Sunday, March 16, 2014

Oribu Gastrobar

I'm always up for trying new restaurants in the city. And when it's locals who are choosing where to go, I'm never disappointed. On Saturday I went out to dinner with a group of Nacho's friends to a restaurant called Oribu Gastrobar in Chueca, just off of Gran Vía.

The restaurant's name comes from the pronunciation of 'olive' in Japanese- and the menu puts an oriental twist on traditional Spanish cuisine. We were a party of ten and were seated at one of their big, rustic, wooden tables and immediately served homemade hummus in precious little tins with bread. It was a very nice touch.

We decided to go family style, and ordered many different plates to share. Plates included langostinos fritos en tempura (tempura fried shrimp), chicken nuggets with a curry sauce, and a new, fried way to eat tortilla de patata (Spanish omlette with potatoes)- see below. But my favorite plates were the salmon tartar and arroz negro de sepia y calamares (a rice dish made with squid ink and calamari) served with a garlic aioli. Everything was delicious and satisfying!

Tortilla de patatas, shredded and fried with a sweet sauce
The boys sampling the dessert- la tarta de queso en espuma y torrija de sobao pasiego
It was great to catch up with some of Nacho's friends who I haven't seen in a while. It was also great to have an evening entirely in Spanish (thankfully, wine always helps me speak better..). When I first arrived in September, I remember I went to dinner with the same people, and couldn't understand a word of the conversation. I felt lost and like an outsider and spent most of the dinner in silence. On Saturday, however, I was completely able to keep up and add to the conversations. The night was filled with laughs and stories. Little by little I am feeling more comfortable with the language, and because of that, speaking it has become much more enjoyable. It was a happy, yummy night. :)

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