Monday, June 20, 2011

Our trip to Spain: The Becerra Brothers

C says:

Barcelona may have the Adria brothers (Ferran and Albert, who recently closed/left their respective restaurants El Bulli and Inopia, and opened a cocktail and tapas bar that’s booked solid till December), but in Seville, the Becerra brothers rule! Enrique runs his eponymous restaurant, and brother Jesus runs Becerrita.

Enrique Becerra

There’s both a proper restaurant and a separate bar/tapas section, and if you sit in the restaurant, you can’t order tapas. We did however clarify that if we were in the bar section, we could still order from the restaurant menu, so we had tapas, as well as an order of their signature grilled swordfish.

The swordfish was good, but still a tad overcooked for my liking. The sherry sauce was awesome though. This reinforced my view that given a choice, I’d go for tapas any time. At least the portions are small enough so that even if you end up ordering something that you end up not liking, you’re not forced to finish a huge plate of it.

This baby eel toast was definitely an “OMG” moment. The baby eels tasted like a more subtled, refined version of regular eel, and was topped with an aioli that was subtle enough not to overwhelm the eels. Amazing. We came back a second time and ordered one each.

The roast lamb with honey is another of their specialities, and I’m glad that it was available as a tapas portion as well as a main course. It was just enough for us to have a taste of it. It was more of a stew than what I expected, but I liked how the honey really came through.

We ordered a couple of smoked salmon-related tapas – there was a smoked salmon and cream cheese one, and another one with asparagus wrapped with salmon. The latter had a bit too much cream cheese for the amount of smoked salmon, but I quite liked the asparagus one.

The sangria here was lovely, and they also give you a dish of various olives and a bread basket, which we had to stop ourselves from polishing off. If you come at lunchtime, you can also order a tapas portion of paella, which is perfect if you come in a small group and your other dining companions don’t like paella.


I think overall, the tapas at Enrique Becerra were just slightly better than at Becerrita, but there were a few items at the latter that were particularly noteworthy.

First and foremost, brains. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this on the menu. I used to have brains when I was really young; my grandmother would cook them in a peppery soup, and once in a while, coat little morsels of them and deep fry them. However, as health scares abounded and we all started getting more health conscious, it got harder and harder to find brains in the market. I haven’t had them for at least 15 years, and more or less relegated them to my little box of happy memories.

I don’t even know if the brains at Becerrita were pig, sheep or veal brains. I took one look at them on the menu and ordered them immediately. They were simply prepared – sautéed in olive oil with garlic. I was apprehensive when they arrived. Had they been elevated in my memory so much that it could never be matched by reality?

I’m happy to say that they were as good as I remember. The taste is pretty unique and hard to describe; the closest I can think of is a cross between foie gras and bone marrow, but slightly firmer in texture.

It’s probably an acquired taste though. A tried it and admitted that it wasn’t too bad, but it was no where near how enamoured I was with it.

A’s favourite dish at Becerrita was the deep fried pork cutlet. This was a palm-sized schnitzel of tender pork filled with Iberico ham and cheese. Pork filled with pork. How can that go wrong?! Certainly the best “cordon bleu” cutlet we’ve ever had.

If you’re ever in Seville, a trip to either one, if not both, of the Becerra brothers’ establishments is a must.

A says:

Both places are highly recommended and worth visiting in Seville. We also had the good fortune to have ultra-helpful and friendly waiters at both restaurants. The baby eels are a must-try and one of the best bites of our entire trip.

1 comment:

Lizzie said...

I was at Enrique Becerra too - loved the lamb in honey sauce and the tosta w foie gras and figs!btw great blog :)