One of the best things in life in my opinion is jetting off to a gorgeous city like Barcelona for a short break and pulling up a seat in the sunshine at a little café for tapas and a nice glass of sangria. There’s something about those little dishes of yumminess that automatically relaxes me and makes me feel as content as can be.
It’s pretty rare to find a nice tapas place in England that serves up authentic dishes and I often compare anywhere that I try to Taller de Tapas, a restaurant close to the bustling La Rambla market in Barcelona city centre.
I recently took a trip to a new restaurant in Bromsgrove called Casa Med that focuses solely on preparing food ‘inspired by the dishes of the Mediterranean.’ Set in a cute old building dotted with fairy lights and with Spanish music ringing out from the walls as you walk through the alley and up to the door, you can be forgiven for wanting to book a holiday to a sunny destination upon your return home. Granted, the views are hardly of sunny España, but the food takes some beating.
The menu featured the Gluten Free symbol, and although many dishes still contained dairy, I wasn’t disappointed with the selection on offer for me. In traditional Spanish style, dishes were brought out as soon as they were ready and the table was soon filled with an assortment of colours and flavours to suit even the most dissatisfied of palettes.
I opted for Boquerones, which consisted of anchovy fillets with toasted peppers, lemon juice and parsley with a drizzle of olive oil. I’m not always a massive fan of anchovies due to an unfortunate experience in Greece whereby the chef had mashed the fish in with a tomato based sauce which was simply disgusting, but the ones served here were truly delicious and very fresh.
Next I had one of my personal favourites, Pork Belly, which the menu stated had been marinated in apple juice, fennel and chilli and left to slow roast for 12 hours before being served up with a fennel, thyme, ginger and balsamic glaze. I had four and they were cooked to perfection with the crackling nice and crispy.
I then opted for a Salmon and Green Bean salad, which contained a beautiful dressing of honey, chilli and ginger for a real sweet taste, as well as cute cucumber ribbons for decoration.
Finally, I couldn’t visit a tapas restaurant without ordering the ever delicious Patatas Bravas, AKA crispy fried potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce. I needed a good dollop of carbs on my plate to accompany the meat and fish so this dish was never really going to fail me.
This gorgeous feast was of course washed down with a jug of Sangria and a Bellini – it was happy hour so it would have been rude not to.
A the end of a wonderful night I came out full to the brim and recommended the place to friends and family. Move the restaurant to a secluded spot in Barcelona and I’ll die happy, but for now the grey cobbled stones of little old England will have to do and Casa Med certainly has one satisfied customer in me.