hola! como estas? bien, gracias. y usted? (hello! how are you? fine, thanks, and you?)
last month we, tempting palates, decided to feast on all foods spanish. the place? el toro espanol which is located on semaphore road, semaphore – a north western seaside suburb of adelaide.
el toro espanol states that “spanish tapas is at the very heart of the espanol lifestyle and culture.”
“tapas really means socialability, friends and family.”
i was a tad excited as i was looking forward to trying their paella. back in 2002 i ate paella for the first time – in barcelona. you can’t get any more authentic than that, hey? anyways, i loved it. it was a mixed paella and it was simply divine.
when you first walk into el toro you immediately notice how small the place is. it’s the size of a small cafe. we discovered later that there was another area at the back.
(photo courtesy of el toro espanal website)
being a party of eight, and based on the staff’s recommendations, we ordered 8 different tapas dishes (including 2 tortilla dishes) and 2 mixed paellas.
pulpol al ajillo – chargrilled octopus in a garlic, chilli and paprika sauce >>
chorizos fritos – lightly fried chorizo sauce with paprika and olive oil >>
pork belly – slow cooked pork marinated with sherry, garlic and paprika >>
vegetarian tortilla >>
bbq rare beef – served in olive oil, fresh garlic and parsley >>
pollo al ajillo – tender pan fried chicken pieces in a garlic, chilli and paprika sauce >>
albondigas – meatballs slow cooked in a rich paprika sauce >>
and last, but not least, the mixed paella >>
i found some of the tapas dishes to be really tasty. nice flavours for such simple foods. a few of the tapas dishes had such delicious sauces that we had to dip our bread into them. be rest assured that there was no double dipping involved! el toro claim that they have “the small plates with the big flavour”. with some dishes they certainly do.
the paella. sigh. i was disappointed. it looked great. but there was something missing. it just didn’t do it for me.
p.s. we had a lovely waitress serve us. very friendly. always smiling. however she made the mistake of asking if we wanted the dessert menu. absolutely!
churros – spanish style donuts served with sherry chocolate ganache >>
crema catalana – a classic catalana custard with a toffee sugar crust >>
balsamic strawberries – marinated strawberries in a balsamic reduction with cream and sugar >>
the churros were crunchy and, thankfully, cooked on the inside. the
brulee crema catalana was nice. i do like hearing the cracking sound when you break the sugar crust :) the strawberries. what on earth was going on here? can’t describe the flavour. at least i can say i tried them. i’m sure that there will be some people who will enjoy this dessert.
a few in the group tried the cafe bombon – spanish coffee – a coffee with a combination of equal parts espresso and condensed milk. interesting. and pleasing to the eye. can you say that about coffee?
la comida estuvo deliciosa. (that was a very good meal.)
the el toro espanol experience was a cosy casual dining experience.
i would like to go there again. in daylight. just to take better photos ;) no seriously, i would go again – to try the other tapas dishes, enjoy a glass of sangria (or two) and drink the
condensed milk cafe bombon ;)
que pase un buen dia! (have a good day!)
“barriga llena, corazon contento” ~ a full belly and a happy heart.