Friday, 31 October 2014

El Faro can become very good

El Faro from outside

Two weekends in a row without a free table at El Faro! This place has achieved great popularity in no time.

Trying a new restaurant is always exciting, especially when people you know are already talking positively about it – and every evening when you walk by, the place is bustling.

The waiter greeted us as we entered the restaurant, and he confirmed the reservation by my name despite the reservation had been made with a different waiter the day before. Class.

The tables were all reserved this Sunday evening and the place was certainly not understaffed. Actually it can be a bit stressful seeing waitresses stumble over each other, trying to take best possible care of their guests.

As I sat there awaiting my food, I felt rather relieved that you can be out in Ocean Village without having to eat next to, or oversee, the many people walking through the marina’s “High Street”.

Our starters arrived

One seafood soup (served by the table) with prawns and shellfish and one plate of grilled prawns from Huelva.

The soup was made with stock of wine, tomatoes and saffron as key ingredients. The richness of the soup base was so delicious that it literally left the shellfish ingredients as “toppings” – in an excellent fashion.

It was a relief to see the prawns served plain, just with grained salt. Too often they arrive drowned in sauce overtaking the actual taste of prawn.

Prawns from Huelva are sought-out in Spain and therefore more expensive (the starter was £12.50). The taste was good but the texture not equal; maybe the desire for freshly caught prawns shouldn’t be pursued on a Sunday evening (but maybe the restaurant shouldn’t have it on its Sunday menu either?).

Well presented main courses

The mains arrived too quickly after the starter, partly because the portion size of the starters was to the heavy side. The presentation of the mains though acted as an instant re-ignition of our appetite. They looked delicious.

Mains: Frilled Tuna Flilet & Cod A La Vizcaina

My tuna steak was accompanied by sliced sauteed potatoes and vegetables. At first I was very excited as the cut and shape of the tuna told me this wasn’t the standard industry cut piece; unfortunately it was overcooked, therefore dry. The vegetables and potatoes were perfect, soft with bite, but the dipping sauce which was soya sauce didn’t feel right.
El Faro TunaEl-Faro-cod-dish-

I found myself sitting jealously watching my partner’s satisfying expression. It’s a challenge to make a truly delicious cod dish, but oh’ boy was she happy about it! The cod had been skilfully cooked, with its juice sealed within it giving you a soft and juicy piece of fish. A very nice dish.

El Faro is still a new restaurant, and I’m sure some of the things we found less wanting at our visit will be orchestrated successfully by our next. They also need to anyway since an overcooked piece of tuna destroys the dish and a chilled red wine loses its aroma (did I forget to mention about the wine?). Despite this we still left the restaurant thinking that it had been a pleasant experience.

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P.S. The rumour is that El Faro’s paella should be pushing the standards for great paella! Please leave a comment if you’ve tried it.

 

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