Villa Mercedes Restaurant Review
Today, as we were soon to find out, would be all about the taste of summer. Ironic then that we had picked the first overcast day for a week or more for our visit. The consequence is the absence of photography setting the beauty of the food against the blue sky splendour of the marina over which the fabulous Villa Mercedes restaurant looks. But in hindsight perhaps that was not such a bad thing—today was to be all about the food, no need for distractions however beautiful they may be.
- Passionfruit Daiquiri.
One of the little surprises you come to expect at the Villa. These delicious virgin versions of the most summer cocktail of them all were served in the hollowed out fruit and sipped as Josh explained our day was to be one of tasting the new summer a la carte menu. No decisions needed, just as we like it.
- Sorbet white wine
Next to arrive at the table was a new addition to the wine list for 2016. This 2015 Catalan Garnatxa from Casa Berger, is made to be served very cold, almost frozen. A soft aromatic and refreshing wine that lost none of its flavour by its chill.
- Salmon Ceviche.
Another lovingly prepared delight that shouts summer in its vibrant lime cup. The Salmon with red onion, lime juice topped with sesame seeds and chilli sticks strikes a perfect balance as the smooth and smoky fish tumbles over your taste buds alongside the zing of lime, pop of sesame and mild but unmistakeable chilli hit.
- Homemade Flatbread
Termed crusted toast on the menu, this artisan bread had a snap that makes fingers the order of the day. Topped with avocado, prawns, confit tomato, lime jelly and a mango cream, it epitomised everything summer, and again those tumbling flavours lifted the dish to a height that belied its humble pan base. The addition of some cracked black pepper made it better still.
- Calamari Roll
On one side of the table, mine, this was the starter to get the gold star of merit. The calamari was so flavoursome and the stuffing of rich wild mushrooms and garlic is inspired. I loved the edamame in both cream and whole form (think posh mushy peas and the snappiest garden peas you’ve ever tasted) with the teriyaki giving added zing.
- Mozzarella salad with Watermelon.
And following my side of the table’s accolade for the Calamari, my opposite number found the same plated joie de vivre in the salad of mozzarella and watermelon (pictured centre top) served with red onion and bursting balsamic vinaigrette caviar. Everything was still very much in summer mode and somehow that winter favourite cinnamon had been infused into the water melon to give a summer taste. Kitchen witchcraft.
- Rice with Cuttlefish and Prawns.
No Spanish Sunday could be complete without a rice dish and this paella, as most of us would know it, was a real aficionados version of the national dish.
Competition was hot around the table for the huge juicy prawns and copious cuttlefish. If I have to find criticism of any dish, and today’s meal makes that a truly hard job, I would have liked some lemon wedges to squeeze over to my own, very lemony taste.
We were warned of many good things still to come but it did not stop us wanting to fill ourselves on the comforting caress of the perfectly cooked rice.
- Iberian Pork Tenderloin.
Wow. “Get your coat pork, you’ve pulled”. Such a refined meal probably doesn’t warrant such a cheap pun, forgive me, I couldn’t resist. But cheap as the pun is this plate served the sentiment and some. Deliciously moist, so moist, true melt in the mouth with the added kick of chilli flakes should you choose to take them. Another fantastic taste combination in the rosemary mash, to my mind more a puree, working perfectly with the salt of the finest pork I have eaten. We have come to know that Villa Mercedes never fail to provide the finest produce and this dish provided the perfect example of that quality first policy.
- Galician (Galego) Entrecote
The only thing more amazing than there being another dish coming to us, was that it managed to compete with the Pork in taking our breath away.
The Galego entrecote was again of the very highest standard, cooked to rare perfection, that being perfectly rare. However it was the accompaniments that took it to ’Masterchef’ standards. Served with baby carrots, pickled red onion and green mojo sauce, it took it from a steak plate to something so much more special. The pickled vegetables work wonderfully with the steak, a clash of flavour that demands affection. Add the green mojo sauce which consists of avocado, green peppers and coriander and the whole dish comes alive. Truly superb.
- Dessert Banquet
White chocolate mousse with passion fruit, strawberry coulis and Italian ‘surprise’ meringue.
This was very popular, the creamy smooth white chocolate and meringue combined with the fruitiness of the passion fruit and strawberry coulis was an absolute delight and had us ‘spoon fighting’ for more. There is a surprise hidden within this gem – we’ll let you find it out.
Deconstructed banoffee pie
How can you go wrong with the ‘banoffee’ combination? This dessert is certainly one for those with a sweet tooth, its served ice cold and so would be a perfect dessert on these hot summer days.
Marquise of chocolate with coconut sorbet
This dessert fills all the boxes, its chocolate and gluten free. It’s a real chocolate lovers dream; the bitterness of the chocolate was lifted by the sharpness of the grapefruit. We missed out on the coconut sorbet (five desserts on a plate was plenty enough) but I imagine the cool fresh coconut would work in symphony with this exquisite marquise.
Carpaccio of strawberries with a white chocolate and Greek yoghurt ice cream
The white chocolate Greek yoghurt ice cream was absolutely deliciously presented on a bed of carpaccio strawberries – a dessert of fresh summertime heaven.
Crunchy praline mousse with coconut and Malibu
Yet another amazing little dessert, the coconut mousse with a hint of Malibu then smothered in more coconut was divinely light and creamy, and with the crunchy praline base – it’s now up there in the favourites.
Utter madness, but a madness in which we were happy to participate. And talking of madness, how about this for a final hurrah.
The current crème de la crème in Villa Mercedes desserts. Chocolate cigars filled with cream and served with a strawberry water dip. Dip your cigars and don’t forget the obligatory Churchill-esque photo!
Fun, innovative, very refreshing, but most of all, so very Villa Mercedes.