It was over 10 years since last we dined at this prestigious eatery. Sometime after this, owner Jose Eugenio Arias was embroiled in a bitter battle with the Andalusian Health authority over his defiance of the newly introduced ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, that resulted in the restaurant being closed down for some months along with imposition of a six figure fine, which incidentally was never paid. Now with his daughter Lourdes managing what is now twice the size with over 160 covers split between the bar area, a fine dining room and the covered passageway along the front where smoking is allowed. The bar servery is devoted to an extensive display of traditional Basque Pinchos and Tapas with new creations being added regularly. At the far end of the counter is a realistic but ‘defiant’ pastry creation of a lit cigar on an ashtray! (Pinchos are bread based snacks using a tooth pick to stabilise whatever food is put on top). Around the bar area are many high chairs tables making this a buzzing ‘with-it’ place to be. In the dining room proper where the A La carte menu is served are nicely adorned
table settings but with chairs that barely have a back rake to them. In a glass chill cabinet built into the front wall that is visible both inside and out there are several sides of beef going through their hanging days. Sitting In the dining room you can watch a monitor of your steak cooking on the Bar-B-Que.
Maitra ’D Lauren speaks English and was most helpful, and service from our waiter Javia and waitress Juani was faultless. Head chef Fabian and his staff are to be congratulated on the works of art they produce, and they taste as good as the look.
As the heading implies, our foursome first dined here with a carnivorial feast of Beef, with three sharing Chuleton de Buey (‘Churasco’ is the top end head of the entrecote of beef with the bone) and a Beef Entrecote Lomo alto for me, (without bone) both are from Avila and the north of Spain, and were accompanied by al dente carrots, broccoli, and French fries. We shared a delicious flaky pastry Apple Tart .to finish a memorable meal.
Just four days later we had a Pinchos lunch with a Seafood Salad to start, then to follow, Black Pudding with a fried egg, Egg- Foie Gras-Truffle, Tortilla, Lomo, grape and cheese on bread with a Bechamel sauce. The selection process is to walk along the servery asking “what is this” and pointing to the ones that you want, these are then served at your table with lot of gorgeous crusty bread. In all it becomes a voyage of discovery for the uninitiated, but a very pleasant one. It would be helpful if they had a menu with English descriptions for the Pinchos, but we will return to try more of the dishes from the Basque cuisine.
El Asador can be found on Centro Comercial Guadalmina, block 3 local 11,
just west of San Pedro de Alcantara. Street Parking. They have a Plato del Dia that is different every day 18€. Average cost of a three course meal with wine 50€ Average cost of Pinchos Lunch with a drink 15€. The prices on the menus do not including IVA. They open for lunch and dinner every day from 13:00h till 16:00h and 20:00h till 24:00h. booking advisable.
Marks out of 5 Ambience:4.5 Food: 5 Menu:4.5 Service:5 Value:4.5