It was half past midnight by the time we left the restaurant which made it a three and a half hour dinner. Seriously. THREE AND A HALF. It was incredible. And possibly unbelievable too if it weren't for the "food hangover" we suffered the morning after. With zero alcohol the whole night - apart from the gin cocktail at the very beginning - the only explanation for such a Sunday slump was just for the sheer amount of food continuously consumed so late at night. I guess that part of my body just hasn't adjusted (will it ever?) to the Spanish eating times. Mind over matter clearly does not work in all cases, ha.Read More
I flew home on Christmas Eve and came to realise the tragedy that was eating my first mince pie of the season only the day before Christmas - the latest I've ever experienced. Obviously I've eaten one or two each day since I been back to make up for lost time and pies.
At some point I will stop counting in weeks but I've been living in Spain for EIGHTEEN weeks!! It makes it sound a lot less longer than four months which sounds like ages even if it feels like not so ages at all. It's been such a fast year and this time it really felt like time went by super fast. Too fast? I know I just wanted the first half of this year to be over as soon as it could be. And then in the 3 months after, I finished my final collection, graduated and got the job in Spain. And when I say it like that I kind of want to make a cake about it and celebrate by eating every slice because I can't believe how much has happened this year!!
Well I'm gonna void the emotional spew of life reflections that are all over the internet at this time of the year and commemorate my last 18 weeks in Spain with an all new and updated list of places I've been lucky to eat at because let's be real, the food is the only true reason I moved.
Mama Chico : Probably one of the best all-round restaurants I've been to - the food and the service and the atmosphere and interior. I've heard it's a pretty popular place for most people and so a pretty standard choice of restaurant too, given it's Italian, but I came here with Suk and kind of fell in love with my pizza.
Bonilla A La Vista : The first time I came here was after the most stressful early morning at the bank and I had missed the bus to work and close to tears. I found a ride but he needed to sort something out first so I had a coffee here while I waited. The waitress asked me if I wanted any churros so I just ordered one to try without realising that they were famous for their churros and hot chocolate and that you were supposed to order them together. So I got my single churro rolling on a small plate served to me with a sprinkle of sugar and it was kind of cold and hard and dry. It really was a bad morning. I went again with Sab when she came to visit and it was a whole other experience. We had churros and chocolate for dinner and went to bed with a food baby (and on a sugar high). They also have their own range of crisps that you can buy at the supermarket too but honestly, they're nothing on Kettle Chips.
La Rioja : It was Sab's last night in town and we were so exhausted so we walked around the corner from my apartment to a road filled with restaurants just behind Maria Pita. It was a bank holiday Monday and only 8.30pm (remember that's super early for dinner in Spain) so we just went into the only one that was open already and didn't have bad reviews on Trip Advisor. We ordered the black seafood rice and it came out in a giant pan and tasting like the greatest thing in all the land. And their crab pate was amazing, served with sea urchin (!!) aioli and mini tostadas. This was the first time I managed a cohesive conversation with the waiter and also the first time I chose the menu in Spanish over English. The problem with the English menus here is that they're often just Google translations of the Spanish menu and it makes it kind of unreliable at the best of times. So something like crab pate for example, is translated into crab cakes and now I've read and eaten enough menus to know better.
Pandelino : This is another super popular place around here - Elin calls it the "Inditex Hangout" because you always bump into someone from work here. It's the closest thing you'll find to English brunch foods in Coruña and other typical foods that aren't typically Spanish but are typically simply the best. The first time I came with Jess for brunch and they have the greatest brunch menu of (brace yourself) eggs benedict with truffle and salmon, a personal cheese board with mini tostadas, a huge slice of cake or pie, a fresh juice, a bloody mary/cava and tea/coffee (!!) all for only 17.50€ !! The next time we went back we bumped into almost everyone we knew and everyone mostly nursing hangovers from the work Christmas parties.
Abica : Celebrating another year older! This restaurant is just opposite the marina and 3 minutes from my place so I booked it for my birthday with my sweet expat family. It's mostly Spanish food but more fancy and we ordered plates to share between us. The plates were pretty and everything was so good - except maybe the salad with kiwi in it.. We never tried the desserts because those cuties bought me surprise birthday cupcakes but I shared a bottle of red wine with Eddie and it might have been the nicest red I've had.
Granier Panadería : One of the best bakeries in town and only a 3 minute walk from me! So many pastries and Spanish sweet bread and a gazillion other sweet treats to choose from and everything so cheap. Kaska and I stopped by here to by breakfast (a hoard of croissants) to take to the beach one Sunday and I ate so many and didn't even feel gross!! Ok but maybe that was kind of gross.
Coruña Kyoto : So there is another place, called Hokuto, that I have been told time and time again (mostly by Elin) about being the best place for sushi and Japanese fusion-type food. We've been meaning to go for so long except that it's tiny and almost always fully booked so we're going to try again in the new year. Coruña Kyoto is said to be second best but holy moly, Hokuto really must be good if it tops this restaurant! Our sushi was served ON A BOAT!! And it was some of the best sushi I've ever had and probably for the most reasonable price that ever existed outside of Asia. You have to make reservations here too but early in the day should still get you a table.
El Jardin de la Tahona : La Tahona is another top bakery in Coruña - it's more traditional, and probably older, than Granier Panadería - and it's located more in the centre of town near Plaza de Lugo. El Jardin de la Tahona is the cafe branch which is a little closer to me and a really lovely cafe with an outdoor terrace too. We got a quiche and apple tart slice to share and then left with a sample of empanada because I just couldn't stop eating.
Marisquiera O Calexo III : If I weren't with Jess I would never have gone to a place like this. It's like one of those super local restaurants that isn't so pretty on the outside but no-one cares because it's just about the food those who know, know that the food is good. It's simple Galician seafood and ohmygod it was so tasty. AND it's 5 seconds from Jess's apartment (which is like 3 minutes from mine) !
Saporita : According to the 2 Italians I know here, Saporita has the best pizza in Coruña. So I was going on and on and on about trying it out to Harley (because pizza is his main diet) but he kept telling me that it wasn't that good when he went with Kaska. I finally went with Jess (because it's also on her street) and together we concluded that the Italians were wrong. It was good pizza, but honestly not as good a Tagliatella. Sorry.
It's been a short year but a busy one at that. So here's to another one, the next one - another year of eating and all the merits that come along with it.