No fuss, no pretensions . Just small plates in unassuming surroundings
Atmospherics: It is not easy to find your way around Galleria. Café Coffee Day is a convenient landmark: Pintxo is just above it. Just 18 seats and a tiny open kitchen. The walls are brown, giving the little space an even more closed in look than necessary. However, it’s the food here that speaks. It is too small to warrant an alcohol licence but the flavours of the goat cheese and beetroot ravioli cry out for a glass of Torres. The owner/manager cum chef is usually on hand to supervise the staff.
Table talk: Stick to the tapas section and you won’t go wrong. Prawn wrapped with bacon (Rs 440 for four pieces) is served exactly as it would be in a bar in Madrid – same presentation, same taste, same casual excellence. Eggplant caviar and goat cheese (Rs 280) is their one masterpiece. Do try the intensely savoury delight of eggplant topped with goat cheese flashed under the salamander till the cheese forms a crust. The New York-returned chef knows how to make expensive ingredients go a long way, so the Spanish chorizo with bread and baby potato costs just Rs 280 – a steal for the quality. Over half the tapas are vegetarian and include patatas bravas (Rs 180) the one plate that each and every bar across Spain features.
You would think that such a tiny restaurant would take short-cuts but what impressed us is that the tomato gazpacho Andalusian style (Rs 160) was flavoured with sherry vinegar and had the trademark sweetness amidst the sourness. The beetroot ravioli (Rs 220) was full of flavour because of the cooking process, and as at a five star restaurant, there were thinly sliced candied turnips folded over juliennes of pickled turnip and ginger. Considering how diminutive the kitchen is, and how untrained the kitchen staff, it would have been tempting for the management to give up the artistic touches that are expected in an expensive restaurant.
Plus and minus: At the furthest point of the globe from Valencia, Pintxo serves up a completely authentic paella with shrimp, pork belly and chicken (Rs 950 for two). The only disappointment in the entire meal was the fish fillet stuffed rolls (Rs 360) with no particular flavour.
Must try: Vegetarian paella, steamed bun with slow roast pork belly; chocolate mousse.
Food: 3.50; Service: 2.50; Décor: 3.00
SF 90, DLF Galleria Market, DLF Phase IV, Gurgaon
Tel: 0124-4227472, 9560398209
Open from 12 noon to 11 pm
No alcohol served; credit cards accepted
Meal for two: Rs 1500