Sunday marked the end of Feria; the end of a nice, festive breather from work and the end of a long-awaited visit from a sweet friend from home. Sadness. But this ending was bittersweet as it had one last surprise in store for me. Sunday was the night I discovered Regadera.
Nestled at the riverside end of the bustling Calle de la Cruz del Rastro, Regadera (The Watering Can) could quite easily become my new watering hole. Or local bistro for that matter. The wine list is select but tasteful and the quality of food was on another level to that of its Cordoban counterparts; artfully presented, fresh ingredients and – a rarity in this city – plenty of international flavours.
The restaurant is not big, with but eight tables, it makes for an intimate and friendly environment, which is complimented with the clean, light aesthetics and impeccable service. My visiting friend and I were well impressed with the multilingual waiters, who not only provided us with fantastic customer service but who were also seemingly equally as passionate about food as we are.
The waiter – who was Italian but was witnessed speaking flawless Spanish, English and French over the course of the evening – took the time to explain to me how my leg of lamb had been cooked for over 12 hours in 200 degrees celsius before being seared on all sides to create a succulent, tasty, crisp outer before serving with a puree of carrots and a delicious balsamic sauce.
I was promised it’d be tender and I wasn’t disappointed. The meat fell away from the bone with a mere prod of my knife, and while the taste itself was not quite as rich and flavoursome as that which we are spoilt with at home in New Zealand, I’ll forgive them because this was through no fault of the garnishing, nor the cooking process – it was the lamb itself. While I am 100% it’s the best you can get in this neck of the woods, at the end of the day, lamb in general is just not a common meat here.
My friend and I shared the delightful Ensalada de Foie (Pate Salad) – the lettuce was fresh and laced with duck pate, ham, croutons and asparagus and dressed in a honey mustard sauce. The combination of flavours were worth commenting on; light and refreshing, very good.
My friend´s main was the Japanese scallops in a miso froth served with a generous helping of tempura vegetables. One of my all-time favourite cuisines, Regadera pulled off Japanese very well.
To finish, we shared a rather gargantuous chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream.
The Rioja wine we shared (LZ 2007) went down very smoothly and we were lucky enough to chase it down with a coffee digestive, compliments of the chef. It’s safe to say we left the restaurant a little merry.
Regadera offers a number of points of difference in the Cordoba dining experience that are worth noting:
Regadera would be a lovely spot to stop by for a wine or two but if you’re thinking of dining, I would recommend you save the experience for special occasions. Not that it is the type of place you’d dress in your best for. And not that it’s anything that I haven’t seen before. It’s just something I haven’t seen before here in Cordoba. It offers a refreshing respite from the hearty, heavy foods of the conventional Spanish taverns and the typically delectable carb-fest which shouldn’t be taken lightly but can get a little tiring. Unique restaurants as these should be appreciated and savoured.
If you get a chance, you really ought to try it.