Tucked beside the bustling Burmah Road of Georgetown, Penang, El Faro Tapas Bar and Wine is a humble yet unassuming restaurant. It serves some hearty Spanish Tapas and has since gathered many regular patrons since its opening in the year 2012. The comprehensive menu of theirs will surely have something to suit your palate, albeit not cheap but prices commensurate with the ingredients and quality in return. The fully air-conditioned restaurant has a glam-casualness ambiance; should you prefer a more outdoorsy ambiance, there are a few tables outside for you to have a sip on the alcohol and just see the world goes. The place is suitable for any casual dinner gatherings with friends and family while enjoying their extraordinary gourmet offerings. El Faro Tapas Bar and Wine is located few shops away from 1926 Heritage Hotel and a stone's throw away from Tong Pak Fu Dessert along the same road.
A great entree to the ensuing feast- we had Boquerones, Spanish White Anchovies served on Watermelon with Mint, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a touch of Sea Salt. The Watermelon provides a juicy bite while the salty White Anchovies added a burst of saltiness and seafood sweetness. This entree commingles the sweet and savory, with an extra touch of the refreshing Mint Leaves; it was indeed a pleasingly delectable dish to start the meal with.
Their Anchovy + Red Pepper + Eggplant on Toast was equally lip smacking. It seems deceptively simple but yes, the ingredients were able to amalgamate together. Its unique savory flavor struck my palate- the distinctive flavor from Eggplant and the discernible sweetness from the Red Pepper, with the crunchy and crispy toast; really simple but yes, it was good.
Their Chicken Thigh Salad is just perfect for the health conscious. Refreshing greens with Chicken, San Simon Cheese and Grapes, lightly drizzled in Balsamic dressing. The well-seasoned and perfectly cooked Chicken was a perfect complement to the greens, while the Grapes provide the sweet and fruity juice to the salad. The creamy and rich Spanish Cheese was pleasingly aesthetic as well, my only gripe was the dish lacked of an acidic tilt.
My favorite of the day, their Capellini was ethereal. Angel Hair served with Konbu/ Japanese Seaweed and Lumpfish Caviar with chopped Scallions. The dish was mildly seasoned and served cold. It was refreshingly light and tame on the palate while the Lumpfish Caviar provides a burst of salty seafood essence. A must-try item at El Faro.
I was not impressed with The Bikini with Truffle Honey, it was nothing out of the ordinary. It was sweet, with some Ham and Cheese sandwiched in the middle and deep fried till crisp. It was not really that exciting, as though I was having some normal Ham and Cheese Sandwich with a touch of Honey, also, I thought the dish was rather greasy too.
Another well-crafted dish- Patatas Bravas, Crispy Potatoes served with Bravas Sauce, the stretchy globules of Cheese just makes everything exciting. You may call it another variation of Cheezy Wedges but the sauce was something unique and savory to complement with the Potatoes. A very sinful dish, but worth every single calorie; even better with a glass of chilled Beer.
Gambas a la Plancha was a well-executed dish. Served to us scorching hot, the plump, juicy and fresh Tiger Prawns were charred with Sea Salt. It has a pleasingly burnt aroma but the Prawns were perfectly cooked, it was firm but not hard to the bite. A rather simple and straight-forward dish but aesthetically delectable.
Bacon lovers will go weak in the knees with their Spanish Bacon served with Lychee Salsa. The sweet fruity Lychee makes a lovely complement to the thickly cut smokey Bacon, my dining partners found it tough to stop, it was so addictive, just perfect to go with a glass of wine.
Seared Mackerel with Ponzu & Salsa Fresca is definitely a safe bet. Crisp Mackerel paired with refreshing yet flavorful Ponzu sauce and Salsa. While my dining partners thought the dish was good but it was nothing overly exciting for me. No, it was not bad, it just does not stand out from the ordinary.
The dish El Faro Paella was too beautiful to behold, it was full of seafood goodness- Octopus, Shrimps, Clams. The seafood was fresh and perfectly cooked, slightly resilient but not hard to the bite. It was even better with an extra squeeze of Lemon juice over the dish, however, I thought the dish was slightly saltier for my palate, also, I thought the dish lacked of Saffron, in which the flavor could be too mild to be discerned by my untrained taste buds. Not too shabby but it does need some refinement.
Taste: 8/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 6.5/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Service: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Parking: 5.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Ambiance: 8/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: No
Address: 231, Jalan Burmah, 10050, Penang.
Business Hours: 3pm to 11:30pm. Closed on every Wednesday.
Contact Number: 604- 227 2310