Restaurant review: Torero – Spanish whiff

23 04 2014

Torero Joensuu - reijosfood.com

Torero is Spanish type of restaurant chain locating in 5 cities on the same premises as Sokos Hotels. Same Spanish concept is used in Sevilla restaurants in the capital area. We dined at Torero Joensuu during Eastern time.

Menu consists of pinchos, tapas, fish and meat from the grill and other delicious sounding food. You could even order paella, which is not the easiest one to prepare.

After ordering we were first served warm tomato-goat cheese soup with fresh bread. Quite nice gesture from the chain restaurant to serve actually quite delicious appetizer. Have you ever served real appetizer in chain restaurants?

Appetizer at Torero - reijosfood.com

As friends of tapas we decided to try them as starters. We ordered Tapas Penedes Piquillo peppers filled with cream cheese and chorizo groats, Tapas Las Palmas (what a name…) Chicken breast, celery salad, piquillo peppers and chorizo ​​crumb and Pimiento de Padron Salted sweet green peppers.

Green peppers were as good as in most places in Spain, enough soft and not too much salted. Chicken breast was the weakest link, meat was already dry but celery salad compensated a little bit. Piquillo peppers were also excellent, maybe a little bit too much cream cheese but it did not bother.

Tapas at Torero - reijosfood.com

For main courses we had 2 x Chicken breast, creamy sherry pepper sauce, Spanish vegetables and French fries and 2 x Grilled salmon, shellfish sauce, roasted beetroot, pak choi, roasted almonds and tortilla española.

Chicken portion was not so Spanish as it could be; why not includ Papas Arragudas instead of French fries? Did not either understand why vegetables were Spanish; standard oven vegetables. However, for chain restaurant, basic portion. Salmon was overcooked but beetroot was roasted perfectly. If you like Spanish omelette, you would have liked this one.

Chicken at Torero - reijosfood.com

Salmon at Torero - reijosfood.com

For wine we chose Chilean Tormenta from Viogner grapes from Torres, which paired well with all dishes. Grapes are organically grown which makes the purchase more sustainable.

Torres Viognier - reijosfood.com

Torero is good choice for hotel restaurant, if you like Spanish-style food. Suggest to focus on tapas and pinchos because they are delicious. Of course every dish is not made from the very beginning in the kitchen but you get full belly and mostly can enjoy the food.

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

http://www.raflaamo.fi/torero

 

 





Restaurant review: El Senador – two lunch experiences

6 01 2014

El Senador - reijosfood.com

Had to write another post from winter holiday, because this restaurant does not let you down when it comes to Spanish food.

Restaurante El Senador is situated by the Maspalomas beach near Faro lighthouse. Have visited El Senador several times since 2006.  Because of the location it seems to be quite expensive compared to the restaurant premises. But on the other hand all tapas portions are so huge that they could be shared with 4 person. Both dining areas and bar are always crowded during lunch time.  This year review covers two visits.

Lunch 1:

For starters ordered Sopa de pescadores del Atlántico which was excellent. It included some bites of fish and shell-fish, mainly mussels and shrimps. Soup base was really delicious, but slightly over salted. Soup was brought to the table in big bowl. Then waitress ladled hot soup on the plates which was a proof of long tradition.

El Senador - reijosfood.com

Main course was our favourite Lubina a la sal con espinacas a la crema y patatas hervidas – Sea bass baked in a salt coat. Fresh fish is baked in salt coat, then it is brought to the table, waiter removes fish bones and you just enjoy the fish and side dishes. It is easy to overcook the fish when it is prepared this way. However, the taste of fresh sea bass is unbeatable. If you travel to Finland our whitefish tastes almost the same.

Lubina at El Senador - reijosfood.comSea bass at El Senador - reijosfood.com

Lunch 2:

Second lunch started with Pimientos de Padrón fritos – Deep-fried small green capsicums with coarse salt and Pan con ajo crujiente. As we had decided to eat Fideau for main course started had to be modest. In this restaurant Paellas and Fideua are huge. Small capsicums are, we think, the best available in Spain. Portion is huge which means two person can not empty the plate if main course will follow.

Small capsicums at El Senador - reijosfood.com

Main course was indeed Fideuà ciega (con choco, gambas y pescado limpios). Mostly Spanish eat Paella made from rice but as once ate in Salou so delicious Fideua, had to taste it also here. Unfortunately Fideua here did not beat the one is Salou. This was good no doubt about it, but as you have once had the ultimate taste experience, it is easy to be deviced slightly.

Fideua at El Senador - reijosfood.comFideua - reijosfood.com

El Senador is best place to eat local food for lunch in the area. Do not set too high expectations for the service. Restaurant serves thousands of visitors per day, so do not be too upstage. Service is enough good in order to keep the mood high.

If you decide to have drinks at the bar area you can also order food there and eat it in very, very relaxed athmosphere. But not among troublemakers because everyone is enough sophisticated to enjoy life evenly.

El Senador - reijosfood.com

Interesting detail is that you can find dry riesling white wine from Torres at the restaurant. That is what we had with Lubina, mostly enjoyed Vina Sol which paires enough well with tapas dishes.

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

http://www.restauranteelsenador.com/index.php/en/





Restaurant review: Copas y Tapas

8 09 2012

Restaurant Copas & Tapas started at Esplanad but luckily their previous landlord decided to use all premises by themselves. Means that you can always sit on half empty terrace at Cafe Aschan. But if you want to taste delicious tapas or even dine prepare to book table beforehand. Restaurant is not so easy to find but it is worth it.

You can choose Tapas assortment of 3, 4 or 5 tapas and continue with main course. This time daily selection were whitefish, duck or black angus steak prepared on “horno brasa”. Means charcoal grill. For dessert assortment of 3, 4 or 5 cheeses or sweets. Most of the wines come from Torres wineyards including 20 and 30 year old Torres brandies.

For tapas got Zucchini soup, Filled capsicum and  Pork neck mousse on rye bread. Recommendation was to start with cold soup which was good and suitably salty. Next ate capsicum which was filled with cream cheese and crayfish, excellent. Overripe organic pork neck mousse was scrumptious. Could have eaten 5 of them. On top of tapas were two pieces of licorice which suited well for salty mousse.

Chose for main courses Whitefish with fennel pyre, beurre blanc sauce, season vegetables and chantarelles. Asked one portion without milk products and restaurant managed to meet the request perfectly serving fish with sweet pepper sauce. Both portions were delicious, would say achieved gourmet level. Fennel pyre was relish, onions so sweet and it always makes difference when food is prepared on charcoal grill.

Would say that service was also admirable. Lots of useful information about portions, wines and brandies.

Copas y Tapas is not traditional Spanish tapas restaurant because it uses Finnish foodstuff and also tapas are prepared partly Finnish way. What makes it extraordinary are fresh tapas which are prepared at the restaurant. With some modifications to the dining room (too much echo), it will be one of the most successful concepts.

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

http://www.copasytapas.fi/





Restaurant review: Parrilla Espanola

4 02 2012

Bienvenidos a Parrilla Espanola.

If you are looking for native Spain restaurant (not only tapas and cava) you must visit Restaurant Parrilla Espanola with 30 years history in Helsinki restaurant life. You could even get Paella if you would prefer.

We visited restaurant during the weekend when there were lots of culture and sports events in Helsinki.  Helsinki is the capital city of desing and there was Restaurant Day on the 4th of  Feb. Same day there was also outdoor hockey game at olympic stadium.  Due to these events several passers-by noticed that restaurant was full reserved which was true as we were already seated. By 21.00 all tables were in use.

For starters we chose Tapas for two consisting of Manchego cheese, Jamon Serrano, melon, marinated mushrooms, olives, marinated red onions, chorizo, spanish meatballs,…..Tapas were fresh which is rare nowadays as canned food is too often on the plates.

Pike-Perch a la Vasca and Grilled fillet beef-steak “Parrilla Española” were main course choises we ordered. Portions were more typical to Spanish than Finnish. This is important to understant for Finnish visitors!  Taste of fish was hidden under fish-white wine sauce, sothe taste of was not easy to identify. Meat was ordered as medium but it was more or less raw and parts of side dishes were burned.

But, restaurant is the one of the best original Spanish restaurants in Helsinki. You can get several Spanish brandies including Torres and Lepanto. Decor is timeless like in restaurants in Madrid or any other city in Spain; but not the tourist ones. Worth of visiting if you want original Spanish food, but do not expect visual experience.

REVIEW: Food 3/5 – Service 4/5 – Overall grade 3/5

http://www.parrillaespanola.fi/








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