中文USEUROPEAFRICAASIA
Lifestyle

Spanish update leaves no one hungry

By Xu Junqian in Shanghai ( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-09-22 07:57:45

 

Spanish update leaves no one hungry

Baby Sardines "Ramon Pena" [Photo provided to China Daily]

 

For years, the leafy, historical, more than 600-meter-long Yongfu Road deep in Shanghai's French Concession had been the go-to place for the city's swingers, until the opening of Bocado.

The Spanish restaurant surrounded by a string of themed bars and clubs has not always been a favorite stop for pub crawlers.

But with the arrival of new chef Roman Bello, the son of a fisherman in northwest Spain, Bocado, which means "mouthful" in Spanish, is no longer satisfied with serving bite-size appetizers.

The tapas as starters are hearty enough. The manchego cheese, made by curing sheep's milk for 12 months, is a good warm-up exercise to excite the palate with its flavorful but not-so-strong taste. The Iberian ham, on toast with tomato and olive oil, is smoothly textured with prettily marbled fat.

Spanish update leaves no one hungry

For warm tapas, there are three types of croquettes to choose from: the Iberian ham, the cheese and spinach, and the truffle and mushroom. I suggest trying all three, as they aren't too big - and each morsel is worth a place in your mouth and stomach.

Chef Bello tells me that he believes there are only two flavors in the world, sweetness and sourness, while all others "are just accidents in our mouth". If so, the black sausage served on potato blinis with apple compote and red bell-pepper sauce is "a beautiful accident" that should happen frequently. The apple compote nicely balanced the saltiness of the sausage, while the pepper sauce adds a few tingles for your taste buds.

The chilled gazpacho soup is lighter compared with normal ones. And its simple recipe, including tomatoes and just a few spices, makes it a refreshing choice and a healthier companion to the bread than the usual heavy butter.

The paella negra comes first as a visual shock with its black squid-ink coloring. But rather than spoiling the appetite of my group, it was the most inviting course not only because of the color but its generous use of seafood including prawns, squid, fish and mussels. The only drawback - which actually made us all laugh - was that after a few spoonfuls of the rice, we were surprised by our weirdly dark-tinted teeth.

The creamy rice pudding, served last as the dessert, is not overshadowed by the paella at all, despite their common base: rice. There might be as many versions of "arroz con leche (rice pudding) recipes" as Spanish grandmothers who can cook the household dessert. Bocado's version, with its delightful touches of cinnamon and vanilla, is notably down-to-earth, unpretentious but sophisticated, like having had a little talk with a wise granny about some life lessons.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Editor's Picks
Hot words
Most Popular
...
...