Madrid has got me hook, line and sinker – for sumptuous seafood! Gone fishing, in Puerta del Sol, La Mallorquina caught my attention. Established in 1894, this ‘pastelería-cafetería’ (pastry-cafeteria) skillfully prepares hand-made edible bites of history. Amid a sea of pastries, I found two main encased rows dividing the sweet from the savoury. East Side-West Side? A flavour battle had begun! Standing in the middle of an open aisle, I had to determine which direction to coast. In the mood for something hearty, my decision was clear. The right display case, decidedly, was the right choice for a delectable lunch treat – ‘empanada de atún’ (tuna turnover). Generally speaking, ‘empanada’ refers to a fried or baked filled bread/pastry.
It’s all in the way it’s made! Justly seasoned and using fresh ingredients – over the sea – you can taste the degree of excellence in a quality ‘empanada.’ Consisting of succulent chunks of tuna fish, and sautéed aromatic vegetables – onions, tomatoes, red and green bell peppers – the prepared mixture was enveloped into a puff pastry shell, and baked to flaky perfection. Indisputably delightful, this appetizing fish pocket is a meaty snack that will leave all Ariels – at heart – attempting to sing a few octaves.
Navigating for more seafood, I didn’t have to travel far – or many nautical miles – to find my second catch. Modern elegance, by design, the best in tradition and Mediterranean cuisine permeates through the restaurant space, at La Finca de Susana. No reservation? No problem – their “casa es su casa!” Treated like family, surprise guests are openly welcome to join the dinner party of clients, seated among one of the many white linen covered tables.
Equally crisp and clean is the fish-list selection on the menu. To be tried and ordered, ‘bacalao’ (cod fish). Transformed to a state of moist deliciousness, adequately rehydrated cod is unlike its preservation method of drying and salting. Naturally mild-tasting, my cod fish plate was tender, delicate, and dressed with a light foam sauce. ‘Bacalao’ – resurrected – wows! Luckily, there’s plenty of fish to be reeled in and shared – so long as the ocean doesn’t call!
Copyright © DISHFUL, 2013.