List Item: Try 500 of the 1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die
In my work colleague Ben I have found a true enabler when it comes to food and random jokes about Chuck Norris. After a particularly stressful week (where I was also a tad sleep deprived) it was time for another emergency lunch, but this time at a place a little further afield than our visit to Kimchee the week before.
The restaurant in question was Bilbao Berria, a pintxos bar a few minutes walk from Piccadilly Circus. To be honest, I had no clue what to order so I left it to Ben to order what he wanted since I am, basically, a human trash can when it comes to menus. We ordered a lot of food (a lot a lot) and it was all very delicious and some of it was even list food!
In the picture above you may be able to see flecks of the Maldon sea salt on the Padron Peppers. Those flakes were crunchy and seemed to be more intensely salty than regular salt. It was probably thanks to them that I was able to eat those peppers as if they were bon-bons. The patatas bravas was similarly morish because of a rather delicious and creamy aioli (this is how you do it La Tasca, take notes!)
Okay, this was was a fluke and a very happy fluke at that. Much like ceviche, the anchovies in the Cantabrian Boquerone are raw and have been ‘cooked’ by the aceitc acid of the vinegar that they are marinated in. This was then served with a lot of minced garlic and some olive oil (as well as a red leafed thing I am not sure about). This left a dish that was smooth with a melt-in-the-mouthfeel and a strongly pronounced salty taste with the whisper of a fishy taste.
A salt cod and green pepper tortilla. I could not for the life of me make out the pepper but that was probably because I was taking iPhone notes on the fish inside. The texture of the salt cod was delightfully moist, flaky and ever-so-slightly chewy. It infused the whole tortilla with a salty quality (which probably negated the use of any additional salt) and left it a fluffy piece of Spanish omelette.
Okay so getting the specific type of almonds from the food list was unexpected (less so after I read the description which mentioned about them being Spanish in origin). These were served with the manchego cheese and the quince paste which made for an excellent combination. The flavour of the almonds was subtle and boosted by the very sweet nature of the quince paste. When this was put together with the buttery manchego, well, you have something special there.
I will need to return to Bilbao Berria. Both because the food was delicious but also because other list foods lie in wait on their menu. Thanks be to Ben for introducing me to pinxtos.