Recently for my birthday, I was treated to an amazing day which started with lunch at Spanish tapas restaurant Cambio de Tercio.
Rafael Nadal is a frequent customer here whenever he plays at Wimbledon with his mentor uncle Toni. Perhaps this provided him with the ammo required to overcome Roger Federer in that epic Wimbledon final some years ago now? Owner Abel Lusa is certainly a man who cares about all his customers, regular or not. To be honest, after our pleasant conversation about Valencia (currently my favourite Spanish city), the bull fights and the wines, I am already looking forward to returning again and becoming a regular at this fine establishment.
To kick things off, we went for three “starters” – hard given everything sounded so delicious! Fortunately, the waitress came to our rescue and recommended a few of her favourites (can’t go wrong with those!) and left some of the best olives I have tasted on the table, to get ourselves warmed up for this theatre of food we were about to experience. We also ordered one of the more flavoursome Riojas on the menu – food of this quality must always be accompanied by a wine of equal magnitude!
The tomatoes looked amazing and it tasted like no tomatoes I HAVE EVER tried before. Every little bit was like heaven, a MUST have dish.
I swear, every dish at this place is a work of art!
Next, on to the mains:
The chips had the crispy glass feel as you bite into them, but also soft on the inside, something I have yet to find in restaurants! The veal cheek burger just melted and was extremely tender.
The magic of this dish was in the seafood broth and the perfectly cooked Hake.
Of course, I can never resist the dessert!
Refreshing was the word that came to mind when I first tried this dish. The tangy passion fruit balanced the flavours of the sweet chocolate, and the pistachio added that needed texture.
At this point, Abel, the owner, came to us with a huge smile and offered us another dessert, on the HOUSE. Very generous of him, and this wasn’t the last dish he offered us.
And then he spoke about an exciting new dessert the restaurant will be introducing. It was inspired by the Spanish youth drink in outdoor festivals in Spain, made with sherry and 7up and a slice of lime, called “rebujito”. This was a new revelation to me, and it was packed with refreshing flavours that would be perfect alongside my other favourite summer drinks, including a Pimms cocktail. The dessert was made into a deconstructed cocktail, with sherry jelly, powder soda, and hint of lime. Such a beautiful dish that I regretted not taking a photo before I finished it all!
Abel, the passionate owner, gave me a brief tour of the bar side of the restaurant, (btw a super clean and modern kitchen downstairs!) and also showed me a paella dish made with squid ink (definitely need to try that next time!).
I can’t recommend this restaurant enough to all of you, my friends, and I would happily accompany/plan a get together here again. Given that my 5 years anniversary in the UK is fast approaching, I am tempted to put this on the agenda as a potential? 🙂