On June 23rd, 2015, I was invited to a special tasting Event at Malaga Tapas & Bar. I’ve written about the fabulous food I tried and included photos as well. I’ll definitely go back soon for dinner!
Imported Spanish Meat & Cheese Board
Idiazabal | Manchego | Mahon | Nevat | Serrano Ham | Spanish Chorizo | Honeycomb | Grapes
This was a nice selection of meats and cheese to start our meal off. Wide variety of cheeses, from sharp to mild, and hard to soft. Fresh, crisp fruits helped to cut the flavors.
Roses and Spice
Ancho Reyes Chili Liquor | St Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
This cocktail was light and refreshing, with a delicate lingering of floral taste. Still managed to maintain a memorable, spiced taste amidst the almost sparkling consistency.
Flash Fried Goat Cheese
Goat Cheese | Lavender Honey | Onion Marmalade
The cheese-filled centers were decadently creamy with a mild flavor. The crunchy texture of the exterior complemented this texture nicely. The onion marmalade was a bit overpowering in strength.
Stuffed Piquillo Peppers
Crab | Manchego | Fire-Roasted Peppers | Capers
The crab and cheese stuffing was wonderfully flavorful, and the peppers were roasted to an enjoyable softness without becoming shapeless and mushy.
Spinach | Mushroom | Manchego | Piquillo Pepper Sauce
The pastry shell was perfectly flaky and piping hot. The vegetable stuffing inside was creamy and flavorful. Nothing groundbreaking about this combination, but it was made well.
House White Wine | Cognac | Summer Fruit
Made and blended in-house, this cocktail was a nice break from all the flavors encountered thus far. The ice cubes were made from ingredients in the sangria, adding flavor instead of diluting it as they melted. The sangria tasted refreshing but a bit bland.
Tuna & Watermelon Crudo
Tuna | Watermelon | Lemon Vinaigrette
This was one of the more surprisingly delightful dishes of the night. The similarity in color belied the drastic difference of texture and taste, but the tuna slices atop watermelon slices came together in harmony. The quality of fish tasted sashimi-grade, and the watermelon was juicy and sweet.
Hendrick’s Gin | St Germaine Elderflower Liqueur | Cucumber
Another great cocktail on the menu. The freshly cracked pepper atop floating cucumber slices made for an appealing contrast in taste, and the gin was served chilled and smooth.
Grilled Pork Roulade
Pork Loin | Serrano Ham | Mahon Cheese | Mojo Verde
Seared Beef Tenderloin
Beef Tenderloin | Roasted Garlic Aioli
One of the favorite dishes of the evening, the quality/cut of the meat was incredible.
Yukon Gold Potatoes | Brava Sauce | House Aioli
These potatoes were perfectly sized for snacking, and because of this were also able to capture copious amounts of the sauces they were served with. The brava sauce added warmth to the dish, and the aioli was wonderfully creamy.
Avion Espresso Tequila | Ancho Reyes Chili Liqueur | Fresh Cream
The tequila was welcoming and smooth, while the espresso tasted sweet and not at all bitter. The cream made this light cocktail feel decadent, with a hint of chocolate. A delicious end to an overall superb experience.
Welcome events of larger size
Prime location downtown
Affordable compared to similar venues
Background of Some of the Ingredients Mentioned
A number of unique and intriguing ingredients were used in the dishes and drinks sampled during this visit to Malaga Tapas & Bar, warranting a deeper look into their origins, uses, and flavors.
Idiazabal: This is a traditional, farmhouse hard cheese made from raw milk of Latxa or Carranzana sheep in the Basque and Navarra regions of northern Spain. With its characteristic smoky flavor, derived from the cheese being traditionally smoked over beechwood, hawthorn, or cherry, Idiazabal lends an earthy richness to the cheese board.
Ancho Reyes Chili Liqueur: Hailing from Mexico, this liqueur is made from ancho and poblano chilis, which are known for their deep, rich flavor and mild to medium heat. The distinct spiciness it brings to the “Roses and Spice” cocktail is balanced by its inherently sweet, smoky undertones.
Lavender Honey: Honey infused with lavender brings floral undertones and sweetness to dishes. In the context of the flash-fried goat cheese, it serves as a sweet counterpoint to the savory cheese and tangy onion marmalade.
Piquillo Peppers: These peppers are a variety of chili traditionally grown in Northern Spain. Known for their sweet and slightly spicy flavor, they serve as a delightful casing for the crab and Manchego stuffing in the stuffed Piquillo peppers.
Mahon Cheese: Mahon cheese is a cow’s milk cheese from Menorca, Spain. Its buttery and slightly sharp flavor works beautifully with the crab in the stuffed Piquillo peppers and in the empanadas with spinach and mushroom.
Avion Espresso Tequila: This is a blend of Avion Silver Tequila with Italian espresso, creating a liqueur with a balance of roasted Italian espresso and agave-forward tequila notes. In the Tecoffe Hottie, this unique blend creates a full-bodied cocktail with a smooth finish and a hint of sweetness.
Mojo Verde: Translated as ‘green sauce,’ Mojo Verde is a Spanish sauce made primarily of garlic, parsley, or cilantro. Used in the grilled pork roulade, it adds a punchy, herbaceous note that pairs well with the richness of the pork and cheese.