cheap...

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