Sunday 27 May 2018

Casero, Torremolinos: a Review

During my three months on the Costa del Sol, one meal stands out as by far the best meal I experienced. Oddly enough, I was on my own. Of course, this meant I could fully savour the culinary delights.

I was actually looking forward to pizza at my favourite Italian in Torremolinos, after an afternoon of relaxation and retail therapy. Unfortunately, I had forgotten it was a Monday, and so naturally the Italian was closed - they need a day of rest just like we all.

The entrance from outside the white village; there's another from within.

I recalled visiting what was for me a new restaurant on the edge of the white village in 2016 with a chum, who was the worst for wear (i.e. a tad inebriated). Nonetheless, despite my maudlin companion, the eatery still succeeded in making me feel content inside, emotionally and physically, from a delicious repast.

On this occasion I turned up just after eight, and the place was packed. I know sole diners make many restaurateurs' hearts sink, as it means a cover is lost. However, the staff at Casero did not make me feel unwanted or unwelcome. I was more than happy to sit near the bar and see a little of the kitchen-action. The kitchen is open, which I always appreciate, as it means one can see the cleanliness and so forth.

The bane of my life is my true allergy to garlic, which means prior to eating anywhere other than my own home, I have to check the food is garlic-free, both when ordering and again when served. My charming waiter graciously checked for me and determined that the dishes I had selected would be Colin-safe.

To start I ordered a tartare of smoked salmon topped with roe on a nest of perfect salad leaves.  This was served with rye-bread and soured cream and a deliciously sweet, firm cherry tomato on beetroot shoots. To me, this felt like a Swedish-style plate. I eat fairly slowly. I am glad I do, for I was able to prolong the flavours and oral sensations. This course was accompanied by a dry white wine, a Rueda Verdejo, the crispness went well with the food offering; the flavours of each ingredient remained quite distinct. A culinary delight for me. I am far from being the best food photographer, so I hope my blurry snaps (above & below) might entice the reader, at least a little!

Actually, I could have left the restaurant at that point and would have been totally sated. However, I had ordered a main. Along came my ternera (image below). This can be veal or beef steak. After my superb starter, I really was not worried either way, for all I desired was another oral orgasm or four!

The flesh was perfect: my knife just sliding through it with no real effort. I have never been a gravy person - excepting the clear juices my Gran used to pour over boiled potatoes - but Misha's jus was delicious. The roast potatoes were not as one would expect them in the UK (but then local potatoes are waxy rather than floury), but I was just so relieved to eat potatoes in a non-chip form and furthermore they tasted great too. I loved that the meat was served with mushrooms. (I note that in the past couple of years in southern Spain, fungi are more readily available in the shops. Supercor in Torrequebrada actually now has selections of different types and even speciality ones. Stir-fries can now be made at home with authenticity!)

I ate every last morsel of my main. This, of course, meant I had no room for dessert. I shall just have to return when next I am in Torremolinos.

I cannot rate too highly Casero: cuisine, superb; wine, quite quaffable; personnel, professional and affable; wc, shiny and pong-free; kitchen, spotless and calm.


The above article and one of my photos appeared yesterday on Tripadvisor. There it is followed by a response from one of the co-owners.

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