This isn’t the first time I’ve met Omar Allibhoy but I can honestly say I’ve really enjoyed every event I’ve been to where he’s been involved. He has an infectious enthusiasm for Spanish food and in the past, I’ve learnt how to make various tapas dishes from him and really got an understanding of Spanish food and culture.
So I jumped at the chance to go along and sample some of his Spanish Summer Menu as part of a press preview. Westfield is the nearest shopping centre to me, in West London and Omar has a restaurant there as well as one at Bluewater. It’s the sort of place you SHOULD know about if you shop at Westfield. Somewhere you can enjoy food that is well cooked, made from excellent ingredients and doesn’t cost the earth.
We enjoyed a comprehensive taster of some of the dishes you can enjoy. Of course, some were old favourites for me. I’ve even tried my hand at making croquetas de Jamon – but they were nothing like as good as the croquetas de Jamon we were served by Omar.
We also tried some dramatic looking croquetas de gambars vieira y tinat de calamar (with prawns, squid ink and scallops). Beautifully light, salty and flavour packed, probably my favourite dish of the evening.
I did rather like the beef skewers though, otherwise known as pinchos muronos con mojo pico
Good anchovies are quite hard to find, they can be overly salty and dry, but these were lovely and plump morsels. And the pulpo a la gallega (octopus and potato with paprika)a dish was beautifully tender. Something that is not always the case.
And of course I’ve eaten Jamon Iberico before, but I still love it!
Pan Con Tomate is something that I’ve eaten a lot in Spain. This was as good a match for the version you get in the bars of Barcelona as I’ve had.
And as it’s the asparagus season, esparragos con romasco (asparagus with roasted tomato and nut sauce) was particularly appropriate. I was quite surprised to be served with green asparagus as I’ve only ever eaten the milder white type in Spain, but the dish as a whole was lovely.
If I’m honest, I prefer a traditional rice-based paella to the fideua, made with pasta.
But, it was still very moreish! And the watermelon gazpacho was a lovely palate cleanser. But then I went and spoilt it all by eating far too many churros con chocolate. Who wouldn’t though!
It was a timely reminder of how much I like Spanish food. I’m off to Barcelona in a week or so and really looking forward to exploring some of the bars. And, of course, I’d recommend Tapas Revolution if you happen to be in Westfield. It’s good, honest Spanish food served with style and at a price that shouldn’t hurt your pocket too much.
Westfield Shopping Centre
London, W12 7SL