Tag Archives: views

Las Estrellas Mirador San Nicolas, Granada, Spain

The entire Alhambra was too big to capture in one picture – this is just one third of the spectacular view from our table

En route from Seville to Barcelona, we stopped off in Granada to visit the breathtaking Palace, the Alhambra. One thing to note if you are visiting – be prepared for hoardes of tourists (of which we were, as well), which to me, slightly diminished the experience of the beauty and tranquillity of the Palace. I have to say that the Alcázar of Seville – although not on as grand a scale as the Alhambra, is (in my humble opinion) equally beautiful, and you get to appreciate the beauty of the palace at your own pace, in peace and quiet, rather than jostling amongst tour groups and photographers.

But I digress.

The Alhambra is not only amazing inside, but can be viewed from a spectacular vantage point across the mountains. And perched on top of that vantage point, is Las Estrellas Mirador San Nicolas. Book ahead in advance and ask for the table next to the window.

Our hotel in Seville was kind enough to not only recommend this to us, but booked it for us as well, and we found ourselves in the enviable position of being smack bang in the middle of the window, watching the sun set behind the Alhambra. Nothing quite like it, really. And so amazing that I only remembered to take a photo after dark, and it certainly does not do the view any justice.

Creamy rice paella with lobster and seasonal wild mushrooms

Is the view enough to make Las Estrellas Mirador San Nicolas a must-visit ? The food is good…just not great. I’m being super picky here, but I thought the presentation seemed a bit dated, and to be totally honest – and I do understand that it’s a completely different type of restaurant than the nearby tapas bar Kiki (which you should also visit if you are in Granada) – but the seafood at Las Estrellas just didn’t seem as fresh.

The food we did have was certainly not bad at all, and the service was impeccable. For an amuse bouche we had a cold cauliflower cream with white chocolate and pistachios, starters was a beautifully balanced home made foie gras terrine with a tangy red onion confit (which was actually my favourite dish of the evening).

Vanilla ice-cream profiteroles with a hot chocolate sauce

My main was a creamy rice paella with lobster and seasonal wild mushrooms and for dessert we had vanilla ice-cream profiteroles with a hot chocolate sauce.

Having said all that, I do actually think that if you are going to Granada, go to Las Estrallas Mirador San Nicolas. It’s a nice treat for the taste buds and a spectacular treat for the eyes. Ten stars for atmosphere. Remember to book “that” table !

Las Estrallas Mirador San Nicolas
Callejon Atarazana Vieja, 1
19010, Granada, Spain
Tel: +34 958 288 739
E: estrellasdesan-nicolas@hotmail.fr

Dinner Date at Jaan par André

D surprised me last night by saying he was going to take me to Jaan par André, a restaurant that we’ve wanted to try for ages.  Hearing rumours that chef André Chiang was going to leave to set up his own restaurant, we thought we’d catch him while still there, and are we glad we did !

The restaurant has a cracker view of the harbour and the place was nicely buzzing when we walked in.  The set up is a bit weird, there’s no real greeting area, so we kind of walked straight into the dining room.  There were three maitre d’s who seem to be the only ones to seat guests (we were noticed by a few of the serving staff, which I thought was strange, despite them not doing anything to acknowledge us standing there waiting).

Once seated we were served the most ridiculous “bread sticks” which were about half the thickness of an uncooked strand of angel hair spaghetti and this was served with an eggplant dip.  The sticks were so fragile that there was no hope of picking up any of the dip with them.  I was hungry (and apparently have no manners) so picked up a dollop with the bread knife and found it smooth and creamy.

An amuse bouche was served – raw sweet prawn served on frozen sangria which was very refreshing, but not sure it really worked.

Then we got to the real stuff.

Entrees was a difficult decision between scallops saint jacques or perigord foie gras but once again foie gras won the day.  Served three ways – pan seared, terrine, and the clear winner of the three, a foie gras jelly, which had the consistency of chawanmushi, with fresh truffles.  Absolute heaven in a cup!

For mains, I had the Bresse chicken which was served with scallops and foie gras and morel mushrooms, which I’ve only ever seen on River Cottage on TV.  Light and creamy, I the chicken had a delicate flavour and a texture that was much smoother than I think chicken should be.  But it was moist and tender and didn’t need tons of sauce so you could really taste the chicken.

We didn’t have space for dessert, but were served petit fours – a raspberry sorbet infused with earl grey tea and dipped in white chocolate (which I don’t usually like), a light and crispy macaroon, a madeline and dark chocolate with orange crisps and POP ROCKS.  Took me a while to figure out what the noise was until I realised with glee that the chef had managed to include them in the delicious chocolate.  Really took me back years and ended the evening with a big grin on my face.

With the chef leaving at the end of the month, we’re going back again for more before it all ends…

Jaan par André
Swissotel The Stamford
Tel: +65 6837 3322