I am a member of a small forum, where the regular users rarely discuss ‘heavy topics’ much preferring to have a laugh. We don´t criticise each other over differences of opinion however when this is done it is said in such a way that everyone knows it is tongue in cheek and never malicious. Over the past couple of years a few of us have met on more than one occasion and the get togethers have always been fun.
Recently there were six of us who decided it would be nice to meet for a meal. There was also another couple who are staying on the island for 6 weeks who none of us had met but you kinda know if you are going to get on with someone or find them a pain in the wotsit. Based on this gut feeling I suggested they join us. Being the bossy person I am I also suggested we should eat at the Cafe Biblioteca. Everyone agreed however only Jim and I had ever eaten there before and earlier visits had proved it to be popular and a little different to the norm.
Cafe Biblioteca is in La Camella the next village up the mountain from where we live and this Persian restaurant is the product of a partnership between the Iranian/German chef Hussein and his German wife who enthusiastically explains each dish.
I always find it difficult recommending where to eat as everyone has different tastes and expectations but I did know that the initial impression would be excellent. The setting is stylish without veering towards ostentatious. You can see that someone has lavished care on the decor, so that was one worry out of the way; I knew we wouldn’t end up in some greasy spoon despite the name including the word Cafe.
Having been in contact with the group I knew that everyone wanted to pre-order the ‘Waiting Dishes’ that take at least 45 minutes to prepare and I hoped they were worth the wait. They are the most expensive meals on the menu but then they do include a starter.
This when it arrived was hot Iranian bread, with Maast-o Khiar a Persian yoghurt and cucumber dip, like the Greek tzatziki, tomato and onion dip and a bowl of cubed aubergine in spices. All served on platters with enough for two people. It looked so good that we all just dived in. Hence it wasn’t until the end of the meal that I remembered we had a camera so most of these photos are taken from the Cafe website or from my previous review.
The mains consisted of whole duck cooked in a creamy nut and pomegranate sauce. Shoulder of lamb in tomato and red wine sauce and shoulder of lamb cooked in dried Iranian limes, turmeric, aromatic herbs, onions and garlic. All the meals were accompanied by Wedding Rice – as we were told it contains ‘everything’ carrots, raisins, almonds, dried fruits it was delicious with a crispy top and I could have eaten it as a pudding. The flavours were intense and scrumptious and the wine recommended seemed to flow easily as did the conversation and laughter.
Following the starter and main event most of us hadn’t any space left for pudding having run out of stamina but three of the men opted for the Apple strudel and this was when we remembered the camera!
Why did I worry? All our friends loved the night, it turned out to be an ideal destination for a gossipy tête-à-tête, the service is charmingly efficient and engaging, the food is beautifully imaginative and tastes good and prices reasonable too. All in all a good time was had by all, so much that our new friends are now joining us again next week so will shortly become old friends.