Monday, 17 June 2013

Essex Eating in Seville

A few weeks ago, I descended on Southern Spain, like an Essex accented pestilence stripping bare their bars of tapas, beer and sherry whilst leaving in my wake dazed, starving Spaniards who didn’t quite know what had hit them.

A major part of my ‘Essex pestilence tour’ was spent in Seville. An ancient city of culture, oranges, flamenco, tapas and errr…shoe shops. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many shoes for sale anywhere on the planet, but I digress, my entire focus was on eating and drinking, muchos, and that’s an aim I achieved for the three days I was there.

The budget didn’t stretch to fine dining and to be honest, that’s not the sort of place I’m after in Spain, because you can eat and drink incredibly well for relatively sod all at the less salubrious end of the scale. I’m at my happiest propped up at a bar, with a glass of sherry at 1.5 euros a glass, and with tapas just as much of a giveaway bargain, tipping both into my mouth, conveyor belt style, all night long.

So, bearing that in mind, here are the places I enjoyed the most on my brief visit.
La Brunilda

The food I ate here was without a doubt the best food I ate in Andalucía in the two weeks or so I was there. It was so good in fact, despite only being in Seville for three days and having a whole host of restaurants to try, I ate there twice.
Chef, Diego Caminos’ menu features traditional tapas with a modern slant, such as a take on Salmorejo featuring orange, raisins, mackerel and cress.
Other stand out dishes I wolfed down over the two visits included a beautifully flavoured and textured risotto (in fact one of the best I’ve eaten anywhere) which featured the unlikely pairing of a sweet red wine reduction, truffle oil, orange and asparagus.
Excellent salt cod fritters with pear alioli.
Foie gras cooked ‘a la plancha’.
A slider style veal burger, which was delicious.
In fact, everything I ate here from start to finish was superb. Nothing disappointed, and as you can see from the pics, I gave the menu a pretty thorough going over. Even better, it was incredibly cheap. If you’re visiting Seville, I can’t recommend this place enough.

La Brunilda
c/ Galera 5
(near Mercado Arenal)
Telephone: 954 220 481


Eslava

I had a cracking lunch at Eslava, standing outside on the pavement basking in the warmth of the Spanish midday sun. When I arrived, it was rammed, with more people turning up the whole time. It’s definitely a popular joint. The prices are ridiculously cheap; hardly anything on the tapas menu is above 3 Euros. As you can imagine, I happily took advantage of the fact.
My ‘I’ll stick anything in my mouth’ outlook demanded that I started off with some of the Sangre Encebollada (a sort of black pudding made from fried chicken blood). To be honest, I can’t say I was a massive fan; it was quite flavourless and had a texture somehow reminiscent of biting into a lump of Plasticine.
Shaking my head to clear horrific flashbacks to childhood culinary experimentation, I moved onto the much more agreeable, roasted pork ribs with rosemary honey glaze. These were excelllent. 
Green Pepper stuffed with Hake was also pretty damn nice as was a piece of roasted mackerel.
Scallops with seaweed puree and rather pretentious sounding kataifi noodles (turns out it's a type of finely shredded filo) were also good.
Finally, if you thought the noodles sounded a  bit special, how about a slow cooked egg served on a mushroom cake with caramelized wine reduction? Posh but peasant(ly) priced at 2 Euro 50 (see what I did there?) In case you're wondering, it was pretty nice actually.

Eslava
c/Eslava 5
Telephone: 954 906 568


La Azotea

La Azotea felt somewhat similar to La Brunilda with regards to the modern take on traditional tapas. No surprise then that I liked it so much.
Croquettas with an Oso Buco filling. Errr....Hell yes!
Even better, Iberico Pork cheek and goats cheese gratin.
A plate of Morcilla with caramelized onion and quails egg was similarly delicious.
The only dish that didn’t quiet come off was a special of avocado and cucumber salmorejo (so basically guacamole, yeah?) with fried baby squid. It was incredibly rich, thick and cloying. It didn’t matter though, as with the other places I’ve recommended above, the menu was priced so you can romp through it to your hearts content and not really have to worry about the bill too much. Got to love that.

La Azotea
Jesús del Gran Poder, 31
Telephone: 955 116 748


Casa Morales

Finally, how about something a bit more traditional? A proper bar, which does excellent, old school tapas. They must be doing something right, it’s been open since 1850. It’s very atmospheric, battered, noisy, packed and most importantly, cheap.

This is the perfect place to stand at the battered age worn bar, necking bargain sherry or a cold beer and topping yourself up with jamon.

Casa Morales
Garcia de Vinuesa 11

Massive thanks to Shawn of Sevilla Tapas for all the tips.

2 comments:

Lizzie Mabbott said...

Rather excited about my trip to Seville in October now!

Dan said...

Lizzie - you'll frigging love it. All the tapas all the sherry. Yeah. Very jealous.