I first visited Enrique’s not long after it popped up on the scene last Summer. I think the idea of pop up venues is great. Keeps things fresh and perhaps gives a place a chance to push their creative boundaries a little further, as they know they have that limited window to make their mark before they pop down (assuming that’s the opposite of popping up?).
I hadn’t had the chance to head back since that first visit but when I was invited along to a Spanish Wine Dinner they were holding, I was excited about making my return. On a wintery Tuesday GG and I joined the full house for the Spanish fiesta ahead. We were seated at the bar which I quite enjoyed. Could really take in a lot of the action. As with my last visit I completely loved their music. A really catchy playlist with an interesting mishmash of different artists, some old, some new, that really kept the place bopping along.
Staff were all incredibly friendly too and the smiling fellow behind the bar presented GG and I with the first drink. Segura Viudas Aria Brut NV. A deliciously dry Cava with plenty of fizz. Cheers to that.
Ahead of the first course appearing we were offered Majorcan Pastries, sort of a Spanish Style brioche, with a generous pat of Paprika Butter. It was soft and flakey and just oh so indulgent when slathered with plenty of that lightly spiced paprika butter. Good bread and good butter, I think I could live on it.
As we were presented with a second Cava, Segura Viudas Brut 2008, the first course arrived, Courgette Flower, Goats Cheese, Eggplant.
Each pair was given a plate to share, so there was a flower for each of us. I’ve tried to make these once before and it’s quite the art stuffing a delicate courgette flower full of goats cheese and then frying it and having it still resemble something pretty. They nailed it here though and it was elegantly presented on pureed eggplant. The light batter was wonderfully cripsy and I so loved the creamy and slightly salty goats cheese. It was delicious!
The next course featured two different Spanish whites, neither of which I had tried before but I enjoyed both. Radio Boka Verejo 2010 and Vionta Albarino 2010. The clever chef had put together a very creative spin on ham and eggs.
And along with creative it was interesting, pretty and delicious! Duck Egg, Jerusalem Artichoke, Jamon, Rocket. Oh yes, I figured that jamon was totally going to be featured in a Spanish wine dinner and I was very glad it was. I can’t say I eat duck eggs all that often, but this one had been cooked to perfection and there was an indulgent silken river of yolk that spilled onto the plate and married so well with the salty jamon. We both loved it. It was almost like having a really fancy breakfast dish as a course for dinner, which was great fun!
Because the next two wines on the menu were red it made perfect sense that red meat was making an appearance in the following dish. We’d be drinking Finca Rosal Monastrell 2010 and Solar Viejo Crianza Tempranillo 2010, while we ate Tempranillo Braised Beef Cheek, Potato, Charred Onion, Enoki. I liked the sound of that! I think enokis are such a brilliant mushroom and I’d never had them battered and fried before. Added some really interesting mushroomy crunch to the dish, along with the lovingly slow cooked, buttery soft beef cheek. I thought the sweetness from the charred onion also worked a treat. The meat had a real richness of flavour and was so well paired with the bold Spanish reds. Hard to pick which was my favourite course, but this one did really stand out.
But there is always room for dessert and I do profess to have something of a sweet tooth. Haha something of a sweet tooth…that’s a bit of an understatement! The dessert course arrived with a splash of theatre as a bowl of chilled and carefully stacked citrus was placed before us. We were then brought out a dessert plate of Lemon Catalan Custard, Meringue, Strawberry, Chocolate and before we ate it the staff dramatically poured dry ice over the lemons and limes and citrus smoke billowed from the bowl and over our dessert. It. Was. Fabulous!
The flavours of the actual dessert were delicious! The light pastry filled with the zesty lemon custard and topped with perfect peaks of meringue was just wonderful and I’m a big fan of lemon inspired sweets. I also liked the elegant little dollops of strawberry too and the quenelle of ice cream. There was plenty going on flavour wise and it was just a really nice course to finish with.
As we sat and sipped the Primitivo NV Moscatel I reflected on what a lovely night it had been. It can often be interesting to visit a place for a wine dinner and see how they go with timing and service and keeping the pace of the evening moving along. The Enrique’s crew has it down to a fine art. No long waits between courses but instead that perfect balance of not feeling too rushed and not wondering what’s happening with the next course. I loved the chance to try some new wine varieties and thought the dishes the kitchen team chose to match with the vinos were all delicious and had some real creative flair. The staff are so friendly, the barmen ooze charm and there’s just a great vibe to the place with its funky fit out and cool tunes. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for details of their next event because they do a stellar job!
My thanks to Enrique’s for the invitation! You’ve made me so excited about visiting Spain next year!