La Reserva 12 (Malaga, Spain)

(Visited: August 2012)

While savouring some Iberico at Iberica in London in December (more on this story later) we nostalgically reminisced about our Summer trip to Andalucia. If you are In Malaga

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and stick to simple tapas, you are unlikely to eat poorly. It’s a city that will embrace you in this respect. Especially along the harbour promenade Malaga shows you its modern, touristy face, so many shiny if slightly soulless options clamour for your attention, and unless you are in a really foul mood you’ll hardly be disappointed wherever you go.  But instead we developed a special liking for a different type of modernity with Reserva 12, tucked away in the city centre, in Calle Bolsa.

A venue  not devoid of elegance, they may not have the greatest chefs but what they do have is sympathetic handlers of fine raw materials. They may not have the most consistent or informative service in the world, but as a matter of fact, they were kind and relaxed, unless you mind the fact that when they don’t know something they simply make something up. And certainly they do have somebody who can buy, and somebody who can cut, Jamon de Bellota

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Oh, what a moist, luxuriant concentration of delight! And their aged Manchego is no joke either: its flavour is one of those that call to attention even the most distracted of diners. Everything we tried, really, ranged from good to excellent, the pulpo a la gallega always mightily fresh, dressed with first rate olive oil and nicely spiced

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And their gazpacho and salmorejo fresh, dense, intense and with a pleasant garnish

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We indulged in some excellent wines, too, at prices that we can only dream of in the UK

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Food prices and portions are also a bit of a dream. It certainly all fees like a dream now, in a pallid December London sun.

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