Someone once told the English that "tapas bar" was Spanish for "exotic chav drinking hole". El Sabio in Winchester has taken Alfonso, our royal name, in vain and concocted a quasi-Spanish menu that proves nothing more than that they are perfectly suited to running an English-style tapas bar. Pan de Catalana (which they believe is made with "sweet cherry tomatoes") is our favourite, but there are plenty of other entries in the illiterate peasant stakes. For example: "Aceitunas Mixta" might taste better if the adjective agreed, "Albondígas" have a dangerous rear lurch, "Croketas de queso Manchego y Champinones" revolutionise Spanish orthography and phonetics (here are some ñs for El Sabio: ññññññññññ), "Tortilla Espanola" demonstrates that they can't even spell the name of the country they are screwing, we figure "Paella de Vendors" must really be a rice dish made with estate agents, "Champinones Sacteador" looks like the champiñones have suffered the attentions of the Inquisition (they may simply have been salteados, however), and "Real Ali Oli" isn't a sauce invented by Cassius Clay but proof that they can't spell in Catalan either. To end on a positive note, their "Crème Catalana" not only demonstrates a daring combination of correctly spelled French and Spanish/Catalan, but succeeds in insulting the entire Catalan establishment by describing their work as a "traditional Spanish dessert". Highly recommended.
Labels: El Sabio Tapas Bar and Restaurant