Visit: 11 October 2023
Located in one of the pastel-coloured townhouses opposite the English Cemetery in Malaga, this restaurant offers fine wine and dining from chef patron Pepo Frade and front of house María Schaller.
The menu is extensive and has frequent new additions that showcase local ingredients. Customers can eat outside on the terrace or inside in the downstairs or upstairs dining rooms.
When we visited, the restaurant was hard to find because the front lights were off, so we thought it was closed. However, I’m very pleased that we did locate it as the food was excellent and the service very friendly. It was definitely worth the trip.
There is an extensive tapas type menu, as well as a 7-course tasting menu, priced at a very reasonable 58 Euros per head, that we chose.
We started with very good ham croquetas, which were some of the best I tried on this visit to Spain. Then, the tasting menu started with smoked eel, foie gras and apple on lightly toasted bread. As some didn’t like foie gras, the chef kindly prepared an alternative of cod and apple.
Next was Iberian roasted tomato tartare from Casabermaja, with a basil and caper emulsion, served with artisan toast.
That was followed by cured Malaga white prawn, served in its Tiger’s milk, with corn. The prawns were exceptionally fresh and tasty.
Then we were served roasted leeks, with an egg yolk emulsion, Vermouth, and toasted almonds.
Next were scallops, with a yellow curry and green beans.
The final savoury dish was suckling pig, served with baby corn with toasted butter, and a Bigarade sauce with Jerez sherry (a classic sauce served with duck, that is made using a gastrique of caramelized sugar mixed with wine vinegar, then with veal stock, and the juice and blanched rind of a bitter Seville orange). The pork was superb.
Finally, we were served a dessert of cheesecake, with Arrope Mantilla-Moriles (a fortified wine made from the Pedro Ximénez grapes, whose must is cooked and concentrated by direct fire in a boiler), and with salted caramel poured over.
This meal showcased the chef’s accomplished cooking. The food was inventive, using fresh, local produce, and all the dishes had great flavour. The service was excellent and very friendly. I highly recommend a visit.
The 7 Course Tasting Menu: