Boqueria Tapas Cork

Posted by Conor O'Neill on Monday, March 27, 2006


Food style/ethnicity: Spanish Tapas


Hours: Pub Hours - Pub Hours

Price: 6 - 12 (Euro)

   **Location**:        <p>6 Bridge Street

Cork Co Cork


Food rating: 4 out of 5
Decor rating: 5 out of 5
Service rating: 3 out of 5

Two and a half years after leaving, I have finally left the building. To celebrate getting rid of me, we had my bye bye meal in Boqueria Tapas in Cork City the other night. I have heard nothing but good things about it since I’ve been down here. Finally I had the opportunity and a bunch of us headed in quite early on a Wednesday night.

I was well surprised to see that it was hopping mid-week. A very good sign. I was a bit late (projectile vomiting baby emergency) and luckily Christian already had a bottle of Rioja on the go. The world’s least sexy name for a wine: “Muriel”. But it was a fine bit of booze as the three bottles between 3.5 people proved.

There was a lot of discussion and tooing-and-froing on the menu as most of the gang had never had tapas or any kind of Spanish food. The menu was split simply between hot and cold with most dishes averaging between €6 and €12.

I was aiming to do the “proper” thing and order one item at a time interspersed with copious amounts of booze. But most people were in Irish mode and ordered the equivalent of “starter” and “main”. I thought it was a pity the waitress wasn’t giving us guidance. The big advantage of “one at a time” for beginners like us is that you can see what other people are getting and can then decide to have that yourself for the next round.

Patatas Bravas seemed to be the dish of choice for the night and all seemed to like it. I started off with a plate of charcuteria. What came out was a big plate laden down with meat. I was a bit shocked by the size of it but it was an awesome dish. Serrano, salami, chorizo, grapes, manchego cheese and membrillo. The latter two were new to me but W had lived in San Sebastian for two years and explained that membrillo is a quince paste and is famous for going well with manchego. He wasn’t joking, both were fantastic. Martin didn’t know about chorizo so I showed him the two different types on the plate. Or as Marion put it “small……far away”.

The place itself is beautiful with lots of dark wood and has the bar at the front with shelves full of spanish food products. The rear has more seating but is long and narrow and not really suited to a crowd our size. I felt sorry for the waitresses having to force their way through all night. Service was fine considering how many of us there were but there were some big gaps between waitress appearances at the table.

My second plate was Albondigas which are Spanish meatballs. These were bloody gorgeous and I scoffed the lot in no time. Portion size again was quite large.

Due to the large portions, most people stopped at two which was a pity. I think they should reduce the plate size by half which would give us the opportunity to try twice as many things. Throwing weight-loss to the wind I went for number three but it didn’t work for me. It was chickpeas with sultanas, parsley and garlic. And that was literally what I got on a plate. A bit too much like eating muesli for my liking but nothing inherently wrong with it.

From talking to people, Boqueria seems to be used a lot by those going to the cinema / theatre / stock-car racing who just want a quick bite to eat and a glass of wine beforehand and for that it is perfect. As a result it is probably not a romantic location to “impress the bird” unless the bird is a foodie. If we are in the city sans les enfants (some time around 2025) we’ll definitely be going again but I doubt we’d head all the way in on a whim. For whims we have Davida Tapas in Bandon which does a smaller menu but is probably as good.

With W’s guidance, two days later we went to The English Market and got Manchego and membrillo. Yum tiddley um tum tum.

[tags]Boqueria, Tapas, The English Market, Davida[/tags]

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