I am SO frikken excited to tell you about the new La Parada menu in Bree Street. First of all, I have to say that I went there once before and I was so underwhelmed I literally never bothered to eat there again. EVERYTHING was orange and brown. There were NO fresh ingredients and I really didn’t dig it (so much so that I wasn’t even bothered to put it on my blog). But Cape Town DJ, Niskerone has been to Barcelona a lot, loves it and told me that La Parada’s food was the closest to what he’d had in Spain. I’m not going to argue as I’ve never been to Spain, but if it’s true then I won’t be hurrying there anytime soon, LOL!
BUT, last week I was invited to taste their new menu and I was intrigued. 1) Because I didn’t like it first time and 2) It pumps ALL THE TIME! People are constantly outside La Parada and I can never understand WHY?! I think it’s quite a drinking spot, but the restaurant is keen to get away from that a bit more this summer. So I popped off to La Parada and hung out with some of the other fun foodies for a night of festivities.
On the evening we were given a mix of sharing plates as well as family style plates. INSTANTLY I couldn’t get over how the colours had changed. Fresh, beautiful, vibrant vegetables, AMAZING! This was a really, really tough choice because I actually enjoyed all the food, but in no particular order, here are:
My Top 5 Dishes at La Parada, Bree Street
1) Smoked Tomato Salad (R52)
HOLY WOW! I love a simple tomato salad anyway. You’d never think that using a bunch of different tomatoes in one salad would be interesting, but it is. NEVERMIND if it’s smoked like La Parada’s is. WOW! LOVED this!
2) Serrano Ham Croquetas (R55)
Ok after all the bitterballen I ate in Amsterdam, I’m a little off the croquet train at the moment. But when I saw these at La Parada, I had a little giggle and had to indulge. They were really good! Served with a delicious mustard aioli, I couldn’t quite tell if they were made from potatoes or a bechamel sauce, either way, they were great!
Patatas Bravas (R32)
Not really a part of my top 5, these patatas bravas act as a great replacement for those of you who don’t like ham. I’m actually not a big ham fan, but it was cooked and tasted great. These Patatas Bravas are the more traditional croquets. Simple and delicious, served with homemade ketchup, roasted garlic aoli. If you’re not into dijon mustard or ham, try this version instead of the Serrano Ham Croquetas.
UPDATE: These are NOT Patata Bravas! These are the prawn croquets, but I really, really, really didn’t taste any prawn and considering I hate seafood, I would have picked that up. The potata bravas are actually just roasted potatoes.
3) Roasted Pork Belly (R62)
You know I’m a sucker for pork belly so it’s a no brainer that these are on my list. “Rosemary roasted apple sauce, smoked paprika and honey glaze, pickling oniions and pork crackling,” do I need to add anything else? But seriously, the apple sauce was rich and chunky, full of flavour and not the usually over sweet jar kind you’re probably thinking of. These pork pieces could have been cooked down an INCH (and I’m being SUPER fussy here), JUST to take down the fat a MILIMETER more. Overall, they were really good.
4) Charred Green Beans and Broccoli (R28)
I know it seems SO unlike me to recommend TWO vegetarian dishes but these greens were honestly DELICIOUS! They really were absolutely superb. Served with a chimichurri and toasted sesame, I was really surprised by the chimichurri as it was hot and had chillies or cayenne in it! I’m not sure, but it was divine!
5) Beef Shin Croquetas (R60)
Ok don’t kill me for recommending another croquet! But these shin croquetas don’t have potato in them. They’re just pure pulled beef awesomeness in a crusty outer layer! With a dollop of mayo, I know some people may think they’re a bit dry but I kinda like that. I loved these and had about 3 :O
Coffee Panna Cotta (R45)
I LOVE a panna cotta and I know this won the able over. SMOOOOOOTH coffee flavoured cooked cream with a vanilla bean custard, toasted marshmellow and honeycomb (God I love a honeycomb!), this dessert had all 4 of us climbing over the bowl like we hadn’t seen water in 60 days. Speaking of table, at long last I managed to meet the wonderful Sam from Drizzle and Dip! This is us and her friend John, also a LOVELY, lovely, lovely man! We had a ball together on this evening and they actually made the night even better for me 🙂
Seafood Dishes That the Others Loved
Here are some of the seafood dishes that were shared on the night. I don’t eat seafood or fish so I can’t comment from my own point of view, but I thought they looked fresh and good.
Seared Sesame Crusted Tuna (R78)
As you know, I don’t do seafood, but the others really raved about this dish. “Fine bean and green olive salad, oven dried tomatoes, orange, calamata olives, anchovy and citrus dressing” had everyone most impressed. It was a bit TOO hectic for me to taste, but it smelt fresh and clean.
Linefish A La Plancha (R65)
Another fish dish that I didn’t have, but people liked, was the linefish. With blackened corn and green pepper salsa, avocado sauce Romesco and lime. If I ate fish, I think this would be good! Not the best shot in the world, but I think people were happy.
Charred Octopus Salad (R65)
Octopus terrine, grilled green pepper, poached tomato, roasted red onion, cucumber and a sherry vinegar dressing. I had a little bite of the octopus and it tasted alright! If you’re a super foodie from Europe, the flavour might be a bit clean for you, but for a non-seafood eater like myself I “liked” it. It was compressed so I guess that’s where the terrine element comes in.
So I HAD to pick 5 only as that was the whole point of my blog post, but in truth ALL the food I had the other night was really amazing. These dishes also deserve a special mention as I’d quite happily eat then again.
1) Filete De Carne (R78)
Beef fillet with a bacon crumb, need I say more? SUPER smooth cauliflower puree, I loved the baby mushrooms, SUPER tasty! I wouldn’t have minded a little jus just to reinforce the beef, but overall, amazing!
2) Cauliflower Puree (R20)
This was quite a weird one for the table and people aren’t that comfortable with UBER smooth food and this cauliflower puree was, literally, the smoothest puree I’ve ever had in my entire life. Literally. I thought it was delicious but it definitely needed a pita bread or something as it was a little arb on its own. Served with paprika oil and toasted almonds, it was arb but delicious.
3) Honey and Thyme Roasted Butternut (R26)
I know this that will definitely be on the top 5 of the other blogger’s lists as they were really mind blown after tasting it. I liked it, but I think they stole all the toppings as I didn’t get the boom-pow taste that they did. Still great! But I think this dish is actually better than I experienced. I will go back for more and let you know 😉
4) House Salad (R48)
This was a nice fresh addition to the table, but nothing to get over excited about. The house salad includes lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion (which maybe have been pickled? I could see it had been soaked), olives and queso fresco. Nice, but nothing to write home about.
5) Whole Roasted Chicken Sharing Plate (R240)
This was a bit of a funny plate! I recognised the serving style, very American, a large sharing plate for 2 – 4 I’d say. This is a hot smoked paprika rubbed chicken with sweet corn on the cob, house salad and roasted garlic aioli. My chicken was perfectly cooked (breast), but some of the legs were a bit under. I think this plate would work for birthday parties or for a family, but it didn’t win me over from the tapas selection.
Honorary Dessert – Apple and Walnut Baked Donut (R48)
Baked donut? Not sure you should bother. HA! Let me be honest, this dessert was actually very nice. Served with a butterscotch sauce, MY FAVOURITE, pistachio and milk chocolate ganache that was DIVINE and a coconut macaron, it was good! But the baked donut kinda brought it down. I guess I’ll just be a deep fried girl for life because I felt the same about the baked donuts at Junior.
I had an AWESOME time at La Parada and I loved, loved, loved the food. So much so that I’m DYING to go back and I haven’t even been gone a week! I’m hoping to take my bestie there tonight, I’ll let you know if anything isn’t up to scratch but I’m pretty sure it will be.
PS I also had a glass or
3 2 of the chardonnay, not sure what it was but it’s a goodie!
Find La Parada in Bree street.
PS Upon My Next Visit a Week Later…
I returned a week later to La Parada and was so desperate for things to be as good as they were last week! I’m happy to say that it was just as good and our meal was divine. I do, however, have a few observations:
– The coffee panacotta was divine but they used a bit too much gelotine. It was set REALLY firm and didn’t wobble. Flavour was still awesome, but it wasn’t as good as last week’s.
– The smoked tomato salad tasted like a fresh salad, I only had one smoked tomato so I REALLY hope they don’t compromise there as that salad really is mindblowing.