I have enjoyed dining at El Borracho de Oro many times over the past few years, whether it has been a date with my husband or a catch-up meal with friends. I was excited to see how El Borracho de Oro would fare with my plant-based dietary requirements and whether this would prove tapas to be an excellent idea or not when avoiding dairy and meat.
First up, I had to try the Coco del Mossen con Tomate, which is a Catalan Coco bread topped with grated tomato (£3.75). This tasted lovely and fresh. The grated tomato sounds like a gimmick but it means the scent and flavour of the fresh tomato are intensified when eaten. I love the touch of sea salt that was sprinkled on this light nibble and it’s something that I would gladly enjoy with a drink at the bar as a snack.
I have to hand it to the person who came up with the Berenjen con Miel – crispy aubergine with honey, sesame and chilli (£7). I was assured that this was cane honey and completely vegan so I tucked in. And after 33 years of not liking aubergine, this dish is the one that converted me. The thin crisp aubergine wasn’t bitter and had a nice texture. The combined flavours of the honey, sesame and chilli really elevated the aubergine though.
Usually, aubergine is an intense flavour so it needs something that can stand up to it and balance it out. Due to the proportions of this dish, El Borracho de Oro have done what no other restaurant (or my mother) have managed. I have to admit that I would happily return tomorrow to devour this dish again and I wouldn’t be sharing it.
One of my all-time favourite vegetables has to be spinach so I was pleased to be able to try the Espinacas a la Catalana (£7.50). This dish has spinach with garlic, pine nuts and rum raisins. Though when it was served it seemed small and meek, this is full of flavour and texture. I know that tapas portions are designed for sharing and a relaxed dining experience but this dish and the aubergine make me wish that I can be greedy and just enjoy these to myself.
The dish that brings everything together for me has to be a paella and I got to sample the vegetable paella (£15) from El Borracho de Oro. I have to say that the generous topping of earthy mushrooms and the sweet peppers throughout the paella, made this a very satisfying paella to enjoy, even with the absence of seafood or meat.
Overall, the new menu offers me plenty of options on a plant-based diet and the vegan-friendly tapas that El Borracho de Oro offer is tasty and filling. There are other plant-based dishes on the menu that I didn’t get a chance to try but I am already booked in for a lunch date with some friends in a few weeks time so not all is lost. I think tapas is a great way to dine out when there a mix of dietary requirements so we’re really looking forward to our visit.
El Borracho de Oro, Harborne Court, Harborne Road, Birmingham B15 3BU. Tel: 0121 4545368
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