Restaurant review: Copas y Tapas – revisit

24 03 2015
Cava at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Cupatge d’honor from Pere Ventura

Copas y Tapas is an independent family-owned business which serves Spanish food and wines with Finnish flavor. Restaurant is located at Fabianinkatu, close to Senate Square. Dining rooms are on two levels and both areas were booked-up on Saturday evening.
Copas y Tapas downstairs

Copas y Tapas downstairs

Copas y Tapas upper dining room

Copas y Tapas upper dining room

 

Have visited Copas y Tapas several times before; earlier reviews can be found by using search. Previous visits have been successful, therefore expectations were again high.

Three course dinner costs 46€ including “tapas” plate as starter, main course which can be chosen from 4 alternatives and dessert. 5€ additional payment for meat dishes.

Recommend to choose Menu of the Day because if you choose dishes separately, you pay as much for starter and main course.

But of course you might need some time to make a decision and best way to speed up decision process is to taste some cava for aperitif. Chose Cupatge d’Honor from Pere Ventura. Wine is produced from xarel.lo and chardonnay (30%) grapes. Chardonnay gives some smoothnes and balance to this cava, which I can recommend, if you have chance to taste it.

This time restaurant served for starters Soup, Filled capsicum and Smoked pork.

Soup was warm and tasty, enjoyed it first. Then finished capsicum, which had some delicious shrimp filling. And last smoked pork, which was with add-on’s great experience.

Tapas plate at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

You can choose from four different main courses, which differ almost every day depending on fresh ingredients available. Today alternatives were Duck, Marbled beef (5€ extra), Whitefish and Vegetarian. Chose meat, which was cooked on charcoal grill and whitefish.

With meat was served grilled scrumptious portobello mushrooms and some other enjoyable side dishes. And as you can see from the picture below, ripeness is perfect.

Whitefish was also superb with roots and swamps. And fish was enough big, which is not the fact in all restaurants.

Beef at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Whitefish at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Decided to share 5 pieces of cheese instead of sweet dessert. Only way to remember all tasted cheeses was to ask waiter to write the names down, which he did really quickly, see the list below. Best one was blue cheese type of piece on the right side of plate.

Delicious home-made crispbread should be available in supermarkets, because it was so tasty.

Cheese plate at Copas y Tapas

Cheese list at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

For wine ordered bottle of Torres Vina Sol, which is neutral and easy to drink.

But of course wine lovers must enjoy wines, which pair with food eaten and therefore had glass of Propiedad from Palacios Remondo with the meat. Excellent wine produced from garnacha grapes in the Rioja region.

And with cheeses waiter, or could even say sommelier, chose Nectaria riesling wine from Torres. Not too sweet wine is produced in Chile at Valle de Curico.

Torres Vina Sol - reijosfood.com

Red wine at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.comorres sweet wines at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Copas y Tapas is excellent affordable fine dining bistro in Helsinki restaurant scene, especially if you want to have serious discussion about Spanish wines. Bottles are always brought to the table and usually you can choose from two alternatives, which waiter have pre-selected for you matching to the food.

Fusion cuisine blends brilliantly best parts of Spanish and Finnish food cultures. Michelin guys should check it for Bib Gourmand label.

Service, really important part of experience, was excellent again. Owner of the restaurant came to shake hands with us after recognizing us, which added extra feeling of being welcomed.

REVIEW: FOOD 4,5/5 – SERVICE 5-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5

Ruoka | Ravintola Copas y Tapas





Restaurant review: Copas y Tapas – Spanish cuisine by Finnish chef’s

5 10 2014
Copas y Tapas

Copas y Tapas

 

Copas y Tapas is an independent family-owned business which serves Spanish food and wines with Finnish flavor. Restaurant or actually Tapas Bar is located at Fabianinkatu, close to Senate Square. Dining rooms are on two levels and both areas were booked-up on Saturday evening.

Have visited Copas y Tapas couple of times before; earlier reviews can be found by using search. Previous visits have been successful, therefore expectations were again high.

Actually our experience started 5 minutes after reservation, which was made via TableOnline one week before dinner. We have requested to avoid some ingredients and restaurant chef sent email asking some additional info. That was quick and definately customer friendly.

Three course dinner costs 46€ (not bad) including tapas as starters, main course which can be chosen from 4 alternatives and dessert. 4€ additional payment for one of the meat dishes. Dinner starts with assortment of three tapas. You do not know what you get because restaurant chooses what to offer. But of course you can influence a little bit on it.

This time restaurant served for starters Carrot soup, Filled capsicum and Smoked pork.

First we enjoyed soup which was flavoured with saffron. Very tasty! Next we ate capsicum filled with cream cheese and crayfish, excellent. Pork was accompanied with kohlrabi to lighten up greasiness.

Tapas plate at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

You can choose from four different main courses, which differ almost every day depending on fresh ingredients available. Today alternatives were Duck, Rabbit (4€ extra), Pike- Perch and Vegetarian.

Both enjoyed portions were delicious and healthy, not ruined with potatoes. Rabbit was prepared with two ways, you get fillet and pressed meat. Two sauces, chioggia beet and tomatoes paired well with both meats.

With roasted pike-perch was also chioggia beet, small chanterelles and pear pieces. Correct degree of ripeness made the gusto perfect.

 

Rabbit at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.comFish at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Decided to share 3 pieces of cheese before dessert. Delicious home-made crispbread should be available in supermarkets, because it was so tasty. Cava paired especially well with smelted cheese, no need for port or red wine or other “cheese drinks”. These cheeses were chosen to match with white wines.

Cheese plate at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

For dessert restaurant served Pannacotta with black currant pyre.

Sweet, but not too sweet, dessert ended the dinner nicely. One portion included chocolate pieces and one pistache due to milk in chocolate.

Pannacotta at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

For wine ordered bottle of cava Gramona III Lustros Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2006, which is produced from Xarel-lo (70%) and Macabeo (30%) grapes. Wine is also really dry as it includes only 2 g/l sugar. Must be one of the driest cavas.

Was going to order III Lustros in Malaga in May, but it was finished from the restaurant we visited. Had instead Gramona Imperial Gran Reserva Brut, which includes Chardonnay grapes. In Finland these wines cost at restaurant 40€ more than at restaurant in Malaga, believe or not, because of VAT.

Cava at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Copas y Tapas is one of the most promising affordable fine dining bistros in Helsinki restaurant scene, especially if you want to have serious discussion about Spanish wines. Fusion cuisine blends brilliantly best parts of Spanish and Finnish food cultures. Michelin guys should check it for Bib Gourmand label.

And selection of Spanish brandies is wide. Tried Torres 20 which tastes more like cognac.

Service, really important part of experience, was excellent again.

Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

REVIEW: FOOD 4+/5 – SERVICE 4+/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5

http://www.copasytapas.fi/





Restaurant review: El Meson de Cervantes – Malaga; Spain

17 09 2014

Cava at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

El Meson de Cervantes  is located at the backyards of old town at Calle Alamos. It was established by the same chef, who owns El Tapeo de Cervantes just 50 meters away from Meson. The main difference with the restaurants is the dining room with normal tables and chairs, which Meson has but Tapeo does not have.

Visited El Meson de Cervantes 2nd time this year. Previous review can be found by using search.

El Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

Main allurement are tapas which you can order in three different sizes; tapas, 1/2 raciones or full raciones. You could also choose from restaurant menu different type of starters, main courses and desserts but menu is quite short. If you want to eat tapas at the dining room, you need to ask them in a polite way, although waiter might say that they are meant to eat at the bar.

Started the dinner with glass of cavas and tasty, salty green olives.

This time we ordered all dishes from restaurant menu. Actually most of the dishes are the same. Our dinner started with Warm salad of tuna, roasted peppers and green leaves and Pan seared small squids with spinach.

Tuna was perfectly fried as you can see in the picture below, not too well-done; therefore not too dry. This portion is not so typical for tapas restaurant, it is an example of the high quality level of el Meson de Cervantes.

Squids were best part of the dinner, perfect cooking on the pan and olive oil complemented nicely the flavor of two different squids. Recommend to order this starter, if you visit the restaurant.

Tuna salad - reijosfood.com

Squids at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

First main courses were fishes, 1/2 portions of Salmon with herb butter, black rice and a chick pea pyre and Sea bream wrapped in aubergine, carrot pyre and juniper sauce.

Well prepared portions both of them. Salmon was maybe a little bit over cooked but side dish delicious. Sea bream paired nicely with aubergine and carrot pyre was scrumptious. If I would have to choose, would take Sea bream as big main course only.

Salmon at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

Sea bream at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

For 2nd main courses we had 1/2 portions of Argentinian entrecote with fried potatoes, salad and chimichurri and Wild boar stew with sweet Malaga wine sauce and crispy rosti. 

Entrecote was well-done as requested.

But stew was not the same at all as last time. Found no wine in the sauce and taste was more like standard brown sauce. See the difference, picture on the left was from May and on the right taken few days ago. If we would have been served similar stew, grade for food would have been 0,25 points more.

Entrecote at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

Wild board stew at el Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.comLamb stew at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

Dinner ended with Apple tart and vanilla ice-cream which was bull’s eye again. Difficult to beat warm, sweet and soft apple pie with cold ice-cream….

Also Fig flan of sweet Malaga wine was tasty, but maybe a little bit too sweet.

Apple pie - reijosfood.com

Fig dessert - reijosfood.com

For wine we asked waitress to recommend some rose wine. There were actually three rose wines on wine list from which to choose, but after looking us, she brought us a bottle which was not on the list.

And good that she brought, because it was more full-bodied and darker than rose wines usually are. Wine was Barbazul from Huerta de Albalá, which is a recently created winery located in the province of Cadiz. As it is produced from Syrah grapes, quite dark red color is easily to be explained.

Barbazul rose - reijosfood.com

El Meson de Cervantes serves premium tapas and Spanish food in a relaxed athmosphere. If you decide to dine at restaurant, you can watch chef’s preparing portions in the open kitchen. You can also eat in more restful environment and enjoy to be served by professional waiters.

Tapas bar provides opportunity for close social interaction and eating at higher bar tables.

Restaurant is the place to visit out of hundreds of tapas bars and restaurants in Malaga, if you travel there. Hope the menu will be changed, because it was exactly the same as 4 months ago, as far as I remember. There are not so many dishes to choose from the menu.

REVIEW: FOOD 4/5 – SERVICE 4/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4+/5

http://www.elmesondecervantes.com/eng/index.html

 





Restaurant review: Vino Mio – Flamenco in Malaga, Spain

11 09 2014

Restaurante Vino Mío is famous for its Flamenco shows since 2003. The shows are performed by Andalucian Flamenco artists and can include audience participation.

Restaurant is located at a small plaza across from Teatro Cervantes and near pedestrian district.

Restaurante Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

Menu is not traditional Spanish, which you might expect from Flamenco restaurant. Asian flavors, wok’s and pasta come from other countries but mainly not from Spain.

There is Tapas menu available which has more Spanish type of apetizers, if you do not count humus and cous cous to them. However, tapas menu was not served during the show, but we managed to order one starter from it.

Aqua con gas was Perrier, not Spanish. Bread with olive tapenade was delicious, best part of the kitchen.

Perrier at Vino Mio - reijosfood.comBread at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

While watching flamenco with 4€ extra charge per person, we had for starters Bolsitas Crujientes (2) King prawns and vegetables wrapped up in a crispy filo parcel accompanied by tomato and oregano jam and from Tapas menu Surtido Cervantes Queso manchego, salchichon iberico y chorizo iberico.

As menu explained, ingredients were inside of filo parcel. Basically ok portion but required a little bit more flavor for instance by adding some chili.

Starter at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

Assortment of Spanish apetizers consisted of manchego cheese and two types of sausages. Basic and delicious pieces of Spanish cuisine. Chorizo pieces were soft which was pleasant surprise, because they can usually be quite thick and difficult to chew.

Tapas at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Wok Bangok Chicken chunks stir fried with fresh vegetables and finished with Thai sweet & sour sauce served with rice and Sate Bali Indonesian marinated chicken breast served with rice, prawn crackers and a peanut sauce.

Not so typical names for portions at flamenco restaurant in Spain?

Chicken skewer in sate sauce was excellent, simple but tasty. Wok Bangok unfortunately did not meet expectations, vegetables dominated too much.

Wok Bangok - reijosfood.com

Sate Bali - reijosfood.com

Flamenco show is presented at 20.00 – 21.30, which is quite early for locals. Most of the customers were tourists but Wednesday did not seemed to be busiest evening.

At the end of the show dancer picked few customers to join flamenco dance which was the funniest part of the show. Imagine yourself repeating the same steps and moves as professional dancer….

Flamenco at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

Flamenco dancer at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

For wine we had L’Hereu cava from Raventos i Blanc in Penedes region. Main grape is Macabeu 45%, but also Xarel.lo and Parellada are used in production. Wineyard has produced wines since 1497, which is also mentioned on the label of the bottle.

Cava at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

If you would like to see Flamenco for the first time, Vino Mio is the right place. Athmosphere is relaxed, guitar is played well and flamenco shouts and screaming are creditable.

Main think is not the food, but anyone can find something from the menu.

REVIEW: FOOD 3+/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4-/5

Restaurant Vino Mio Malaga, Vino Mio Malaga, Malaga Restaurant, Flamenco Restaurant Malaga, Vino Mio Flamenco Restaurant Malaga, Bino Mio Malaga, Vino Mio Restaurant in Malaga Centre,

 

 





Wine review: Anna de Codorniu Brut Blanc de Blancs

30 07 2014

Anna de Codorniu - reijosfood.com

Anna de Codorníu is the flagship cava of Codorniu bodega and was the first to incorporate the Chardonnay variety in its blend as early as 1984. Delicate, elegant and fresh, this is the best tribute to the last person in the Codorníu family to use the family surname.

The Anna range is a collection of fresh, elegant and delicate cavas with a unique personality. Blanc de Blancs was introduced in October 2013 and it obviously tries to compete against Moet & Chandon and Lanson with their “white” champagnes. Similar set of white coolers and glasses supplements the package. One big difference is that Anna is dry (brut) trying not to tempt customers favoring sweeter bubbling wines. And it is Cava, not Champagne.

Blanc de Blancs should include only Chardonnay grapes, as far as I know? Anna has 70% Chardonnay, 15% Parellada and 15% Xarello, Macabeo. Is it then Blanc de Blancs?

Anna de Codorniu Blanc de Blancs - reijosfood.com

THE LOOK

White bottle is refreshing for cava and suits especially for summer time enjoyments.

Wine is more yellow than Cavas usually are.

Anna is cava with a fine and persistent bubbles that forms a continuous string of tiny bubbles. But bubbles dissappeared quite quickly.

THE NOSE

Full of citrus and tropical fruit notes. Funny, but first time could really find some bouquet of toast.

THE TASTE

Soft and balanced without disruptive flavors. 70% Chardonnay is the reason for all of this.

Facts:

Alcohol 11,5%, Sugar 8 g/l

 

Cava - reijosfood.com

Wine suits for aperitif and pairs with almost every food. However, would not choose it for red meats but for chicken and pork definately.

Bottle tasted was bought from cruise ship between Helsinki and Tallinn. Therefore it was really affordable and earns 3 plus marks.

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 4+/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK +++/+++

Annas Blanc de Blancs | Anna de Codorníu.

 





Restaurant review: La Reserva 12 – Malaga, Spain

16 05 2014

Cava at La reserva 12 - reijosfood.com

La Reserva 12, located in the center of Malaga, next to the Larios Street, Constitution Square, the Picasso Museum and the Thyssen Museum, is qenuine Spanish restaurant.

Restaurant has terrace, which seemed to be always reserved during lunch and dinner times, stylish tapas bar and dining rooms at the 2nd floor. You can see after stepping in that you have entered into fish restaurant. That might be the reason why locals enjoyed the place. We did not see any tourists in this restaurant during our dinner neither at the terrace when we passed it by several times during our stay in Malaga.

La reserva 12 - reijosfood.com

First of all you must order cava, if you dine at Spanish restaurant. Actually we tried to order Gramona III Lustros, but it was finished. That dropped overall grade right away. Instead we had Gramona Imperial which was anyway good choice. You can buy that also from Alko stores in Finland, but it costs more than in this stylish restaurant (VAT….). Cava is made from Xarel.lo, Macabeo and Chardonnay grapes; Chardonnay makes the cava taste balanced and therefore extremely enjoyable.

For starters we ordered Spanish Potato Salad with Prawns – Ensaladilla Rusa con Langostinos and Baby Squid – Calamaritos.

Potato salad was excellent and it really included prawns. At restaurant reviewed in coming post we had totally different portion. For one person amount of mayonnaise would have been too much but as we shared starters, no problem with that.

Baby squids were hot, fresh, crisp and tasty; just as they should be. Some lemon drops on top of calmaritos and plate was quickly emptied. Excellent kick-off for the dinner.

Potato salad at La reseva 12 - reijosfood.comSole at La reserva 12 - reijosfood.com

For main course ordered two Grilled Sole – Lenguado a la Plancha portions which is always easier for the kitchen.

Fish was also delicious, perfectly fried and no sauce at all to ruin it. Side dishes were simple but as sole is also quite simple, and also easiest fish to get rid of fish bones, they paired well. Starters were quite big, so it was easy decision to focus on fish.

Sole at La reserva 21 - reijosfood.com

This time no dessert as it was quite late and starters made their job.

Our hotel (Molina Lario) was only few steps away from La Reserva 12. First we wondered, if restaurant just placed reserved signs on the table in order to bluff, but every day all tables were occupied by diners at lunch and dinner times. Also tapas bar seemed to be crowded, especially in the evenings.

Pictures are taken at times when dinner time has not yet started and after it. Finns usually eat a little bit earlier than rest of the Europe.

Restaurant La reserva 12 - reijosdfood.comTapas bar La reserva 12 - reijosfood.comLa reserva 12 - reijosfood.com

La Reserva 12 is right place if you are looking for genuine Spanish athmosphere and Spanish dishes. You will not see tourists like in almost every other restaurant or tapas bar near pedestrian precinct and old town.

Service was a little bit rigid but polite. I believe restaurant tried their best in the dining rooms also when it comes to interior; and as a matter in fact they managed quite well. Worth to visit, if you are in Malaga.

REVIEW: FOOD 4-/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4+/5

http://www.restaurantelareserva12.com/EN





Hotel review: Molina Lario – Malaga, Spain

10 05 2014

Drinks at Molina Lario - reijosfood.com

Hotel Molina Lario is a 4 star superior hotel positioned in the centre of Malaga right opposite the Cathedral and just a short distance from the port, the Picasso Museum and the city’s pedestrian district. The recently built hotel is formed by two refurbished 19th century buildings retaining their original façade and a third completely new building.

Molina Lario - reijosfood.comMolina Lario lobby - reijosfood.com

RESTAURANTS

El Café de Bolsa Restaurant & Bar serves lunch and dinner, which you can enjoy either in the outdoor garden-terrace (between hotel buildings, no view to outside) or inside the restaurant. Only half bottle of Cava available was the worst can remember for ages. There is also small terrace which opens onto the pedestrian street, best place to observe by-passers and other restaurant terraces, but quite bald.

Cava at El Cafe del Bolsa - reijosfood.comMolina Lario terrace - reijosfood.com

Restaurant operates also as a breakfast room and is quite crowded during the busiest time in the morning. However, breakfast was excellent. You could order from the list glass of cava, toast or crepes, which we tried.

Brunch at Molina Lario - reijosfood.comCrepe at Molina Lario - reijosfood.com

We had lunch (separate post) just to check the level of the kitchen and it was not at the level of hotel.

el Cafe Bolsa - reijosfood.comMolina Lario bar - reijosfood.com

Piscina Lounge is the bar on the eighth floor, boasting views of Málaga, and having become the meeting point in the city centre, where you can enjoy an after-work drink, (tapas) or midnight cocktails. The rooftop bar has added a new space and direct out door access to a terrace on the eight floor. These areas become more lively are more widely open in the summer time, of course. In the winter time 6th floor lounge/night club is only open during weekends.

But… there were only 5 sun beds at the terrace by the pool. They were big, but only 5. So, do not to expect too much, if you like sunbathing. However, late in the afternoon, you might have to wriggle between sunbathers in order to see the sea.

La Piscina Lounge - reijosfood.com

Molina Lario LaPiscina Lounge - reijosfood.comMolina Lario Night Club terrace - reijosfood.com

ROOMS

103 rooms are located in the refurnished 19th century hotel building or in new construction depending on the classification. We accommodated in DELUXE room which located in the old building at 2nd floor. As we arrived early, way before normal check-in time, we did not want to make complaint about the smell of cigar in the room. We also noticed that there was not so much storage for belongings. Otherwise all in place; bath robes, slippers, etc….

Deluxe room at Molina Lario - reijosfood.comBathroom at Molina Lario - reijosfood.com

Whisky bottle in the room was unique detail; actually would have preferred cold Cava. Who can drink whisky every day, maybe for breakfast with few pistach peanuts? We preferred generous breakfast at Cafe de Bolsa.

Whisky at Molina Lario - reijosfood.com

CONCLUSION

Hotel Molina Lario is stylish hotel and suitable for a few nights stay. Probably one of the best hotels in Malaga for business travellers. Because there are no drawers for clothes and only six coat hangers in the cabinet, you have to store them in suitcase, if you stay longer.

Because of location hotel is perfect choice for exploring old town/pedestrian district, museums and modernized harbour area. And it takes only 20 minutes to drive to Benalmadena Puerto Marina by taxi.

You could also just visit La Piscina Lounge bar in the afternoon or evening and have a drink, listen music and enjoy the harbour view. Elevators are close to reception, just go there!

http://www.hotelmolinalario.com/en

 








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