tapas

Spanish Style Catch Ups At La Boca

There were going to be 9 of us and a pram. Oh yes. Not the sort of table that restaurants want (trust me, I know!) but La Boca welcomed us with open arms. I didn’t even have to promise that we’d behave, tell them that all nine of us have worked or work in restaurants, plead our case. 

You see, we were having a big catch up with our Glasgow nearest and dearest, and we wanted somewhere central, informal and that we were familiar with. I’ve written about La Boca before (here) as Mr S and I went on a few date nights there. Tipsy lunches with sangria and tapas then walking home in the sun, they were good days. 


Pimientos de Padron

It was the first time that most of them had met baby L so we didn’t order for a while since she was being passed around. Luckily the staff were patient with us and sorted us out with vino and juice in the meantime. We all ordered from the pre-theatre menu that is competitively priced at £10.95 for three tapas. It has a varied selection of meat, fish and veggie dishes and we all easily found things that we wanted to eat. 

Pimientos del Piquillo

Boquerones and bread arrived quickly to nibble on before the rest came out in dribs and drabs. The friendly staff made sure that we had everything needed throughout. 

Boquerones

 

Chorizo al Vino

All of the dishes seemed to go down well, notably the padron peppers and chipirones. I’m a massive tapas fan and La Boca delivers for me on this – lots of tasty little hits of Spain. 

 

Croquetas Caseras

Morcilla


Chipirones

The restaurant has a lively atmosphere that I love. It isn’t all about the food for me, it’s about the whole experience and I felt that they delivered. 

Patatas Bravas

As well as ordering from the pre-theatre menu we ordered a Secreto Iberico tapa from the main menu. It is a large tapa and you could easily have just that and some bread and olives and lunch would be dandy. We have it every time we go to La Boca and this won’t be changing. The description labels it as ‘secret cut of pork from Spain’s famous black pig, outstanding flavour’. They aren’t lying- the taste is truly fantastic. It is a savoury meaty and salty taste that rivals a good steak. 

 

Secreto Iberico (£7.50)


As far as I could see, they don’t have a baby changing unit. I managed at the time on the toilet floor with the changing bag mat but now my little L rolls about I don’t think I’d want to. Hopefully they’ll get one soon or signage if they have it. 

There’s no doubt about the fact that we’ll be returning to La Boca but since we are not as local as we once were I need Glasgow folk to keep it open for me in the meantime. Phone a friend and arrange a catch up, it’s a good place for it. 

Princes Squares Spanish Gem – Barca

If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll gather that I am a fairly loyal customer once you’ve got my attention. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the excitement of a new place, but going somewhere that I know what to expect leaves me feeling content. If we don’t go back to these places then they won’t be there to go back to so it is important as well. On one of my many Christmas shopping days I met Liz (loves good food & gin) and we were looking for somewhere near the shops in the city centre to eat. We went through the usual “Greek?”, “I don’t fancy Greek”, “I don’t fancy Indian” rigmarole and decided on tapas so made a beeline for Princes Square. I always know that Christmas is coming when I go into Princes Square because the decorations feel so magical. I miss the old traditional decorations they had but the new ones still do the job. Even although Princes Square is a shopping centre, it plays host to some fantastic eateries. None of this school dinners style malarkey-more cocktails, rib-eyes & macchiatos. Barca has been there for a long time and I first went about five years ago. It covers three of my needs – near the shops, cheap enough for a spur of the moment and tasty food. They do a few deals online so I tend to book through an external site but forgot this time.

 

photo(5)

 

It was fairly quiet when we arrived so there were seats left on the balcony but this area busies up quickly so I’d specify it when booking if you really want to sit there. We ordered some beers to kick us off – a Sagres for her and a Desperados for me – then a selection of dishes from the a la carte menu.

We ordered barra gallega con salsas (£4.50) – crusty bread that comes with aioli, extra virgin olive oil and sherry vinegar, red mojo sauce (tastes like paprika) and green mojo sauce (tastes like coriander) because we were hungry and wanted something immediate. The dips are worth the extra money – so moreish!

IMG_2053-001

 

Shortly afterwards our food started arriving with my gambas pil pil (£5.95) coming first. It is such a simple dish but one of my Spanish favourites and their addition of paprika only makes it better. My only suggestion is that I’d love more garlic slivers in the pan to mop up with bread.

IMG_2054

 

Liz’s manchego frito (£4.75) was the ultimate treat dish of Spanish manchego cheese in a crumb with a spicy tomato dip – all gooey and cheesy, yum.

 

IMG_2052-001

 

Chuleta de cordero (£7.95) came as two big lamb cutlets with a sweet fig and honey sauce – another one to mop up with bread as you can see in the photo!

 

IMG_2051-001

 

As a special they were doing turkey and cranberry croquettes (£5.95) so we thought we would try them out. They were really nice and I’d love to see them on the menu even although it is a festive filling.

 

Since I have an infatuation with garlic and olive oil, I also chose champinones al horno (£4.95), which are flat cap mushrooms baked with the aforementioned. The dish had been executed well – the mushrooms still had a slight firmness and weren’t drowned in the garlicky oil.

IMG_2055-001

 

Patatas bravas (£3.75) completed our spanish feast and added on some little needed carbs but were enjoyable all the same.

 

It was meant to be a quick dinner but we ended up sitting chatting for a few hours in the nice surroundings. Our waitress was friendly and did not seem to mind as it was quiet. The perfect post-shopping unwind.

 

 

Barca Tapas and Cava Bar on Urbanspoon

Take Me Back To Malaga

Recently I’ve been making mental notes about which restaurants not to forget to return to. Especially since I began this blog, I’m always on the lookout for new places so it’s easy to not make it back to one of Glasgow’s gems for a year. This said, we decided that a (non-hungover!) return trip to Malaga Tapas in the Southside was in order.

Image

Exterior

We popped in for a Monday lunch and the restaurant was quite quiet – this place really is one of Glasgow’s best kept secrets. We opted for the lunch menu again, which gives you three tapas from the a la carte menu for £6.95. Some of the dishes we chose were the same as last time so I’ll not repeat what I’ve already said but they were still delicious.

We really wanted to try the homemade black pudding (Morcilla Espanola) because the homemade chorizo was so flavoursome on our last visit. It was seriously tasty, and meatier than the black pudding you usually find over here. It arrived in a quince sauce that was similar to the chorizo sauce and very nice. Definitely one to get bread with to soak up all of the sauce.

Image

Black Pudding

Mr S chose the Fritura De Pescado as our seafood option – squid, king prawns & white fish fried and served with garlic mayo. The batter was crispy, not too oily & the seafood tasted fresh. Another good choice!

Image

Fritura de Pescado

We tried the classic Tortilla Espanola to vary what we had from last time. I love the idea of classic dishes and Tortilla Espanola is a cracker for Spain with its egg and potato combo. Lots of potato and onion layers and a slight salty stock taste to it – very nice but a touch too much salt for my liking.

Image

Tortilla Espanola

Finally I need to give a nod to how great value this place it. They have a host of offers on from the 3 tapas lunch we had for £6.95 to the A diario offer where tapas are £2.75 each between 5pm and 6.30pm Sunday to Thursday.

Image

After all of that wonderful food I breathed a sigh of relief that it was as good as it had been the first time. It makes me so sad when I return to somewhere and it doesn’t meet my expectations. Malaga still makes it to the top of my favourite tapas restaurants in Glasgow list.

Malaga Tapas on Urbanspoon

Glasgow Tapas Has Never Been So Good

To get over ‘hangover Thursday’ we decided that we needed a good, hearty lunch. I have been hearing good things about Malaga Tapas (near Shields Road underground) so we figured that this would be the perfect opportunity to try it out.

I have to admit that from the outside this place was not selling itself to us but once we got inside this all changed. We arrived fairly late on by lunch standards so the restaurant was quiet but we were met with a smile and taken into the dining room. The first thing that struck me was how authentic I thought it looked- all dark wood and chunky seats. It felt homely which was perfect when you are feeling as weary as we were!

After ordering drinks, our waiter came over with a complimentary hor d’oeuvre of crusty bread with what tasted like a red pepper topping and olives. I felt like I was on holiday being given free food! I will admit that this small gesture won me over immediately.

The menu is extensive and they had a lunch deal on where you could choose any three tapas from the a la carte menu for £6.95. We eventually decided on six dishes and some bread to mop up the sauces.

The first dish to arrive was Pinchos De Ronda, which is marinated grilled chicken skewers served with a sweet chilli dip. It was full of flavour and the chicken was juicy – we knew we had come to the right place for lunch.

Image

When I read on the menu that they made their own Chorizo I knew that Chorizo Frito Al Vino Tinto was going to be my next choice. The paprika flavour in the chorizo was delightful and the red wine sauce complemented it perfectly.

Image

I needed some good stodge in my belly so we went for the Patatas Gratinadas – creamy gratin potatoes with cheese.

Image

We never go to a tapas restaurant without sampling the paella and this time we opted for the chicken paella. It was a thumbs up from us…full of flavour, with lots of peas and chicken to balance out the rice.

Image

As Mr S was feeling a bit delicate, we went for another skewered dish so he could avoid too much sauce. This time we plumped for the pork skewers that were marinated in garlic, cumin and red wine (Pinchos Morunos). This was similar to the chicken skewers, and was also a hit on the taste scale.

Image

Last but not least, I chose the Pollo Al Ajillo because I love garlic and it is a real treat having chicken oozing with oily garlic. This may have been my favourite dish – it won me over by having so many garlic slivers in the sauce that I could have a piece of garlic with every bite of chicken.

Image

We couldn’t fit in dessert, in fact we had to take some tapas home due to our wimpy hangover stomachs, but next time I will not be leaving without trying one. I was very jealous watching another table get their Creme Catalan blowtorched at the table.

Last of all I have to mention the gentleman who served us – he was friendly without being irritating or imposing and he made us feel thoroughly welcome.

I always have a spring in my step when I try out a new restaurant that meets my expectations so I am happy to say that I walked out of Malaga Tapas with a big smile on my face.

Malaga Tapas on Urbanspoon