Saturday, 24 October 2015

Zoko, Zahara de los Atunes, Spain.

I read with some bemusement, folk on social media saying that our local tapas bar is 'brilliant'. I really wish it was. Apart for a few dishes (the beef cheeks are very good), the food in general is little better than average. As is often the case in Britain (with a few notable exceptions like Levanter & Ibérica and Lunya, see above ), many tapas bars here traditionally insist on only a very narrow selection of uninspired clichéd dishes. It's probably due to expectations and what people will actually order in the UK. Eating tapas in Spain is usually quite different to Spanish food in Britain, with much more in the way of regional variations and creativity. It also reflects what the Spanish want to eat which in general is lots more fish.
In Andalucia, especially on this recent trip we've found even more diverse dishes appearing on menus. I'm not sure the reason for this. Perhaps Spanish people are travelling more and bringing inspiration back home with them or maybe it's a fashion for 'gastro bars'.
Have a look at the menu we found at this place, Zoko in Zahara de los Atunes. If you are just used to British tapas bars, you may not recognise too much. There's naturally a selection of local tuna dishes like the sashimi but this is a really eclectic and interesting menu. You can get Thai marinated prawns and Thai style chicken curry too. Normally in Britain ordering dishes like these in say a local pub will usually result in disappointment. Not so here. Everything we eat here is good, it's great fun and varied with a modern twist. We enjoyed it much so that we went back twice on the same day.
Both times we had one of the best Salmorejos we've ever had (with the addition of king prawns).
Also good croquetas made with cecina (cured beef).
Chipirones. (Small squid).
Mini Burgers. (The only disappointment).
Thai Marinated Prawns. I don't like to use the A word but they really have those authentic zingy fresh Thai flavours down to a tee.
Gorgeous little pies "Criolla". Beef I think.
Various fried fish served in paper like fish and chips.
Fragrant and creamy Thai Chicken Curry.
We also made a new friend.

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