The last two weeks have been a rollercoaster, we have been busy with Manchester pride and family visiting us, but finally today I have had time to relax and dedicate some of it to the blog. So here I am, back with a food post that I couldn´t be happier to share with all of you.
Last week we got invited to try the new Summer Taste of Spain menu from Malmaison here in Manchester. For those that don´t know, Malmaison is a boutique hotel situated in the heart of Manchester, just a few steps away from the main train station, Picadilly. Chez Mal is the name of their brasserie, that contains the only Josper Grill in the city, a monstrous artisan indoor charcoal barbecue, so here you can expect to find the finest meat menu with other exciting dishes.
As mentioned, we had the Summer Taste of Spain Menu, that consisted of a Charcuterie plate for starter, seafood paella and a bottle of Albarino for two people to share.
The Charcuterie Plate
In this sharing board, you can find some of the most excellent cured meats that we have in Spain, Chorizo, Salchichon and Jamón, served with grilled chorizo (my favourite), manchego cheese and peach. The combination is perfect, the quality of the meat is as good as the one that you can find in Spain, which sometimes is difficult to find here in the UK, and the mix of the cheese and the peach make the dish more light and enjoyable, adding some sweet from the peach and the strong taste of the manchego cheese.
With the starter and with any Spanish meal, we ordered some bread with dipping oil and balsamic vinegar, we highly recommend this. Spanish people can´t live without bread, this is because food always tastes better when you add some bread, it brings family and friends together, and allows you to get all the tastes of any dish with each dip of the bread.
Paella, the most well-known Spanish dish around the world, what is essentially a very simple dish of seafood or meat, rice and vegetables, is, in fact, a very complicated one to get perfectly right. You can find this dish across all of Spain and in different versions, seafood as this one, a vegetable one, with some meat or a mix one.
The flavour of this Paella was good, with the seafood notes and a bit of spicy kick, typically you won´t find it in Spain, but I have to admit that I liked the spicy touches. The seafood was cooked right, the prawns were excellent as were the mussels, rich in flavour and delight to eat, the calamari was soft and not chewy, which is something great to find in a paella.
In terms of the rice, here there is room for improvement. The rice was a bit overcooked, making it look more like a risotto than paella rice, the grains were a little stick together whereas the grain in a paella needs to be separate, a bit harder than usual and without broth on it. But this is something easy to improve, the best thing is that the Spanish flavour was there.
This menu comes with a bottle of Albariño, refreshing citrus wine with a dry taste. The full price of this menu is £50, just £25 per person, which makes it amazing for the amount of food that you have. In summary, I am very impressed with the quality and the taste that Malmaison has put together in this Summer Taste menu, making me travel back to Spain with this dinner. Now it is your turn, let me know if you have tried it and what do you think or if you haven´t tried it yet, what are you waiting for?