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Y Viva Espania
2016-01-11

This week, Shanghai Daily’s international cuisine series takes you on a discovery tour of Spanish fare. Spanish dishes are greatly influenced by regional geography and climate and have added new tastes and flavors throughout history. Zhang Yang and Yoyo He have selected six restaurants that offer authentic Spanish food.  

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Veal shank and cocktails nearby People’s Park

Barbarossa is a three-story Spanish restaurant in the People’s Park in central Shanghai. It is a gourmet haunt for dishes like veal shank, simmered for seven hours and served with salad and creamy potato purée. Every Tuesday, the restaurant offers the succulent veal at 268 yuan (US$41). It’s big enough for two to three people to share.

Another must-try dish is ham croquettes, juicy on the inside and crunchy on the outside.

Chef Aitor Jeronimo, 33, started to work as a cook at age 19 and is now in charge of all dishes coming out of Barbarossa’s kitchen.

After finishing a hearty meal on the restaurant’s first floor, customers can walk upstairs to a bar where cocktails and sisha pipes are offered. Sitting on the terrace with a cocktail while viewing the park and modern high-rise buildings on Nanjing Road is nothing but delightful.

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Dishes prepared in Josper charcoal oven

El Pomposo claims to be the first Spanish restaurant in Shanghai that is equipped with an authentic Spanish Josper charcoal oven, used for smoking, baking and grilling.

A wide array of traditional and contemporary tapas, various cooked paellas and other selections of Spanish “Josper” oven prepared dishes are offered here. Paellas at El Pomposo are a little salty and heavily flavored. Most recommended snacks are hot spring eggs served with chips, Teppan seared foie gras with fresh litchi and caramel pudding.

Located at the fourth floor of Iapm shopping center, the interior decor of EL Pomposo is reminiscent of a Tapas Bar in Barcelona. An outdoor terrace is available.

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Lobster Paella, Sangria, Espresso Martinis

Bocado is a typical Spanish diner that’s a little tricky to find as it is tucked away in Yongfu Road. However, if you get lost, local expats will likely be able to point you in the right direction.

Bocado means “mouthful bite” in Spanish. The restaurant’s signature dish is Paella con Langosta, made of a 200g lobster and a generous amount of mussels and clams, which comes at a price of 368 yuan. Lamb sirloin marinated in herbs and pan-fried is also recommended.

It also serves a variety of drinks, including Sangria and Espresso Martini, made of vodka, Kahlua, espresso and coffee beans.

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Tastes and flavors of northern San Sebastian

El Patio occupies a beautiful lane house in the former French Concession area. This Spanish restaurant specializes in the culinary art of San Sebastian and beyond.

The restaurant is an ideal place for a romantic evening or a special event. The first floor can seat 70 people. During warmer months, the outside patio is perfect for having a drink.

El Patio’s seafood rice is recommended for its delicious taste of shrimps, mussels and other seafood. La Mazeta De Chocolate is a must-try dessert.

Chef Pol Garcia Blades is one of the pioneers in molecular gastronomy and was one of the finalists at Madrid Fusion 2010 cooking contest.

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Spanish tapas in amicable shikumen setting

Tomatito is a Spanish tapas restaurant on Taixing Road run by Chef Willy Trullas Moreno.

This small Spanish eatery is nestled in a shikumen (stone-gate) house, flanked by bars and other restaurants. It serves authentic, home-style tapas. Its signature dishes include escalivada (charcoal-grilled red pepper, onion and eggplant topped with strips of tuna) and mollete de pato (mini sandwiches stuffed with spiced duck and mushrooms). Tomatito is reasonably priced and amicable.

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Traditional favorites and original creations

Putting an emphasis on traditional yet creative Spanish tapas cuisine, the menu of Macarena tries to incorporate both classic favorites and original new dishes. Traditional Spanish rice dishes and tapas, Mediterranean giant red prawns, churros with thick, hot chocolate, pulled pork, crème brulee and acorn-fed Iberian ham are popular dishes at Macarena.

The dining atmosphere here is inviting and trying to celebrate the culture of Spain. Designed by a Spanish architect, the restaurant is decked in imported Spanish wood, stone and marble. Function rooms are luxuriously furnished with collections of Spanish art, and many pieces are stamped by the Museo del Prado, the national art museum of Spain.


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