Thursday 4 December 2014

Best Tapas of Sevilla: La Azotea

When VIP was visiting from the UK, I made sure we tried all the traditional (and delicious) tapas you just have to eat when you come to Seville.. spinach and chickpeas, pork cheek, steaks in whiskey sauce, salmorejo soup etcetc. But when you've had a lot of that type of typical food, it can all become a bit... uninspiring. On our last night, I was planning to go to Eslava so we could try some more modern tapas. But unfortunately, Eslava is apparently shut on Sundays.

I knew the one place where there would definitely be open restaurants would be on Calle Mateos Gago by the cathedral, as this is the tourist hotspot. So we reluctantly wandered over there; not that enthusiastically because I knew we'd end up picking from a load of restaurants that all offer the same sort of thing. And that's when we stumbled across La Azotea, looking a bit quirky and unique.

I didn't know it at the time, but Azotea is a chain of four restaurants in Seville, all offering different menus designed by their individual chefs. It's priced higher than most tapas restaurants - most dishes were 4 euros and above. But the dishes were imaginative, unique and really well executed. It is so worth the extra money. We ended up ordering far, far more than we could eat and couldn't even contemplate deserts. Even with drinks included, however, the meal for two came to 35 euros which was excellent value considering the quality of the food. Additionally, the waitress gave VIP a free glass of wine as he offered to move to make more room for other guests.

What to eat: EAT EVERYTHING! We started with a tomato salad, served with basil jellies and lemon sorbet. It looked amazing, and as the sorbet melted it became a zingy dressing for the salad. It was fantastic.
Additionally I tried the best croquettes I've had yet. They blew my mind. There was no dough, but instead shredded pork mixed with small beans, It was served with a sweet chili sauce, my mouth is watering just thinking about them!
From the temting specials we chose some deliciously tender pork loins which I would love to eat again.
Finally, it sounds boring, but the patatas bravas were in a whole new league.

Not so great: It was quite busy in the restaurant - though, for a tapas bar, not outstandingly so - and it was clear the waiters and waitresses got a bit overwhelmed. It was often difficult to attract their attention and they forgot to bring us water. However they were very cheerful so that was nice.
Also, the restaurant looks great - that's what attracted us into it. But I had to sit on a stool! You seriously need a back on chair when you're eating that much!

I'm keen to go to one of the other branches of this chain, as I'd be interested to see if it would be different with Spanish customers around you instead of tourists, who often find the tapas concept a bit challenging. But more than that, I seriously need to eat those croquettes again. The tagline for the restaurant is "fall in love with tapas again". I did.

Photo source: Azahar Sevilla, who also has some photos of their food. I was too busy eating.

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