El Jardin de Califa

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Road trips are one of my favourite things to do. Travelling around seeing new sites and experiencing other people’s way of life, ok so maybe I can be a bit of a people watcher at times, but weekends tend to be used to explore and experience new things and to be outdoors, to an extent.

This weekend I visited a mountain town near Gibraltar, Vejer de la Frontera. I had been told there was a Moroccan restaurant I had to try and frankly I’m quite happy I did.

‘Plaza de España’ in the centre of the town is home to the restaurant and several others. Don’t be fooled by the facade though, as entering the restaurant is a little adventure in itself. As the name suggests, the restaurant is situated in the building’s gardens.

Buzz your way in, or walk through the hotel reception and follow the signs through the beautiful alleyways until you find yourself there.

 

The restaurant is divided into two areas. The main restaurant dining area and the ‘Teteria’ where you can enjoy some cocktails, coffee or traditional Moroccan mint tea. Climb the stairs to the top and you can enjoy your beverages with a spectacular view of the Spanish countryside, your problems just melt away.

Head down to the restaurant and enjoy lunch or dinner with a large selection of traditional Moroccan meals. After looking through the menu a few times, we finally came to our decision.

Berejenas de Aleppo. Aubergines, beautifully caramelised with tomatoes into a smooth and tender mixture encasing a mint yoghurt dressing and finished off with a sprinkling of pine nuts. This starter is great for sharing and light enough to get your appetite going without disrupting your main meal.

Try a tagine, a typically Moroccan dish prepared in a terracotta casserole, slowly stewed in the oven. We tried two variations; A Milojia, a typically Egyptian tagine with lamb and okra, stewed together with ginger, pepper and saffron.

Overall, this tagine, aside from tender has a rather smooth but striking kick to it.

If you want to try something a little simpler, you can give the Lamb tagine a go. Stewed with seasonal vegetables and dried fruits, finished off with almonds.

Overall, this restaurant is one you should tag-in

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