The day had been a scorcher, reaching 46C; we had asked the taxi driver to drop us at a good restaurant, but the restaurant he selected had no space; we were directed by an indifferent waiter to another part of town, where tapas bars seemed to be the norm, so you can imagine that tempers are short and feet were weary by the time we discovered Restaurante el Giraldillo.
Although, the location is stunning, overlooking the cathedral square in a prominent corner position, the gaggle of waiters chatting by the entrance seemed unconcerned whether we chose to patronise their restaurant, or not. Nevertheless, the menu looked interesting and because of the humidity, we asked for an ‘inside’ and air-conditioned table.
Once we had passed the entrance test and confirmed ourselves as “serious” customers, I cannot fault the service that we received. It was attentive and yet unobtrusive, our enquiries (in English) were well answered, and our food was delivered promptly and courteously.
It was a hot night and of the three of us only my wife and I took starters; my wife chose the Melón con Jamón Ibericó - hardly testing the prowess of the chef, but the half melon that she received had been neatly scooped into ‘Parisienne’ balls and replaced into the shell and the ham was of the finest quality, expertly and thinly sliced. She declared it delicious! I, however, went for the Gazpacho, which I have to say was exceptionally good, peppery, garlicky and clearly home-made by somebody who understands how to make this traditional soup.
Main course, (well it was our last night in Spain) my wife and I shared the Andalusian Paella, which arrived laden with seafood and (I suspect) traditional rabbit, three gigantic gambas each and properly cooked using saffron rather than the less expensive and annoyingly named ‘colorante’ that is typically used to give paella its yellow colouring. ‘Colorante’ is, according to the package that I picked up in a Spanish supermarket, just about 100% tartrazine (E102), which we all know has been banned from children’s drinks and food, as it causes them to bounce off the walls like demented squash balls; obviously, in this area, the Spanish choose to ignore EU directives!
Our son, who at the age of 15 considers himself to be a bit of an aficionado when it comes to pasta, chose the pappardelle with langoustines and I have to say that this was probably better than our extremely good paella. The pasta was clearly fresh, seafood in great abundance, the sauce was delicately constructed and it was (according to him) the best dish of the holiday!
The adults drank sangria that was well made, bursting with fruit, sufficient triple sec to give a substantial kick and made with a halfway decent tempranillo; the perfect accompaniment.
Having now read the reviews of other patrons, I am surprised. Apart from the initial ambivalence of the waiters in granting us entry to the restaurant, the food was good, the drink was excellent, the staff were courteous and the bill not excessive. I can understand the frustration that some would feel in gaining entry and when this is coupled with the typical mañana attitude, I can appreciate how this annoyance is exacerbated… but if you accept this as “typically Spanish” and look beyond it, the restaurant is extremely enjoyable.
Would I go back for a second helping? Probably yes - there was nothing to put us off a return visit!
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.