El Borracho de Oro is turning one year old this week, which admittedly came as a surpise to me – it seems this delight of a restaurant has been ticking along under my radar for quite some time! So when I was invited down to the leafy suburbs of Edgbaston for some tapas over the weekend, I was interested to find out what this little Spanish restaurant could offer. If, like me, you have heard little about El Borracho, read on to find out what this tapas bar is all about.
Upon arrival, we were very warmly greeted by the restaurant owner, and as it was a quiet Sunday evening, were given a choice of where to sit. We were looked after by the same server throughout the night, who was polite and attentive yet also gave us plenty of time and space to enjoy our meal. Inside, the decor is an eclectic mix of rustic tiling, meditteranean-style ornaments and some plush bench seating that looked a little like it belonged more in Aluna, but altogether it worked well. We sipped on their house red wine as we browsed the menu, which I’m pleased to say took us forever as there were plenty or fish and vegetarian options to choose from.
We ordered everything together and first out were the olives (there were more in the bowl than photographed, I just forgot to get a snap at first!). It would have been nice had the bread and alioli come out at this point too for us to nibble on, but when it did arrive with the rest of the tapas it was honestly one of my favourite dishes. The garlic and paprika mayonnaise went perfectly with the tomato drenched bread. Soggy bread isn’t usually a winner with us, but the flavour was so delicious, and the Catalan coca bread still remained crispy around the edges.
From the fish options we ordered the garlic and chilli prawns and the mussels in fisherman’s sauce, hazlenuts, paprika and white wine. The prawns were chunky and the sauce was packed with flavour, though not too hot. I unfortunately was so busy tucking into the mussels that I forgot to photograph them (minus 5 food blogger points), but they were presented in a large rustic bowl and served with the traditional water for your fingers and extra bowl for the shells. The mussels looked and tasted great quality, and the sauce really brought out the best in them. There was a a very generous serving of these too – you know you’ve ordered a lot of food when the server needs to drag an extra table over to fit everything on!
From the vegetable tapas options we ordered the bravas potatoes, stuffed roasted peppers and asparagus with garlic and romesco sauce. The bravas potatoes were less like the traditional tapas dish and more like thin cut chips served with spicy tomato sauce and alioli, and I certainly wasn’t complaining about this. The peppers were stuffed with mushroom and wild spinach and topped with manchego cheese, which all worked together really well. The asaparagus was probably my least favourite dish, as it felt as if the vegetables themselves were lacking seasoning and even the sauce was too bland to help them out.
Even though we had ordered a lot of food, the dishes had mainly been light enough that we still had room for dessert – actually, scrap that, even if I had been bursting at the seams I can never resist churros! These churros were everything you could want from this traditional Spanish dessert – soft with a crispy, sugary coating and served with a rich, thick hot chocolate sauce. There was a generous serving and yes, I did move onto spooning the sauce once I’d finished the churros! Jack ordered the creme brulee which had a simple, subtle flavour and was the perfect texture.
Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at El Borracho de Oro – good quality tapas, friendly service and traditional surroundings made for a really pleasant evening. The restuarant is a very short walk from Five Ways on Harbourne Road, perfectly situated for a meal out before visiting the great bars in the area! Thank you to Emma and everyone at El Borracho for having us, we left suitably stuffed and are looking forward to returning!
*The food and drink were complimentary on this visit for review purposes. This does not affect my honest opinion.