When the ‘Beast from the East’ held the country in an icy grip, there was no better way to warm up than with a taste of the Mediterranean.
The hubby, our four-year-old son and I visited Mi Casa Su Casa on Red Bank Road in Bispham for some early teatime tapas – and it was as much the friendly nature of the staff as the food that warmed us up.
With the beautiful background chatter of waiters speaking in their native tongue, colourful statement tiles, a whole Jamon Serrano sitting on the side and pictures hung on the walls featuring traditional Spanish scenes, it’s like stepping into an authentic bar on one of the sunny costas.
Fresh flowers and candles provide an intimate setting inside the venue, which is spotlessly clean.
And for those warmer days, there’s a terraced area which is a real sun trap.
The waiters are attentive – taking our coats and even placing napkins on our laps – and efficient, always with a smile.
Our drinks were served quickly so the hubby and I supped on some San Miguel while we decided on what to eat.
The menu is varied with all the traditional Spanish dishes you could imagine as well as a fish and meat specials board.
We chose a variety of tapas off both the normal menu and specials.
The kitchen can be viewed from the dining area which I always think is a nice touch, but thankfully the layout doesn’t leave an unpleasant cooking smell in the restaurant.
While our dishes were busy being freshly prepared we nibbled on some olives and pistachio nuts.
But we didn’t have to wait long for our meal to arrive.
Within 20 minutes, we had a wonderful spread of food served in terracotta dishes in front of us.
The chicken and chorizo was cooked in a deliciously rich yet slightly sweet red wine sauce (£7.50) – and proved to be a particular favourite of our entire meal.
The minted lamb (£6.95) was bursting with flavour and I was pleasantly surprised by the generous portion of monkfish (£7.50), which was meaty yet delicate with a crisp layer of light batter.
We enjoyed the best tortilla (£3.50) to ever pass our lips – although don’t tell my mother, who makes a cracking version herself after many years of living in Barcelona.
Our son happily munched on a portion of fries (£2.75) along with some calamares (£5.95), which were perfectly cooked in a light batter.
The tapas tradition has taken the world by storm in recent years – but at a price.
Unlike in Spain, where you can wander into modest tascas (Spanish tavernas) off the beaten track and enjoy a free plate of nibbles when you buy a drink, tapas places in this country can charge high-end restaurant prices for these smaller plates of food.
At Mi Casa Su Casa, the prices are certainly in line with other tapas establishments on the Fylde coast.
While seasoned travellers to Spain who enjoy tapas in the traditional sense may find it a little on the expensive side to charge £7.50 for chicken and chorizo, the portions are more than generous and the standard of food is excellent. With drinks – a coffee, small bottle of water and three San Miguels – our bill came to £49.80.
And when we said ‘hasta pronto’ (see you soon) to the staff as we left, we really meant it.
Gazette rating: 9.5/10