Sunday, 7 July 2013

Pray for Spanish Eyes - Ultracomida Restaurant Review

Ask anyone where to eat in West Wales and invariably Ultracomida (translation: ultra food) gets a well deserved mention, with 2 restaurants in Narbeth and Aberystwyth they have an enviable reputation for importing and serving fantastic Spanish produce. A recent stay at remote Pwll Pendre cottage on the glorious Hafod Estate involved no fewer than 2 trips to Aber which naturally meant 2 trips to Ultracomida.

The impressive cheese counter at Ultracomida, Aberystwyth
Ultracomida, Aberystwyth - a destination for cheese lovers!
photo courtesy of Ultracomida
In the front is the most amazing deli. On the counter a daunting range of Spanish and Welsh cheeses is made easier to navigate by knowledgeable and chatty staff. A range of dried goods including Bomba rice, slabs of membrillo, paprica, and amazing Spanish drinking chocolate (do try it) is opposite, while squished into every spare shelf are the wines, sherries and beers. I was recommended La Socarrada, a small batch ale made with honey and rosemary which I can confirm was delicious, although at close on £9 a bottle is probably too spendy to be anything other than a treat.

La Socarrada, from Ultracomida
La Socarrada, beautiful ale, best enjoyed with food
The dining room involves sociable and lively communal tables and a bar which wraps around the edges.   Anyone who has eschewed the tourist traps to eat with the locals in many areas of Spain will recognise this, and it is hugely pleasing that the service, both in the restaurant and deli, continues with this sense of camaraderie. Every single person we speak to is friendly, efficient and helpful.

The menu is a mix of tapas and sandwiches, and (importantly for a student town) is very affordable. Typical tapa of albondigas, tortilla and patatas bravas bump along happily with filled breads and most plates are around the £6 mark.
Bread and Olives at Ultracomida
The best olives I have had in a while, also available with cornichons in the deli
The obligatory bread and olives featured some of the best olives I have had in a while, and a rustic pan com tomate was heavy with chopped garlic.

Pan con tomate at Ultracomida
Pan con tomate with a lo-o--ot of garlic
A chicken, pork and chorizo paella, allegedly the tapa sized portion, came with a deliciously pungent aioli and punctuated with bits of crunchy rice or 'socarrat'.
Paella at Ultracomida Aberystwyth
The tapa sized Paella
A beetroot, goats cheese and watercress salad delivered the only flaw of our lunch, with a beautiful but slightly stingy portion of cheese that didn't last through the whole of the beetroot.

Beetroot, balsamic, goats cheese and watercress salad, Ultracomida
Beetroot, balsamic, goats cheese and watercress salad
 A panini of chicken and chorizo slathered in Chimichurri sauce was a big hit; rich, smoky and satisfying.

Chicken, chorizo chimichurri panini at Ultracomida
The chimichurri sauce MADE this panini
 If I have any complaint, it is that they weren't around when I was a student in the town myself!
Pwll Pendre, Hafod Estate
Pwll Pendre, Hafod Estate, very beautiful, just us and the sheep!
Waterfalls on the Hafod Estate

River, Hafod Estate

31 Pier Street, Aberystwyth, Dyfed SY23 2LN
01970 630 686

Twitter: @Ultracomida

Ultracomida on Urbanspoon

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