Pass the tapas, I proclaimed as I was seated in a charming setting under wicker baskets mimicking chandeliers whilst the wooden shelves provided a home for a selection of wine bottles and a peculiar décor at Salero Tapas & Bodega.
An open-pan kitchen situated center of the restaurant offered an eye view of the dry cuts hung at a side while a chef worked his skillful magic behind the bodega style layout enticing the crowd that seemed plentiful for a weekday.
A lesser yet to the point – traditional menu, Salero worked my taste buds to the tapas on offer while my fingers lingered on to the second page pointing towards the paella.
How do you like your tapas, hot or cold?
Cane sugar drizzled over freshly fried hand cut eggplant slices were coated in a light, airy batter teasing flavorful combination with a crunch. For a traditional savor, a Spanish omelet famously known as a Tortilla with simplistic ingredients offered a simplistic taste with only freshly milled black pepper and salt that lingered on the palate. A firm bite to the gambas (shrimps) floated in lush oil flavored with garlic provided a delightful taste, although a bit more garlic would have been perfection.
I was bold and rebelled against my taste and ordered a vegetarian paella for the night. Although not my favorite of the lot tasted, as it lacked a lasting flavor but provided visual stimulation from the beautiful plating and the quantity proved a stern winner with a portion for two good enough for a portion for four as it seemed.
The night was young, and so was the beautiful flamenco dancer with her long black hair gelled flawlessly and her deep red attire added to her ragging yet teasing moves as the wooden plank on the floor echoed her movements which added to the Spanish ambiance that was well maintained at Salero. Ole!
I dipped my piping hot churro which required a 10 minute wait, a wait that was savored with a dunk of a firm yet doughy churro into melted chocolate sauce. Delicioso!
Indeed a lacking excitement of the fare at Salero, the paella will be revisited but this time around, preferably simmering in seafood or chicken stock – as it should be.
Salero Tapas and Bodega
Kempinski Hotel – Mall of the Emirates
+971 4 409 5888