From Marbella’s old town, to the lively Arabella promenade in Al Bida’a filled with the latest restaurant concepts, visitors will surely be impressed with Torero, Spanish restaurant and Churreria. Amongst all of the food fads that have come to Kuwait, we were beyond elated when we finally came by something different. With an armor of expertly trained Spanish head chefs, along with Marbella’s most prized Churrero (that’s Spanish for master Churro maker), Torero offers a much-desired break from the many other burger-concentrated and pizza-centric dining concepts.
After many annual visits to the Spanish town of Marbella, and an avid addiction for locally prepared churros, Torero general manager and owner Aljawhara S. Al Sabah decided to bring it upon herself to create a Spanish concept that recreates her culinary memories of the lovely timeless Orange square, better known as Plaza de los Naranjos. Renowned for its narrow streets, charming flowered balconies and aromatic orange trees, Aljawhara made sure to recreate this atmosphere at Torero by building the dining area around a beautiful large orange tree that was flown in from Spain. Accessible from both the upper and lower level promenades; you will find yourself immersed in a cozy and relaxing sanctuary. The walls at Torero are painted in a bright and sunny yellow color offset with bright blue wooden windows decorated with flowerpots to add an authentic touch to the dining ambience. The scintillating aromas coming from the kitchen then enliven your senses and the joyful little details that Aljawhara added pleases the eye. Figurines of little toros (Spanish fighting bulls), matador hats and the sounds of the guitar will accompany the different stages of your Spanish feast from beginning to the very end.
As far as Spanish cuisine is concerned, tapas, also known as small plates, are always the best way to go when dining in a group. Move on to one of Torero’s Spit Roasts, or Al Espeto Malagueño, slowly barbecued cuts of beef, chicken or lamb on burning coals, a classic that hails from Malaga beach, or traditional Paellas. Don’t worry, we won’t spoil the desserts for you just yet!
We started off our Spanish expedition with a selection of tapas. The Pan tomato, toasted homemade bread with a refreshing and slightly zesty tomato dip, is offered based on the tradition of snacking between meals. One that we found ourselves more than happy to oblige, especially when mixed with the Ensalada De Queso De Cabra. This imaginative goat’s cheese salad, with an avocado infused balsamic vinaigrette that makes it creamy, sweetened with the tart flavors of the cheese and made for an amazing topping to the homemade bread offered with the Pan tomato. We then sampled the roasted chicken and mushroom croquettes from Torero’s wide offering of Las Croquetas, these creamy and deliciously fried dumplings or rounded balls served with an addictive alioli sauce. For those wondering about alioli, it is an age-old Catalonian paste-like dipping sauce made from crushed garlic, olive oil, egg yolks, salt and pepper and lemon to taste.
The tapas continued to flow, as our Queso Frito (Fried creamy cubes of Brie cheese) arrived with sweetened tomato chutney. We could have sworn that we tasted berries, that’s how caramelized that tomato chutney was. We dove right into this expertly presented dish and savored the contrasting textures and how the chutney brought life to the fantastic cubes of simply fried Brie. This was followed by two styles of their signature Patatas Bravas. For every potato lover, these diced, chunky and deep fried cubes with alioli and classic fiery brava tomato sauce are a pure delight! Going by the preparation of any Spanish food item, these patatas are richly flavored and full of warm spices, whether you opt for the classic version or the spiced chorizo and cheese option. Pair the potatoes with some Gambas Al Ajillo, baked shrimps in garlic oil and chili flakes, or Calamari A La Romana, battered and deep-fried flavorful calamari. Looking for a touch of fusion? Indulge your taste buds with the BBQ Costillas, featuring 24-hour marinated barbecued beef short ribs served in tortillas, alioli and tomato dip, and there you have it – mini sandwiches at a Spanish restaurant!
As soon as you think you’ve experienced Spanish cuisine, you must stop yourself and remember that the Paellas El Torero make for an incredible main event. The entire process of consuming this hearty meal is enjoyable, from the majestic presentation of the large pan, filled with the colors of freshly sourced vegetables, meats, or seafood, to the sharable trait of this mixed rich dish that simply brings people together. Paella options at Torero include chicken, vegetable, mixed seafood and for the adventurous, blackened rice or Arroz Negro, prepared with calamari and the original squid’s ink. We opted for the light seafood Paella, with calamari, seasonal hammour alongside a myriad of diced vegetables enhanced with original Valencian spices and saffron. A note about the Paella maker at Torero: Aljawhara found herself commissioning the best Paella maker in Valencia, he is known to prepare at least ten Paellas at the same time! If you choose a vegetarian Paella, make sure that you also order the slow roasted lamb, or Palitilla De cordero, served with a choice of potato puree or gratin. Not only does the meat literally fall off the bone and melt in your mouth, you also receive a side of rustic honey to drizzle on the cuts of lamb. This was yet another Andalucian tradition that we were extremely pleased to try.
Come dessert time, we were delighted to learn that both of the dessert options are chocolate-laden. This not only makes us happy, it also makes us take a note to come even hungrier the next time we visit this establishment! Watch the incredible La Bomba come to life in front of you. This dessert includes a chocolate cake, vanilla bean ice cream and what tasted like a dark chocolate and molasses infused structure, that when piping hot chocolate sauce is poured in, disintegrates into a heavenly texture. If you prefer the traditional churro, then know that Marbella’s best Churrero is on hand to deliver beautiful, flaky, hollowed swirls of pastry sprinkled with sugar. All you need to do is break it apart and dip it in more of their addictive chocolate sauce.
Torero Spanish Restaurant & Churreria is located in Arabella in Al Bida’a. For reservations and inquiries please call 9494 5904 and visit www.torerosrc.com for more information or follow them on Instagram.