In the season of good cheer and festive tidings, I often play tour guide to friends of mine who will pop by Ktown around this time to visit, due to the amazing weather, as well as because they’ve heard so much about the country from yours truly. From the intricate architecture of the mosques, the wintery morning dog walks along the Corniche, to the colorful souks and the gargantuan malls, the one thing that usually stops me in my tracks is, you guessed it: where do I go to feed them?
A foodie myself, I usually search for places where the ambiance is cozy and the food healthy yet finger-licking good to share. American novelist, M.F.K. Fisher once professed, “Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.” Indeed.
If sampling various tasty healthy morsels and having a rip-roaring time is on your agenda, then you should most definitely visit Pintxos.
Yes the name initially does boggle the minds of some but I assure you, the food here is something serious foodies can appreciate and will enjoy.
Pronounced “pin-chos,” the eatery’s name pays homage to the Spanish word pincho, which means thorn or spike. According to Wiki, pintxo is a small snack traditionally consumed in bars in Nothern Spain, especially in the autonomous Basque Country and Navarre. The hors d’oeuvres here, if you will, vastly differ from the conventional tapas dishes as the pintxos are served in small bites, usually on a stick, skewer or toothpick and often on a piece of bread.
What the chefs at Pintxos have done however, is come up with a menu in its own league. The food menu is divided into 9 yummy parts; Crisp (salad), Pintxos, Tapas, Tostadas, Baskets, Mains, The Chef’s Specials, From the Josper Oven and Desserts. The Josper Oven is a unique charcoal-oven and grill, which is able to successfully manipulate its cooking temperature and various levels of grilling, to ensure your food is tender and tasty.
From a health and wellbeing perspective, what I enjoyed about Pintxos was that the dishes weren’t overly laden with sticky sauces and mayonnaise. Instead it was simple, rustic and yet, fabulously amazing. One of my favorites was the charred grapefruit and orange salad. Imagine thick segments of grapefruit and orange wedges grilled to perfection on top of a bed of lettuce and spinach leaves. Grapefruit and oranges are laden with vitamin C, perfect to help boost your immune system and help ward off colds this winter. Grapefruit is also rich in lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient that helps against free radicals and decreases tumor activity.
I enjoyed this salad immensely, as for starters, every part of it was coated in this smoky vinaigrette which paired well with the grilled fruit.
From the Josper Oven, my little entourage were happy we picked the baked mussels with red onion relish. Mussels, be it the salt or the freshwater kind, are packed with protein and selenium. Selenium, an essential mineral enzyme, helps with thyroid function and muscle function. A cup of these molluscs provides you with roughly 18grams of protein and 67mg of selenium, 122% of the recommended daily selenium intake for adult men and women.
My other two favorites were the beef skewers with fresh bay leaves, roasted baby potatoes with garlic aioli on the side, and the baked mushrooms in foil (if you’re vitamin D deficient, mushrooms are the way to go, as they’re packed with them).
For dessert, the options I would suggest depend on where you and your friends are at with your nutrition plans. To those wanting to watch their weight, I’d go with a selection from their cocktail list, my favorite being the Jalapeno margarita – jalapeno and Serrano chilies muddled and shaken with fresh lime, pineapple juice and a splash of agave syrup (you can request for the syrup to be on the side).
If you’re carbing up, off-season or intending to celebrate life with a cheat meal, I would then definitely opt for their pain perdue with a raspberry shiso jam.
All in all, Pintxos really does live up to its tagline of Beats, Bubbles and Bites. Diners have the option of enjoying the lovely weather with their al fresco seating arrangement or the cozy booths and lounge chairs along with its chilled-out vibe and awesome music indoors.
Pintxos is located on the Al Seif Strip on Gulf Road opposite Seif Palace. It is open Sun-Sat 12pm to 11pm. You can contact them on 2249 8325 or follow them on Instagram @pintxoskw.
Reshmi Revi is a NZCF Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Enthusiast and an Evolve Supplements Sponsored Athlete who competes in bodybuilding. Follow her on Instagram @Q8MissFit