I walk along Dalry every day to and from work, but until my friend Sara of Red Suitcase Tales (who lives in Dalry), told me about this new Spanish shop, I had no idea it was there! 4 of us headed along after work this winter to get a taste of authentic Spanish foods. It’s BYOB, so make sure to grab a bottle of Rioja on route!
From the outside it looks as though it’s only a Spanish deli, with meats hanging in the window, however if you take a closer look you will see a handful of tables in front of the till. The restaurant has a very rustic feel, but also a homely one. The owners are lovely and are obviously passionate about Spanish cuisine, which creates a friendly atmosphere. After a warm greeting, we settled into our table and our server opened our wine straight away and brought out menus for us. All of the Iberian meats instantly caught my eye, but it was the jamon that I was really excited about! We ordered a selection of foods for the table, with Sara taking the lead because she had been before.
Because it’s a tapas menu, all of the food appeared in dribs and drabs, which is great because you never have to wait too long before there’s more food in front of you. We had Acorn Fed Iberian Jamon, Spanish Cheese Platter, Patatas Bravas, Spanish Omelete, Calamari, Salted Cod Croquettes, Octopus with Paprika, Oil and Salt, Croquetas and Meatballs. All of the food was very tasty, and we had a good mix of dishes, but for me there were 2 stand outs: the Jamon and the Octopus. The jamon was served with bread, which had a kind of tomato paste on top; the meat itself was incredible, but the tomato bread enhanced the taste and together they made a delicious start to our meal.
I eat a lot of fish and octopus is something I can give or take, so I didn’t know how I would find this dish, but it was a definite highlight. The Octopus was smothered in paprika, olive oil and sea salt, so it was bursting with flavour; the sea salt especially went down a treat with me. This incredible olive oil mix made for such a tasty dressing, that I even used it to dip the Croquetas in. One thing that I would have liked would have been a separate dipping sauce for the Calamari, Saled Cod Croquettes and Croquetas.
We ended our meal with some Christmas cakes, which were a lovely sweet treat. The service and food at The Black Hoof were fantastic and I had a very enjoyable evening. After only opening in November, the restaurant isn’t overly busy yet, but I expect this will change as more people learn about the hidden delights of The Black Hoof!
I enjoyed the jamon so much that I popped in a couple of weeks later to buy some for Sam!