So, when Tom Carroll tweeted ‘if you’ve never eaten @ElBorrachoDeOro you’re a knobhead’ I thought I’d better go. No one wants to be a knobhead.
I roped in my other half who had already eaten at said restaurant, so it was just me who was a temporary knobhead. Firstly, El Borracheo is different to other Spanish restaurants in the city in that it feels properly Spanish. The décor is warm and colourful, with mismatched furniture, great lighting and a bar area perfect for nibbling tapas while perched on a bar stool. Chef Ignacios is thoroughly charming as is owner Emma and they’re both mad about authenticity and quality. They make a great team. But what of the food? Well, we wanted everything on the menu as is the way with tapas, but managed to whittle it down to five dishes plus fantastically garlicky tomato bread then Ignacios threw a culinary spanner in the works by bringing out two wonderful plates he’d been playing around with. Pheasant and pork terrine with rhubarb compote and a kind of rillettes style of pheasant on the side was heavenly. Rich and meaty with the sharp rhubarb it was amazing.
Then came deboned pigs trotter filled with mushrooms. Granted that doesn’t sound too sparkling, but it tasted wonderful. The other half isn’t keen on mushrooms, so it wasn’t up his strasa, but I loved it. Neither of those dishes is on the regular menu, but expect them as specials at some point. From the a la carte we enjoyed rich chicken livers cooked in sherry and sizzling, juicy prawns in a spicy sauce. We loved the flavour packed chorizo and brilliant meatballs mopping up their moreish sauce with tomato bread. Patatas bravas was given a bit of a twist served inventively in a basket with aioli and a tomato sauce on the side and a carafe of Spanish white added to the authentic vibe. We could have seriously stayed all day. I have a bone to pick with the Birmingham Food and Drink Awards. How did El Borracho not win the award for best Spanish restaurant in Brum? Genuine question, because we are flummoxed.