It proves real dedication to climb a steep hill in need of some Spanish food, and this is what you need when visiting El Torero, located at Millburn house, Side City Centre in Newcastle.
We were on a deadline, the movie started at seven, we arrived at El Torero just after five, so we had a good amount of time to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
The surroundings fit the theme very well, the colours of the Spanish flag coated the walls as well as authentic framed Spanish posters.
The dining area is very spacious with many dark wooden chairs and tables, which is separated from the long bar with a wall, and white framed windows, making it look like your looking in from the outside.
To drink I had to have a glass of Sangria, it was strong in taste, refreshing, but not the best drink to have with a meal, as you can’t gulp it down. My partner opted for a San Miguel.
The menu, compared to other tapas-style menus I have sampled, is massive. There is a lot more seafood dishes then I would normally experience.
The man behind the huge menu is Tori Almiron, a Spaniard from Granada, Andalucia who created the dishes being inspired by the cuisine from southern Spain. The dishes are freshly prepared using the finest and most authentic ingredients by head chef Jorge del Rio Rubio also from Granada.
In total six dishes were ordered between us by the friendly waiter. Patatas al inferno (potatoes with a hot tomato sauce), pescaito frito (a mixture of fish lightly dusted in flour and fried), morcilla con tomate (spicy Spanish sausage in a tomato sauce), chorizo picante frito al vino blanco (spicy chorizo sausage fried in olive oil with garlic and white wine), tortilla Espanola (Spanish omelette with potatoes and onions) and arroz con pollo “Mama Antonia” (rice cooked with pork and chicken in white wine.)
It stated at the bottom of the menu that all the dishes wouldn’t be brought at the same time, but just when they are done. But they all came within a few minutes of each other so we were able to enjoy them all together.
First came the omelette, potatoes and fish, quickly followed by the rest. The omelette, was very thick, it looked like a slice of cake, with a quarter of fresh tomato and a dollop of garlic mayonnaise on the side. It tasted quite bland, the texture was soft and stodgy, but the strong garlic mayonnaise was creamy and brought it to life, making it an enjoyable experience.
The fish was a mixture of squid, prawns and some sort of white fish we couldn’t identify, but it was still delicious. The squid was a little chewy, but the prawns were cooked perfectly, each covered in a light crispy batter. A squeeze of lemon completed the dish, but the recognisable blog of garlic mayonnaise was unnecessary.
I was excited to try the next dish as it is contained my favourite ingredient. The chorizo was soft, it just melted in your mouth, and the flavoursome oils had melted out of the sausage and into the garlic and white wine sauce, which gently coated the meat in an unbeatable way.
The Spanish sausage was another great surprise, biting into the spongy meat it was soon realised it was a rich black pudding sitting in the small pan, with small pieces of onion running through it, making it a pleasure to eat. The sauce was delicious, not your typical tomato sauce, but a sauce full of a gentle meaty flavour.
The rice was plentiful, the small chunks of pork and chicken were both cooked to perfection, and worked well with the sticky rice and pieces of green pepper.
Lastly I sampled the potatoes, and I am glad I did, the sauce was so spicy it would have ruined the taste of the rest of the dishes. The circular fried potatoes were how they should be, crispy with fluffy potato inside. The sauce, although overpowering, was sweet at first, but when the kick hit the taste buds, I wish I had a drink that I could down.
The bill came to £32, which is a great price as we left with full, happy stomachs. There were a few blips but it was a great meal, one I hope to experience again, even if it does mean tackling that steep hill!