Monday, June 28, 2004

Tragabuches, Ronda, 7th of May 2004.

Ronda is certainly worth a visit for the scenery alone, but as done the usual sights on previous occasions, this time I came for the food, and well, the Bandit Museum.

Tragabuches offers some of the most exiting food in South of Spain, well all of Spain actually. Sergio López has really established himself as Andalucias answer to Ferran Adria.

As is my custom, I decided on the full tasting menu, which is a good idea if you would like to get a good idea of what a restaurant in this category has to offer.

Here is what I ate:

First a collection of 9 "tapas".

The first dish is a classic, a cherry Gaspacho with cheese and anchovies, quite a combination. Strong clean taste. Served along another dish with sardines and moorish spices on the side. Excellent start.

Moorish sardines
Cherry gaspacho, fresh cheese and anchovies

This was very interesting, the dish arrived with a dome over it, and when it was taken away, cold air flowed upwards. The olive oil, semolina, bread and garlic had been cooled with dry ice, and had a very interesting texture and sensation in the mouth, kind of reminded me of migas, or perhaps not quite.

Olive oil iced semolina, toasted bread and garlic

A roosters comb, finely sliced, served cold with a sorbet of garlic and pine nuts. Refreshing.

Iced white garlic and pine nuts with roosters comb and pine

Another classic, the last time I was here the fois was actually pigs liver, which may not appeal to everyone, but it was excellent. This time the fois part was hosted by a duck or perhaps a goose, they failed to enlighten me, topped with fresh goat cheese and a thin layer of caramelised apples on top.

Fois with goat cheese and caramelized green apple

Yet another gaspacho, but very different from the first. Smoked tuna in avocado and topped with spicy fresh corn. A first for me. Interesting.

Gaspacho of texured Avocado with spicy corn and smoked tuna soup

An interesting combination, the lime was extremely acidic and helped offset the richness of the fois gras. Taste seemed to linger on forever. Impressive.

Nougat of fois and lime

A potato and olive oil soup with a strong gamey meat buried in it. Interesting. The partrige paté was extremely tasty, but I forgot to ask for the recipe.

Patrtrige paté
Olive oil purée with onion and game

The menu

A solitary shrimp in a cold tomato aspic, clean and elegant, fresh sea aroma, but not the most exciting of dishes.

Shrimps, tomato, popcorn and olive oil

A stew with beans, pumkin, chick peas with scallops. Very elegant "stew", even the scallops were excellent (they are normally nothing to brag about this far south)

Gipsy stew with beans, pumpkin, chick peas and Scallops

Simply a piece of seabass cooked to perfection and served on a hot stone. Keep it simple stupid.

Seabass in espeto

A tiny piece of mountain goat, shoulder I guess, cooked for a long time with a sauce, or stew as they called it, made with infused tea and mint. Succulent. As I had eaten baby goat in El Lago and made it my self, though both excellent dishes, it was nice to establish that Tragabuches took it one step further.

Billy goat from the mountain area
with Moorish tea and mint stew

The desserts

At this time I was wondering what the desserts would be like. I am not that keen on desserts, but these were suitably small and both delicious, first an sponge cake with peach an vanillia. Perfect.

Sponge cake and olive oil, peach and vanilla

Then came bread soaked in red wine with what seemed to be a milk sorbet, probably with some meringue whipped in. Light and good, the reccommended red dessert wine went particularily well with this.

Soaked bread with red wine
Meringued milk and pear

Olivares, The red dessert wine

As I lunched alone, the wine list was somewhat limited in its selection of half bottles, but I left it in the hands of the sommelier. He selected a white Palacio Bornos Sauvignon for the tapas and the fish, a Prado Rey Roble for the meat, as well as a glass of sweet red wine from Olivates for the dessert.

An excellent meal, Ronda and Tragabuches is definitively worh a trip.


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