It is not often that words fail me but I am struggling, and have been struggling for several weeks, to find the terminology to describe my second visit to Kaleja.
If my first visit was almost furtive, ensconced at the bar with my head down, this time it was an occasion and, oh boy, what an occasion it turned out to be. I had what could be termed the extra long menu – one of everything – and it lead to a couple of hours of proving the fallacy of the good time/long time dichotomy.
The pictures here tell at least some of the story, of dish after outstanding dish, but you would need more than a 1000 words to adequately describe some of these.
Looking at them it is hard to know where to start. Maybe the dish that had the biggest impact on me was the huevas con fetta – a little flavour bomb of fishy and cheesy salinity and freshness. The dish I would have repeated over and over the squid in butter, or maybe the beans in ham, or the foie in salpicon, or the gamba, or the green beans …
The list could go on and on – and I could have too. While some menus can seem a long struggle, this one never got heavy. A fantastic combination of flavours, textures and ingredients, and all that stewing and roasting making for a lunch that was as digestible as it was enjoyable.
You get the idea – it was an absolute feast for the senses.
And a liquid feast too, as Juan “Juanito” Perez weaved a merry thread of superb wines through proceedings, including some absolute crackers beloved of this parish. The Camborio en Rama, Saca de Floracion, La Fleur by Forlong, UBE Miraflores, the Antique Oloroso, the Maria del Valle fino, the Amontillado by Bodegas Tradicion and a sensational Palo Cortado by Antonio Barbadillo.
Superb wines all but also brilliantly matched to the cooking – harmonies and complements, flavours that reinforced each other. Really excellent work.
A really outstanding lunch in fact, one that will live long in the memory. I can’t wait to get back down to Malaga for Round Three.