Sunday, 21st July 2019
EATING OUT Article
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This Month's Magazine
The WXPG Food Review: Hibiscus

The WXPG Food Review: Hibiscus

Hibiscus Restaurant, - Opening Hours: Mon. to Sat. from 13.00am to 16.30pm & 20.30 to 23.30.

The food reviews are not advertisements. We pay for the meal and we comment and give points as honestly as we can for the benefit of readers. The points relate to quality and price according to the standard of the restaurant.  We try to avoid bad reports so we visit only restaurants which we believe are worth reporting on.

*Key: Price: M - Dress Code: SC

*FBA = First Bite Appeal
*Price Code (excl. drinks):
L = 15 - 30 Euros
M = 30 - 60 Euros
H = 50 – 100+ Euros
*Dress Code:
CC = Casual Comfortable
SC = Smart Casual
F = Formal

Introduction
It is not often that one comes across a Spanish food restaurant run by a highly skilled chef, so you can imagine our delight when we discovered this particular restaurant specializing in what can only be described as “Andalucian Haûte Cuisine”. It is not off the beaten track, on the contrary, but it is a bit tucked away in the new commercial centre on the slip road to the San Roque Club, which needs to be known about.

The Staff
On arrival, one is first shown to and made rather comfortable in the very large lounge and offered the opportunity to relax with a drink while inspecting the menu. The head waiter will then come along and explain that the real theme is one that adopts traditional Andalucian dishes and take them to their highest culinary level, not just in presentation but also through inventiveness and creativity. We found the waiters and waitresses very welcoming and determined to spoil diners with their attention.  

Atmosphere
The décor blends exactly with the experience of this creative type of Andalucian cuisine, it is modern and innovative, with a hint of “hibiscus” flowers. One feels quite at home moving from the lounge to the chosen table in the dining area. The tables are well apart from each other and there is plenty of room to feel rather comfortable while dining. Of course there is a pleasant outside terrace if one prefers, but I thought I was very happy inside; the occasional breeze of fresh air to change the air every so often was a pleasant touch. Though we went for lunch, I would imagine that the restaurant would be even more welcoming by night.

The Menus
The menu is selected to portray the natural fresh Andalucian produce, embracing fish, meat and vegetables of the season. The menu is due to be changed shortly to emphasize autumn and the hunting season, which means that pheasant, wild boar and deer will be figuring highly among others. There is a fair selection of very tempting dishes to suit all tastes, but we thought that the “special” tasting menu would give us an opportunity to try a number of different dishes and really put the chef to the test.

Wine List
The wine list is fairly comprehensive with a very good choice or reds, whites and rosés, mostly Spanish quality wines but also some French, Argentinean and Californian wines. The recommended list looked very tempting, we should have had a different wine with every dish, unfortunately we had to work after that! There is a good selection of Cava as well as Dom Perignon and Perrier.


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On this occasion the meal was a sequence of small portions, each individually prepared to represent a dish on the main menu. The 8 different mini dishes, must really have put the chef through his paces.

Snack Hibiscus
A fried quail egg, two small balls of melon and some jamón displayed over a bed of fried bread crumbs in a small ceramic bowl. FBA – I think we were right in thinking that it was a small representation of breakfast (egg, bacon on toast?). The combination was good and the bread crumbs pleasantly distributed the taste of jamón throughout.     
Team score – 9/10

Foie, fig & Oporto
Foie gras and figs daintily displayed and flavoured with a port wine sauce. FBA – What an incredible idea! Absolutely fabulous taste! The flavours blended to perfection filling the palate with pure ecstasy. You really should try this! 
Team score –10/10

Fine almond cream with prawns, salmon caviar and drops of shell fish pâté
Charcoal grilled prawns, generously decorated with salmon caviar and some drops of shellfish pâté over which we poured the almond cream soup. FBA – Incredibly tasty, what a combination! The subtle flavour of prawn and almonds lingered on to compel the next mouthful. A unique experience that must be tried.
Team Score – 10/10

Mushroom Ravioli with ham.
A large ravioli filled with an assortment of wild mushrooms pâté and decorated with some sauce and jamón. FBA – Even the decorative sauce was made with freshly picked wild mushrooms. The ravioli was tender and smooth. I could smell and taste the woods they were picked from.
Team Score – 10/10

Roast Sole & Sautéed Vegetables
Sole fillet, roasted and decorated with a colourful, varied selection of sautéed vegetables. FBA – Perhaps one of the simplest dishes that were served, but the sole was very clearly, very fresh. The taste was unmistakeable and blended with the different vegetables it certainly made a superb main course.
Team Score – 10/10

Caramelised suckling pig with apple purée & potato cloud
A small portion of baked suckling pig decorated with a sheet of very thin & crispy intriguing potato sheet (the cloud) with some apple sauce on the side. FBA – So tender it just melted away in the mouth leaving behind a long, satisfying, lingering taste. Just perfect!
Team Score – 10/10

Tiger nut soup with diced caramelised goat’s cheese.
Diced goat’s cheese enveloped in a crust of caramel and bathed over in a sweet tiger nut soup. FBA – A most welcome sweet and salty combination after a very filling multi-dish meal. Certainly very original, especially the tiger nut soup warming up over the steamy tea for aroma.
Team Score – 10/10

The melon Sorbet, with the violets flavour at the centre, was the dot on the “i”. Not just a simple mouth refreshing sorbet but also garnished with a gold caramel thread affair over the cocktail glass. 

Summary
Excellent! Is one way to summarise this very pleasant experience. We met the chef after the meal as he wanted to know what we thought of it. It was clearly obvious that he loves his work with a passion; he does not just prepare food, he paints with it and each dish is seen by him as a work of art. Quite honestly I think that a similar restaurant in Marbella would cost quite considerably more for probably an inferior quality; in London it would be classed as one of the top places. I am sure they are on the right road to earn a recommendation in the Michelin Guide. I thoroughly recommend this restaurant. 



Add Your Comments:
Average score: 5.00/5
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Price Guide?

sorry just read it....

Rated: 5/5 (5th February 2008)

Editor's comments: That's ok. No Probs.

Price Guide?

Very interesting.... an idea of cost would be very helpful

Rated: 5/5 (5th February 2008)

Editor's comments: The idea of cost is given at the beginning of the article. See the key given as an indication of price and dress code.

Click here to write your own comments on this article

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