El Andaluz opened its doors to the public in May. After months of refurbishing the restaurant, better known as ‘The Swan House’, this new Spanish themed eatery brings a refreshing European vibe to Beccles…
Rachel Ducker and the Bounce Magazine team, were invited along to try the new dishes on offer, here is what she thought.
“I absolutely love Spanish food, especially tapas, so when I found out there was a new Spanish themed restaurant in Beccles, I couldn’t believe my ears.
‘The Swan House’ was taken over last year by Stuart and Amanda Holmes, current owners of the near by ‘Waveney House Hotel’. It is inspired by the Spanish region of Andalusia and the main focus is on creating simple dishes with powerful flavours, using the freshest produce.
As a strong supporter of other local businesses, the fish on the menu is mostly caught near by and acquired directly from the boat, whilst the meat comes from K.W Clarke butchers in Bramfield, famous for its high quality local meats.
The menu allows the customer to design their own meal by choosing fish or steak with a sauce of their choice and two sides. Perfect for those like me who want the best of both worlds! I also love the fact there is a menu board outside the restaurant, much like you would find abroad, adding authenticity and giving people the option to view what is on offer before entering.
The restaurant has been finished to a high standard, and what was once a fairly dark, cosy place to dine, it has now been transformed into a bright and airy, contemporary dining room with colourful bar. You can also sit in the outdoor seating area at the front of the building and enjoy a drink in the delightful courtyard out back. Its decorated with bright blue flowerpots and pink petals, which cascade down the white washed walls, complete with tranquil water feature. What more could you want than to escape town life for a little while? On this particular day, the sun was shining and with a glass of vino in hand, I started to relax as I felt the cool breeze blowing through the large sash windows.
“With the sounds of the Spanish radio playing out melodies in the background, I could have been on holiday! ”
So along with my fellow ‘Bouncers,’ we browsed the menu and jumped straight in with a selection of light bites to share.
These included, ‘Wild mushrooms on toast – sautéed mushrooms in a creamy garlic and white wine sauce’, ‘Gambas Pil Pil – Tiger Prawns cooked in garlic, chilli and paprika olive oil served with crusty bread and a lemon wedge’, ‘King Scallops pan fried in an orange, caper and garlic butter finished with Iberico Serrano ham crisp’ and my favourite dish out of the selection, ‘Griddled Fishcakes served with a sweet chiili sauce’, the kick of the chilli was perfectly balanced with the strong flavour of salmon, a real show stopper.
This was all accompanied with some crusty white garlic bread, and in my opinion the best garlic bread around, take my word for it!
The sharing platters on offer, and these delicious light bites, are a great way to explore more dishes with friends and rumour has it there will be a brand new tapas menu coming very soon!
Throughout the meal we were looked after by manager, Will Taylor, who was not only extremely accommodating, but recommended some great wines and told us all about his involvement in the project so far, along with managers Tasha and Daniel. Their ethos is honest.
A stand out feature to El Andaduz is that they don’t claim to be a “Spanish Restaurant”, but describe themselves as a Spanish themed restaurant. This enables them to produce traditional English classics, such as the ‘Steak and Wild Mushroom Pie with seasonal vegetables’ which one of our team members selected for the main event.
Being a big fish lover, I opted for the ‘Grilled Tuna Steak, with Lemon and Tarragon sauce with French Fries and Ratatouille’. My steak was cooked to perfection and paired up with the Tarragon in the sauce it was a very enjoyable, light dish. Also selected was the ‘Pan Fried Sea Bass’ with similar accompaniments to the above and the ‘Pan Fried Fillet Steak complete with roasted cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms and a salad garnish with fries’.
It would have been rude to have passed on dessert, so between us we shared the ‘Dark Chocolate Brownie Torte with macerated strawberries and Italian Marmalade Ice Cream’ and the ‘Churros with melted Chocolate dip’ off the specials board. After digging in I think we all regretted not having our own portion.
At the end of the meal we were lucky enough to meet the assistant head chef, Craig. It was clear he had a real passion for food and loved his job, which is something that as a customer, you always like to see.
Overall we were really impressed with El Andaluz, all of the courses were really light, made from great quality ingredients and left us feeling comfortably full, but not stuffed!
FOR MORE DETAILS:
www.elandaluz.com or call 01502 713474