Review: Baboo, Benalmádena, Spain

Sometimes the most satisfying experiences are the unexpected. After a quick 9 holes at Benalmádena Golf we thought it fitting that we pop in for lunch at the clubhouse restaurant – Baboo.

My experiences of clubhouse lunches have been mixed. Whilst some have proved remarkable (Sandy Lane, Barbados is standout), the vast majority are mediocre at best – trying to tempt you with outdated and overpriced menus. Although Baboo looked great (modern and airy with some asian embellishments), the ‘fusion’ menu sent shivers down my spine. For those of you who don’t know, I usually detest all forms of food dubbed ‘fusion’ – an overused term which usually describes a car-crash of ingredients.

Baboo proved me wrong. The food was stunningly, unexpectedly delicious.

A light, airy brick of frozen foie gras (akin to el bulli parmesan air) was paired with freeze-dried raspberries, caramel wafers and crunchy peanut butter. The result was fantastic, very light whilst maintaining an impressive depth of flavour – sweet without cloying.

Cod, Smoked Egg Yolk

Crunchy morsels of delicate, flaky cod were fried in potato and served atop a smoked egg yolk. Kept interesting by the smoked yolk, this was a refreshingly simple dish.

Bresaola Salad

Bresaola salad contained wonderfully mature bresaola, pickled chillies, hard cheese and a punchy wholegrain mustard dressing. The cheese was so expertly shaved it all but dissolved on the tongue.

Ibérico Pork Stirfry

A pork stirfry – elevating stirfry to new heights. The inclusion of crunchy potato sticks amongst the morsels of tender pork were a revelation. Remaining crunchy in the stirfry they gave glorious contrast of texture when paired with the soft noodles. The vegetables were kept crisp and all was helped along by a rich soy based sauce.

Baboo has made me think twice about criticising fusion cooking. Presentation and balance of flavour were superb. I certainly did not expect to stumble across this little gem when hacking my way around 9 holes. Modern, refreshing food in fine surroundings – I will be sure to make a return.

Restaurant Baboo

Dress Code: Casual

Reservations: Not Essential

Recommend: Yes

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