Saturday, 30 November 2013

Omar Allibhoy and The Rice House - La Arroceria

I have mentioned before how hard 29 year old Madrid born chef, OmarAllibhoy is working to get Spanish Tapas into every home and I was very pleased to be invited to his pop-up evening meal a ‘La Arroceria’ held at a great place in Chiswick Park (Maggie & Rose a private members’ club) and concentrating on rice the staple of many Spanish villages.

We were given a drink of Sangria (or two!) on arrival and waited in anticipation to see what culinary treats Omar had in store for us!

Omar came out of the kitchen to introduce us to the menu and the significance behind it and then disappeared to produce some really mouth watering and tasty dishes.

It is hard to get a photo of Omar in focus as he never stands still!!
Rice is a popular ingredient in Spanish cooking, not just for the traditional Paella.  Arrocerias or Valencian Rice House which are now all over Spain are where you can pre-order rice dishes to take away.  Omar wanted to show us the versatility of rice with different types of rice dishes e.g. dry (arroz seco), brothy (meloso) or soupy (caldoso).  We sampled four rice dishes including Omar's signature Paella from Valencia (Paella Valenciana)

Our starter was delicious featuring a huge grilled, garlicky prawn (Gamba a la plancha) as well as garlic bread, what Omar called a tomato dip (Salmorejo) and thin slices of ham.


Along with the starter we were offered a black pudding and goats cheese salad (Ensalada de morcilla y questode cabra) - My friend Val loved this but goat's cheese is the only cheese I really don't eat!

Omar carried out huge pots and pans of each of the following courses such as this one a squid, prawn and squid ink rice (Arroz negro).

I had never tried pasta or rice with squid ink before and probably won't again although I do appreciate the chance to try it.  It was a bit 'inky' for me but was perfectly cooked and elegantly presented!

Seafood Paella (Arroz a banda) was the second dish and this time I really liked it.  I frequently order Paella when we are in Spain and am rarely disappointed and certainly was not with this one!

My favourite Paella of the evening was Lobster Rice (Arros caldoso con bogavantes), this really floated my boat!

And for the grand finale - Valencian chicken & rabbit paella (Paella Valenciana)!

And then to round off an already sumptuous meal we were treated to a sweet surprise indeed.  This dessert was a sort of custard but without any milk or cream and if translated it is called "Fat from Heaven" custard (Tocinillo de cielo)

All that fantastic food came out of a relatively small kitchen!

Check out the size of that paella pan!
I was the guest of La Arroceria with my friend Val and we both thoroughly enjoyed our evening. Good luck for your future Omar!

1 comment:

  1. That would be a nightmare meal for me, as I don't eat any fish or seafood! I love goats' cheese though...