MR & MRS FLAVOUR’S SEVILLE FAVOURITES

Not wanting to shiver from the mid-March snow being dumped on London, we jetted off to sunny Seville for a few days relaxation. We took in the sights, got merry with the locals and most importantly, ate as much delicious local food as we possibly could. Seville is a truly gorgeous city, well known for the friendliness of its denizens and the complete awesomeness of their cooking. The people of Seville love to enjoy themselves and there’s no shortage of buzzing tapas bars and exciting restaurants in which to do so. We sampled all that we could and here are our top five recommendations:

EL RINCONCILLO

You really mustn’t miss this place. Dating back to 1670 and rumoured to be the birthplace of tapas, El Rinconcillo is an embodiment of Sevillian culture. Packed to the rafters with happy revellers and brimming with flavoursome dishes, this is the best place to soak up local tradition.

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We loved the succulent Wild Boar chop with sautéed garlic and red pepper. Find space where you can and order at the bar, where they’ll chalk up your dishes and present you with a surprisingly low bill come the end. There’s no chance of doing a runner, it will take you 5 minutes to squeeze past all the other guests.
http://www.elrinconcillo.es

EL TRAGA

Here’s where to head if you fancy a taste of cutting edge Spanish gastronomic concept eating. This stylish restaurant offers a modern and unique take on tapas, paired with an extensive cellar of exquisite wines.

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Our favourite dish was the Cajun Octopus with black rice, avocado and kimchi. The texture was beautifully soft and the cool avocado harmonised elegantly with chipotle and kimchi fire. You’ll be impressed by the quality here.
http://www.eltraga.com

CONTENEDOR

This was a bit of a trek from our hotel. However, the food was more than worth the journey and the stroll back helped torch a few of the many lovely calories we’d munched. ConTenedor brands itself as a slow food restaurant. The laid-back vibe suits an evening of romantic indulgence.

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The menu comes presented on a hefty blackboard and unless you’ve brushed up on your Espanol, you’ll be needing the interpretation services of your waitress. Check out the scrumptious Confit duck rice. A pleasing portion of comfort food served with a delicately spiced curry sauce. A great find!
https://restaurantecontenedor.com

BAR CATEDRAL

Situated on a busy street only a stone’s throw from some of Seville’s more popular attractions, Bar Catedral fights like a bull to stand out amongst the competition. Another slice of tradition, the décor echoes Seville’s Matador heritage and the menu offers familiar favourites at pocket-friendly prices.

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We ate a fabulous lunch and agreed the mountain sized portion of Galician style Octopus with potatoes was a real treat.
http://www.barcatedral.com

UMAMI

Possibly the trendiest of our picks and recommended to us by many locals, Umami’s suave modern interior and Japanese influenced Tapas menu draws the crowds, meaning you’ll need to book ahead. The Chef running the pass had all the focus, intensity (and possibly looks) of J.K. Simmons’ character in Whiplash, ensuing each dish emerged with finely tuned precision.

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The dishes were fire and the atmosphere cool. Be sure to sample the crisp vegetable tempura, or the wonderfully fresh Tuna Tataki.
http://umamisevilla.com

These are but a handful of the amazing restaurants we visited in Seville and the internet probably isn’t big enough for us to write about them all. If you’re a fan of great value delicious dishes, prepared and served by warm, passionate people, we suggest you jump on a plane and eat your way around this fabulous city. Ole!

PINOCCHIO-THEMED AFTERNOON TEA BRINGS THE HOUSE DOWN

We’d like to claim to be a mature, straight laced couple. However, telling such lies would land us with noses as long as our favourite fairytale Puppet/Boy. The National Theatre is currently hosting Dennis Kelly’s production of Pinocchio and to mark the event, House Restaurant is offering a Hi-Diddle-Dee-Tea. This Pinocchio themed afternoon tea is bound to appeal to kids of all ages, along with adults who refuse to grow up. We headed to House to sample the fun before the end of the run.

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Our lively host lead us to a fine table with a view over the Thames. We sipped our well received Bellinis as we awaited our selection of culinary theatrics. Out came a quirky Perspex box bearing an assortment of afternoon treats aimed at guests of all ages. Savouries included some tasty finger sandwiches, filled with classic ham, plus an interesting hummus and green bean combo. Our personal favourites were the Stromboli pastries. These Southern Italian inspired home bakes came loaded with basil, tomato and gooey mozzarella. All the appeal and flavour of a good pizza but compact enough to leave room for the sweet treats.

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We sampled the fruit scones first, unable to decide whether jam then cream, or cream then jam was the right way to do it. Regardless, they were devoured before you could say Jiminy Cricket. The Blue Fairy cakes were a nice touch, topped with a star to wish upon. We loved the nostalgic rainbow candyfloss and were impressed to learn the sugar was spun on site. The pretty candy pops will be a hit with the little ones and the fine selection of teas available should satisfy the more mature guests. We had a whale of a time celebrating this classic fantasy. We suggest our fair readers head to House Restaurant to take their taste buds on a trip to Pleasure Island.

House Restaurant
National Theatre, South Bank, SE1 9PX

http://house.nationaltheatre.org.uk/ 

THE SWEETEST FINALE AT BIRD OF SMITHFIELD

Do you favour the flavour of a savoury starter, or make a beeline for the main course? Either way, you’ll need to leave room for dessert at Bird of Smithfield this season. Their spring menu has been graced with four delectable desserts that will make you want to order back to front. We were lucky enough to get a preview taste and are more than happy to share the love:

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Sticky Toffee Pudding with butterscotch, vanilla ice cream, honeycomb and almond

A fond favourite of many a sweet-toothed foodie. Bird of Smithfield have delivered a masterclass in honouring this Prince among puddings. Decadent date sponge crowned with a honeycomb and almond crust, drizzled with rich and gooey butterscotch. Served with a quenelle of homemade vanilla ice cream for added deliciousness. Finish your meal with this and you’ll be smitten for life.

Blood Orange Set Custard with doughnuts, yoghurt ice cream and orange jelly

Feeling fruity? This zesty creation will take your taste buds on an early Summer holiday. A creamy thick custard, tucked in a handsome robe of gelatinous orange. The cheeky doughnut spheres are beautifully complimented by the tangy yoghurt ice cream. This one delivers a new sensation you’ll want to revisit.

Vanilla Baked Pear with almond financier, milk ice cream and white chocolate

Can anybody improve the taste of the noble Pear? Apparently so! Infused with Vanilla and baked to perfection, this heavenly dish serves everyone’s favourite fruit with a dressing of white chocolate and a side of luxurious milk ice cream. Paired with an almond financier, we’re looking at a legendary sweet.

Rhubarb Soufflé, rhubarb and custard ice cream (seasonal)

Soufflés are often said to be a challenge for all but the finest of chefs and Bird’s chefs have certainly risen to said challenge. Fluffy, tall and flavoursome, this fabulous dessert is set to grace the social media posts of many a Londoner over this season. Playfully toped with a ball of custard ice cream halved by a rhubarb middle, it’s a picture-perfect pudding.

By all means, make sure you’re sampling all courses at Bird of Smithfield but take it from us, you’d better save room for dessert or you’ll miss out on the sweetest of feelings.

www.birdofsmithfield.com

 

CARLUCCIO’S FESTA DELLA MAMMA MENU

Wine and dine your mamma this Mother’s Day (11 March), with a three-course lunch or dinner at a Carluccio’s restaurant – enjoy with a glass of prosecco from only £22.95 per person.

CARLUCCIO’S FESTA DELLA MAMMA MENU

Available on the 10th and 11th of March, starters on the Festa Della Mamma menu include a traditional tomato bruschetta, Sicilian arancini and an antipasti sharing board piled high with Sardinian flatbread, caper berries, mixed olives, salami, poponcini peppers filled with pesto and mint and garlic marinated green beans and caponata.

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Mains feature a Carluccio’s favourite – Risotto ai Funghi; a vegan orecchiette pasta tossed in cauliflower sauce with sautéed kale, chilli and turmeric cauliflower florets; and a classic Chicken Milanese.

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Finish off with a lemon, passion fruit or melon sorbet or authentic gelato in a selection of flavours including hazelnut, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and cherry.  If you’re looking for something more indulgent, enjoy a delicious vanilla panna cotta, classic tiramisu or a selection of artisan Italian cheeses.

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https://www.carluccios.com/menus/mothers-day

TASTY TAPAS AT BOQUERIA

Look at the size of that Paella! This was meant to be a portion for 3 people but I reckon those enormous Langoustines could satisfy all of Brixton by themselves. We joined a group of friends at Boqueria to celebrate a birthday in the best way possible; namely consuming our bodyweight in delicious Tapas. We clinked our Margaritas in honour of the birthday girl and readied ourselves for a feast.

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Salty Padron peppers and beautifully piquant patatas bravas as standard, followed by Calamari a la Romana that harmoniously married crispy with tender. Dipped in the homemade garlic aioli, they were as authentic as any we’d had in Catalonia. Pulpo al la gallega came as wafer thin slices of juicy Octopus, lounging on a bed of paprika seasoned potatoes. The salt Cod with garlic, olive oil and parsley sauce was out of this World. Appetites were sated but there was still a frantic clash of forks as we battled our friends for the last tasty morsels. The aforementioned Paella de pescado y marisco delivered a scrumptious blend of seafood and saffron that was too good not to finish.

Just when we thought we could eat no more, out came a plate of crispy fried churros, complete with a rich chocolate dipping sauce and a birthday candle to mark the affair. Each of us claimed national ownership of the concept of deep fried dough coated in sugar. Who’d have thought that churros were invented in Wales, New Zealand or even Macedonia? One thing we did agree on is that we’d had a fantastic Spanish meal and will definitely be heading back to Boqueria soon.

Boqueria
192 Acre Lane, SW2 5UL
http://www.boqueriatapas.com/