Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Spanish Food Log #2: Paella

Okay, I know that I should probably follow the chronological order of my trip to Spain, but I can't help jumping around since the focus of these post and the one before this is about food.

So again, I'm taking you through the photos taken in both Madrid and Barcelona within the same post. Topic? Paella, baby!

First, we'll be stopping over at Madrid since that was our first stop and also where we had our first paella. 

Day 1 was spent on travelling from Borås to Madrid, arriving at the hotel near Atocha Station past 10pm. Here's to Day 2, photos taken right before dinner. 

Was mad hungry, as Jing kept dragging me from attractions to attractions, ALL ON FOOT and disallowed me to take a break or ice cream, as it was getting darker and she wanted to take photos of the attractions. So I didn't bother remembering where we were going exactly. All I was thinking of was food. So don't ask me what the name of this square was.

 Can't tell you the name of this place but I can most probably show you on the map, it was near some main shopping district, just a street after the square aboce. I only just went into Zara and another shop. Came out empty handed.

I was starting to make a fuss by this time. So I chose a restaurant quickly on the main shopping road. Here's what we had.

 My small glass of aloe vera tea that cost me about EUR2-3 and there wasn't much in it at all and I was quite thirsty. Didn't taste that extraordinary either. Interesting glass and filter, though.

Our first croquette in Spain, ON THE HOUSE! Woohoo!! Kind hearted waiter gave us some of these to try. The outer layer was thin, fried to a golden brown colour with a slight crisp. The insides were rich and creamy, with bits of bacon within.

 Our main star of the night, mixed paella to share, consist of both seafood and chicken pieces. Let's see, seafood included mussels, clams and calamari. It took about 15-20 minutes to cook.

Close up of my portion. Squeeze in with some fresh lemon juice, mmmMMmm! 
The first plate was awesome, but when you have second/ third serving, it starts to get a bit...blugh. So would definitely go for smaller portions next time. 

Had been craving for ice cream the whole day. So decided to have some after the paella. Here's 2 pieces of pancakes, 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream with a large dose of chocolate sauce. 

The pancakes were literally saturated with the chocolate hence I didn't finish them. 
Jing had her dessert first, before the paella. Just a normal ball of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce.

My verdict of the experience? Probably just 6.5/10. 
Paella was nice but too much of it really would make you feel sick. When you're feeling a bit sick of the main meal and your pancakes come to be a bit too saturated with chocolate...just doesn't do anything but make you feel even more sick and stuffed. 

Here are some quick snaps after dinner, along the way back from city centre to our hotel.

The same square as the first 2 photos, but now in night time. 

 A bar we passed by that I thought looked quite cool, called Glass Bar.

 Reminded me of Stamford Raffles featured in Kiasu comic books that I read when I was younger

 They came out for a quick show! Many paused and took photos, like yours truly here.

Night view of a night in Madrid, near some fountain roundabout, where we took a right turn to go back to the hotel.


Fast forward to the Day 5, to Barcelona and to our last meal in Spain before our flight back to Sweden at one of the restaurants a few streets past Placa de Catalunya. This time I chose whichever restaurant that looked slightly funkier. 

Loved the vintage deco on the wall by the entrance!

 Cola-Cao...wonder what that was back in the Spanish 50s or 60s  

 A snap of the bar, whilst sipping on my cafe latte and waiting for my food.
I had paella again. But this time, it's pasta/ noodle version, called Fideua. 
Here it is!!

My fideua, served on a wide, deep-soup metal pan, with a small side dish of white, garlicky, savoury cream.

Here's a close up of my first spoonful before it was gone. 
Honestly, this tasted really close to Malaysian fried bee hoon/ vermicelli, with a slight lemony tang! I was quite surprised. Never would I have thought that I'd get something as close to home as this when I'm over in Spain. It goes really well with the garlic cream that I was given. Was really yummy. Loved every bite!

Would give it a 7.5/10!!

Hope you enjoyed this post! Still more to come!

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