The authentic taste of the Mediterranean - in Doncaster
When the sun shines as brightly as it has been doing recently, and the temperature continues to soar, my mind wanders off to Mediterranean coastlines and beautiful delicacies.
Now Doncaster is no Balearics or Canaries but one town centre restaurant certainly conjures of the authentic taste of Spain. It is a Friday at 6pm and as we step into the beautifully air conditioned El Toro, in Netherhall Road, there are already a number of diners. We hadn’t booked but thankfully it was early enough to secure a table and we began to peruse the quite extensive menu over a gin and tonic, and, of course, a pint of Estrella Damm. There are set menus and all you can eat menus to choose from but we opted to select individual dishes to our own liking. Very fairly priced, dishes ranged from £2.95 upto £19.95 for a sea bass main, but it was tapas we had in mind. The Gambas al Ajilo are peeled, pan fried prawns in chilli, garlic and extra virgin olive oil, at £6.95, these were succulent and juicy and, in fact, so nice, we ordered a second portion. Next up was Caldereta de Cordero Tapa, also £6.95, tender pieces of lamb cooked slowly with Spanish spices and served with potatoes. I have never tasted lamb like it. It simply melted in the mouth, and was soon polished off, a second helping of these was also ordered, little bit naughty but we couldn’t resist. We also went for the traditional Patatas con Salsa Brava, £3.95, deep fried potato cubes topped with a spicy hot tomato sauce. Just delicious. Other dishes included Chorizo con Sidra, £5.25, spicy Spanish saughes cooked with cider; and Pan de Ajo, £2.95, Spanish garlic bread; and of course, no tapas is complete without paella, and we chose the Paella de Verduras at £4.45 - rice cooked with mixed vegetables. It was all served extremely quickly, and piping hot, and the staff were extremely accommodating, regularly asking if we required more drinks. The waitress, Wiktoria, was especially pleasant, polite and courteous throughout our visit. The whole meal, including drinks, came in at £66 for three of us, which I think is a fair price for the amount of food we received. It is very easy to get tapas wrong, I’ve tried it elsewhere in England and sometimes it lacks flair and the real Spanish touch, not the case here. El Toro have got it spot in, traditional and authentic, who knew Doncaster had such a place!? Would I recommend someone to visit? Yes I would, without a doubt. Now we have just got to keep our fingers crossed that this Mediterranean weather continues.
Rating out of 10 - 8.