Thursday, August 26, 2004

Café de Paris, Malaga

Having visited two of the regions other top restaurants, it seemed natural to give Café de Paris a try. With a michelin star, situated close to the port, it seemed a natural stop for lunch when in Malaga visiting the the Picasso muséum (check out this if you comprehend Norwegan).

A small and cosy restaurant, with decorative striped tapestry combined with strange angles, creates a near picassoesque interior in the dining area.

I decided to take the menu degustación and left it to the charming waitress to serve whatever they felt would be most suitable with each dish.

The appetizer was a tray filled with 4 test tubes with various soups, melon, watermelom, ajo blanco an gaspacho and a few unmemorable small snacks. Soups were ok, but did not really blow me away. Sceptical, I became.

The first dish, mousse of fois gras sandwiched between thin pastry, served with a sorbet de circuelas and apple purée was bland. Served with a glass of non-distinct sweet wine. I’d prefer real fois gras on a piece of grilled contry bread any day.

Next came Bonbón de sardinas marinadas con verduritas y consomé de melón, a marinated sardine in a melon soup with a brunoise of vegetables. This was perfect, a surprisingly good combination. Alas, it woul turn out to be the pinnacle of the meal.

A langoustine wrapped in cucumber, grilled lightly and served in a white buttery sauce would be next. Also good, kind of reminded me of a dish I had in Gianfranco Vissanis Umbrian restaurant 10 years ago where he paired lobster with cucumber and black pepper.

Ventresca de Atún 65° con lentejas y vinagreta templada, carefully cooked fatty tuna with lentils and a tapenade. This was a very good rustic dish cooked to perfection. Had a glass of drinkable Navarra with this.

The main course, was piegon, Pechuga de Pichión rosado con crema fina de patatas. A breast of pigeon on top of – potato glue. This is what happens when you use a blender to mix your pureé, it inevitably turns to glue. Can’t think what the chef thought about here. Potato purée should always be made with a ricer, or a moulinette (food mill). Kind of destroyed an otherwise good piece of meat. The leg, which had been cooked confit style, was also very good. Served with a glass of red wine from Malaga, a Syrah, which was ok.

First dessert, yet another chocolate fondent, which was good, but not as good as the one I had at El Lago the other day. The lemon ice cream that came with it was good. A sweet, almost burned Malaga sweet wine suited the dish well.

Next was Cremoso de cielo con yougurth gireco y coral, which was not to interesting.

Then it was time for an espresso, and yet another small soup and some petit fours.

All in all, an acceptable lunch, but not really a match when compared to El lago (which is cheaper) or with Tragabuches in Ronda (which is in a class of its own).


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