Those who go searching for buried treasure in the tombs of the Wafi Pyramids, our local mock-Pharaonic entertainment complex, will be disappointed. They will, however, find some quality tapas in a cosy Spanish restaurant tucked quietly behind Planet Hollywood. Seville’s was the first tapas restaurant to open in Dubai and their experience proved telling on our visit. Since it was far too hot to sit on the outdoor terrace, we took our seats indoors – and admired spectacular posters celebrating the traditions of the matador.
We were about as hungry as raging bulls, so we ordered four tapas and a salad from a comprehensive menu. These were served alongside a plate of tomato and garlic bread, which was soggy and delicious, designed to soak up the oily brew of sauces deposited by the other dishes.
The focus seemed to be on food rather than presentation, so we didn’t feel too guilty demolishing our dishes moments after they arrived. The deep fried calamari was exceptional, a none-too-chewy dish of saline seafood with a rich garlic mayonnaise dip. My companion particularly adored the chorizo, a sweetish sausage cooked in cider with tinges of apple.
We moved on to the marmitako – a tuna and potato hotpot usually served to Basque fishermen. The tuna had been cooked to a darkened bronze and possessed a meaty texture, but the runny sauce didn’t add to the dish. This contrasted with the fish in our tuna and egg salad, seemingly canned and unappealing in comparison. We still devoured the whole bowl, much improved with a few spurts of balsamic vinegar. An omelette with potato and onions, universally available as street food in Spain, didn’t quite work. The potato chunks fell from the base like bricks without mortar, and the end result was a touch too stodgy for our liking.
We also weren’t impressed by an over-iced orange juice which melted into an unpleasant watery wasteland after a couple of minutes. The service was first rate; polite, attentive and not at all overbearing. A fairly mixed meal, then; although overall this particular Wafi tomb is decidedly more blessed than cursed.