My main reason for going to Jet this week was to have their escalopes of bacalao in batter, a very good way of doing thin fillets of salt cod – and Azabache does them better than any other restaurant I frequent.
But I am more than a little fickle when looking at a menu and I can easily fall head over heels in love with another dish – or a combo of dishes. And that’s exactly what happened at Azabache.
The duo that caught my eye and put my gastric juices into motion is not usually looked on as a combo. But the choice was a good one because this double act (a gazpacho and an ensaladilla) was so memorable it ended up being a double 10. And that doesn’t happen very often.
A few days previously I had looked at the menu of a new place with prices in the upper stratosphere – including Gazpacho at the unheard price of € 11. I certainly shan’t be giving them a visit.
So Azabache’s gazpacho at € 3.30 seemed like a most inviting starter – and I invited myself to a proportion, asking to have it served in a glass. It was one of the best-ever buys.
It comes with a rather wide straw and I tried it like that – but immediately discarded the straw which deposits only a small amount of gazpacho at the back of the palate. That is not the best way to have gazpacho.
So I started to take large sips from the glass, which is what any Andalusian connoisseur would do. You then get a draft of gazpacho rushing over the taste buds with its tangy tomato-based liquid and lovely touch of garlic. It’s a most refreshing and exhilarating moment – especially on the hottest of days.
When cooks, professionals and amateurs, are doing a gazpacho the most frequent mistake they make is to be heavy-handed with the vinegar.