I can’t wait for Ian to either email me or send me a text message letting me know about the next food and wine matching event at El Capote.
Talking to Ian about the direction the events are now going in, he admitted that they are no longer food and wine matching evenings where the wine flows from beginning to end and the amount of food leaves you feeling stuffed.
El Capote is performing food theatre; Chef Lede assisted by Ian prep all the dishes infront of their diners. Subsequently, quality and the way the food is being presented calls for greater finesse in the diner; dishes where quality not quantity is key. Simply, the food is the focus of the evening. The wine is there just to accompany the food. And once again, Chef Lede created some amazing dishes to tantalise our taste-buds and minds.
No Szechuan button to cleanse palates this time nor copious amounts of Prosecco to make everyone incredibly happy to be there!
3 Maki Sushi El Capote
Ian explained to us that they needed to be eaten in a specific order:
1) Hurta a la roteña wrapped in nori, 2) Apple confit with foie wrapped in jamón de bellotas to be eaten with salty breadsticks, 3) Sobrasada de caballa served with honey. Everyone had their favourite but the one that I enjoyed the most was the third one. The spicy nature of the sobrasada drizzled with sweet honey, that was almost augmented by the saltiness of the breadsticks of the previous maki roll, was very well put together. Wrapped in pastry for crunch and topped with pine nuts. Leaving a slightly warm and spicy sensation in the mouth.
Minestrone de verduras, chicharrones y una bombón de queso payoyo
A very light, clear broth with cubed vegetables. The addition of the chicharrones ‘pork scratchings’ added a necessary saltiness to the dish as well as providing another dimension of texture and flavour. However, it was the Payoyo cheese flavour bomb that made this dish so beautiful. Looking like a mini buffalo mozzarella floating in the middle of the minestrone, the artisan queso payoyo was rich and flavoursome as it exploded in my mouth. Some diners broke the cheese into their broth whereas I ate it whole! The dish was beautifully presented with micro-flowers decorating the cheese and the dish.
Salmonetes hasta las espinas!
Now this dish had me intrigued from the minute that Ian sent me the menu. This was literally a deconstructed red mullet served on a beautiful herb and lime risotto. The magic of this dish for me was in the execution. Whilst we were dining on the Minestrone soup, Chef Lede proceeded to cook the herb and lime risotto.
Like something that Top Cat might consider fine dining, the mullet was served in three ways. Salmonete tempura which was crispy on the outside and soft and flaky in the middle served with a pear mayo. A cured fillet of red mullet which had been marinated in soy, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar was served with its roe. The salty, fishy roe cutting through the marinade. Finally, the deep fried fish bones which whilst initially frightening disintegrated in the mouth with every bite. I found it funny that whilst we were all willing to eat the entire spine no-one wanted to eat the tail! This hurdle was quickly overcome. The herb and lime risotto was creamy yet nutty. Its lime tang helping to cut through the richness of the dish. Flavours and textures balanced and complimentary.
Top Cat would have been impressed – I know I was!
Rib-eye steak, marinated in miso and honey, served on a white chickpea puree with olives of goat’s cheese and Perdro Ximenez sherry
Chef Lede plated up each houmous swirl looking identical to the next. He then delicately lay 3 slices of marinated, rare rib eye steak on top of the puree. There was an earthy sweetness to the dish so far.. This was off set by the olives of goat’s cheese. The ‘olives’ marinated in perdro ximenez sherry added a tang to the dish. The miso in the marinade seasoned the steak. The steak cut with a single slice and disintegrated with every bite – beautiful.
What a simple but amazing combination. The avocado providing a great base to carry this dessert. The lime, as well as keeping the avocado vivid green, providing a citrus tang that could not have been achieved with any other citrus fruit. Served over pineapple, but actually this could have been served over other fruits too. One diner at the table mentioned that they felt the addition of fennel added a subtle aniseed flavour that they could taste coming through, whilst another made the comment that they did not normally like avocado but the combination of the avocado and lime over pineapple was delicious.
There are times when you want to eat loads, down an OK bottle of wine and waddle to your car and feel that you’d had a great meal. The reality is that when dining out we should be thinking about quality not necessarily quantity. As far as Gibraltar is concerned, only El Capote is raising the bar and thinking about food in this way .
I urge you to book yourself in for the next one.
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