Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Segovia Restaurant: Candido

Restaurants that have been around forever, in touristy locations, frequented by tourists are not things that inspire confidence.  Think Angus Steak Houses, Hard Rock Cafe's at the extreme end.  Some are better, there's Simpsons in London as well, which isn't terrible.  At best though they tend to be happy to revel in their reputations and charge a fortune to those that can't find a better recommendation whilst serving up mediocre food.  As our names were taken down by a waiter at Candido and put on a list for twenty minutes later a la Planet Hollywood it seemed this would be the case.  Things didn't improve when on returning at the allotted time we had to wait in a scrum of people for our names to be called out.  So it was with suprise and delight that we started eating and found out the food was really excellent.

Candido serves serious food, big simple comida tipica dishes that are robust and big on flavour.  More than anything though it is famous for its roast meats, especially its suckling pig.  Friendly waiters hurry around with whole baby pigs through the several hundred year old room, with white walls, exposed brick and some heavy tiling.  Not to mention the copper pans, and pictures of famous patrons including figures no less revered than Salvador Dali.  Before the pig though we had a couple of what we thought would be a couple of small starters.  Not so.  A huge plate of butter beans with pigs ear and chorizo appeared.  Slightly expensive at €10 this was delicious, hearty and big in terms of flavour.  I had the crayfish soup, which was rich and thick, though not as good as the butter beans.

What came after was something special.  A fifth of suckling pig.  The texture was incredibly tender, for want of originality nearerest soft roast chicken, though the melting soft fat gave it a far richer flavour.  The skin, often described as similar to a brown paper bag, was the thickness of a crisp, crunch and delicious, as well as being suprisingly abundant.  This was €21.  Not bad at all, especially as one restaurant in London charges £300 for a whole suckling pig between ten.

So it seems old, famous restaurants by large tourist attractions need not be bad.  In fact this one was positively excellent.

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