The Andalusian gastronomic scene is buzzing today like never before. About 30 chefs are committed to promote the local cuisine under the name of Gastroarte, where the fantastic regional products and traditional dishes are done justice by further refining and modernizing them and by developing creative interpretations. One of the highlights of this region is chef Kisko García, the man behind Restaurante Choco in Córdoba. We want to know more!
Córdaba & the contemporary kitchen
Córdoba is a very nice city; the narrow streets and the cozy, warm atmosphere make you feel at home at once. The rich history of this place is reflected in the extraordinary architecture, as both Moorish and Western influences exhale the ancient grandeur of yesteryear. However, Córdoba is not just amazing for those who are visually oriented as the taste buds are also highly spoiled here.
Choco’s smooth, stylish setting
Restaurante Choco is located just outside the old town of Córdoba and is housed in a building with a modern and smooth design. On the outside, we can see bricks, metal and glass, and on the inside raw materials like stone and concrete dominate, balanced by soft colors like white and grey. The finishing with lots of wood and a few color accents creates warmth and gives a tendentious look.
There is a fixed pattern from your arrival to your dining table. The aperitif and the amuses are served in the relaxing atmosphere of the couch.
Afterwards you are escorted to the smooth, stylish dining room through the ultra-modern kitchen.
We were seated at the chef’s table, with view on the wine collection and the perfect spot to experience the kitchen in full action.
Chef Kisko García
The talented chef Kisko García manages to rediscover traditional, local products in a very imaginative way and with lots of class in his Restaurante Choco. His cuisine is a mixture of tradition and modernity, combined with refined flavors and techniques. The restaurant opened its doors about eleven years ago and was awarded a Michelin star five years ago.
Gourmet menus: for the large and very large appetite
The Spanish gastronomy is often associated with a real kitchen experience. The emphasis is not just on the flavor, but stimulating the other senses and the creative presentation is just as important. In Restaurante Choco this is no different and it becomes immediately clear when looking at the menu as you have the choice between two gourmet menus: Kisko García or barrio antiguo. We decide to go for the first option.
While we are relaxing in the armchairs in the welcome area, we enjoy a glass of cava and three appetizers. The artistic dishes look very natural thanks to the presentation on stone, wood and other organic materials, combined with the crude, wooden tree stump table.
‘Marshland’s seaweeds cornet’, is the name of our first appetizer, a seaweed cornet filled with cauliflower, broccoli, carrot and pickles. The seaweed is sweet and combines great with the tangy flavor of the pickled vegetables.
‘Grig and smoke’ is a kind of dumpling made of pumpkin with a smoked fish filling. Absolutely beautiful!
‘Fritters the salmorejo’ or ‘buñuelo’, is our last appetizer, fried dough balls with a creamy tomato filling. We are advised to eat them whole because of the ‘spill risk’. That turned out to be absolutely true. 😉
We install ourselves at the chef’s table. The first dish turns out to be an extra glass of aperitif. The ‘Bellini’ is a glass of cava with two very cute peach balls at the bottom of the glass that pop open in your mouth when you eat them, creating an enjoyable, playful sensation.
With the ‘Trout wad’, we are again served a snack on natural materials. The trout packed in Japanese shishio leaves is soft and cracking fresh. The freshness of the crispy leave combines beautifully with the salty fish.
Homemade goat butter and bread with a nice smoked taste is our next dish. The butter has a subtle yet powerful taste with a soft, crumbly structure that reminds us of cream cheese.
Fascinating starters à la Choco
‘Tomatoes, cheese and basil’. That sounds like a simple dish, which it actually is as far as the flavors go, but they stand out beautifully. The presentation is wonderful because the burrata cheese is served in small pouches.
What’s next is maybe the nicest dish of the menu at Choco: herring with white gazpacho based on oranges and almonds. We get a pair of tweezers instead of a fork to eat, which is meant to savor the cute little pieces of herring with flowers. By removing the metal grille, we get access to the second part of the dish: the gazpacho. This is again an externalization of the inventive and modern interpretation that chef Kisko García gives to this typical Andalusian product. The structure of the gazpacho is soft with a delicate taste.
Avocado with crayfish, two products that balance one another. The top combination is encased in a crunchy coating and finished with cress.
After that, we seem to get what looks like a cappuccino, maybe a mistake as we are only halfway our menu? 🙂 The smell immediately reveals that we are indeed still at the savory dishes as the aromas of this mushroom and pine nuts broth soup are fine, with a deliciously soft, rich and creamy texture.
More dishes, more creativity
‘Homage to my birthday place Choco’ is a very promising title for a dish. It turns out to be catfish with spinach and caramelized onion, to our opinion the best tasting dish of the menu. Balanced, layered, complex, rich… We can continue like this for a while. 🙂
‘The best of the chicken’ has of course ‘chicken’ as main ingredient. The crispy skin of the chicken is combined with topinambur, leek, basil, chicken broth and liver.
We continue with chicken, but in a more philosophical way with a dish called ‘What came first the chicken or the egg?’. It consists of an egg yolk on the one hand and of chicken broth with tapioca and pancetta on the other hand. The idea is that you mix the broth with the egg yolk to merge all flavors nicely together.
The sole with a creamy butter sauce makes the taste of the ingredients stand out. No need for more.
One last poultry dish before we start dessert. ‘Feathered game’ is made with mash and duck. Stunning!
End in beauty at Choco
‘The Jatillo’ is a picnic ‘Restaurante Choco-style’. Sheep and blue cheese are served with a picnic knife, all wrapped in a checkered towel. We get scorched bread that immediately evoke kind of a boy scouts’ memory and remind us of campfires and smoked delicacies to create the ultimate outdoor experience.
The sweet dessert looks wonderful. ‘Lime and lemon’, the ingredients are simple and clear, packed under a covering of meringue, which is of course a top combination with citrus flavors.
To finish off there are titbits with classic flavors like hazelnut, almond and chocolate, a worthy ending of an afternoon of enjoying the experience cuisine of chef Kisko García.
We combined our dinner in Córdoba with an overnight stay in hotel Las Casas de la Juderia. You can read more about that here soon.
Compositor Serrano Lucena 14, Córdoba 14010-Córdoba (España) | +34 957 264 863 / 647 959 388 | firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com | www.restaurantechoco.es | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube