Say hola to Ole Ole and give Spanish tapas the thumbs up
Usually the Bailgate in Lincoln would be the first choice for those with rumbling tummies and wanting some of the more upmarket restaurants Lincoln has to offer.
What we didn't expect to find was a touch of authentic Spanish cuisine right in the heart of it.
Ole Ole is a relatively new restaurant that opened in August.
We were promptly greeted by a rather suave looking waiter and shown to a table of our choice.
Get hi lites or low lites and a cut & blowdry with Hannah or Daniel between 10th and 14th December for only £40.00 please contact the salon for more details, just let us know its with this voucher.
Terms: terms and conditions apply and limited spaces
Contact: 01522 305178
Valid until: Saturday, December 14 2013
As it was sparsely populated at this particular time we had the entire restaurant to choose from – but it was still a nice gesture.
The restaurant had a nice ambiance with Spanish music played in the background and other rustic decorative touches.
Wooden barrels were set into the walls and Spanish phrases adorned a mirror hanging on the wall.
Spanish chatter emanated from the kitchen behind us, as we scoured the menu.
The waiter returned almost instantly for our choice of drinks – and we counted less than 30 seconds before he returned with a glass of coke and house rose'.
The menu was big on tapas but had some choice of mains, with some sharing pasta bowls and paellas that seemed good value.
It wasn't long before what looked to be the manager appeared at our table with a flourish, and asked us for our food order.
He was dressed for the part in a crisp white shirt and with red sash round his waist – his thick Spanish accent adding to the authentic feel.
A selection of bread was first to arrive with ali-oli garlic sauce, with the basket piled high.
After observing the traditional Spanish feel, we decided it would be a shame not to go for some authentic tapas.
Ole Ole does, after all, call itself a tapas restaurant.
We decided on three tapas dishes each.
I went for aceitunas mixtas, a bowl of fresh mixed olives drizzled in sauce, along with ensaladilla reminiscent of a tuna potato salad and a third chicken tapas dish of croquetas de pollo.
The waiter ignored my embarrassing finger stabbing at Spanish items on the menu and explained each dish with a smile.
The olives tasted fresh, sharp and full of flavour, presented neatly in a round dish.
The Ensaladilla was pleasant and cooling on the tongue, while the croquetas de pollo was full of texture with a crisp outer coating and moreish insides.
My dining partner went for the more meaty option, choosing the spicy chorizos al vino, patatas bravas and pollo al ajillo.
The spicy Spanish sausage was complimented by white wine sauce and was packed full of flavour. The sausage had a smoky taste, and the sauce doubled as a fantastic dip.
The chicken in garlic was exactly that, chunks of chicken smothered in garlic cloves.
Again, the flavours were superb, and the chicken incredibly tender.
The potatoes in chilli and tomato sauce were the perfect accompaniment to the other dishes, with a kick of fiery chilli finishing every mouthful.
The tapas dishes seemed to keep coming, with our table soon laden with food and both of us questioning how we would get through it all.
After having our fill of tapas, I decided to try my hand at the authentic Spanish desserts on offer – despite my partner bailing out with a full belly.
I went for the tarta de la abuela – which my partner informed me across the table as literally translating as 'Grandma's dessert'.
The menu described it as layers of biscuit with brandy and cream, and so I expected an Eton mess style dish.
What came out was a beautiful slice of chocolate covered dessert, with sprays of cream either side and dusted in cocoa.
Usually an avid cheesecake devotee, each light and chocolaty mouthful was a dream and a delight to eat.
The table was cleared as quickly as we could eat, with waiters' frequently checking back to ask how the food was.
Despite not making much provision for young children, Ole Ole provides a cosy setting for couples and grown-up family outings.