Castile La Mancha – finding gastronomic happiness in Albacete

After my traumas in Seas I came to Albacete for just one night. My stay was planned at the last moment so I had little time to research the food scene. As usual, the first resource I looked at was the Guia Repsol and you’ll find all its suggestions on my Google map.

When I need cheering up abroad, and can’t get my usual British comfort foods, my go-to cuisine is Japanese. I lived there for three years and I know all the best dishes and have eaten versions of them all over the world. For me Spanish Japanese fusion is probably the best of these hybrids, so when the Guia Repsol recommended it, I couldn’t resist…

Restaurante Garabato (High Intermediate A), 6 Plaza del Altozano, www.restaurantegarabato.com

I had the twenty piece sushi set (four nigiri, four small makis and twelve large makis for €30) which was meant to be for two, but hey, I was hungry, and very glad to be back in civilisation. For the larger makis the chef used thin slices of avocado, salmon and tuna to wrap the rice rather than nori seaweed, a technique I’ve never seen before but one that works really well visually. The nigiris and smaller makis were decorated with sauces and other little toppings which again you wouldn’t see in a traditional sushi-ya. I will very happily eat plain looking sushi but I love a bit of eye candy as well and this platter pushed all my buttons.

Never one to leave a good thing, I followed up with a mini-wagyu burger and a pair of prawn nigiris, also excellent.

Fusion restuarants don’t always get it right, but the food I had here was great and I left a happy man.

And that was my only meal in Albacete before flying home. Sorry I can’t tell you more but as I say, there are some more ideas on my map, along with heaps of food shops, as I always like to stock up on ingredients (tuna, cheese, ham, almonds, garlic) to take home. I bought most of my stuff from the local market, the Mercado de Villacerrada, at 4 Calle Baños, as they were open first thing.

The best thing about walking to both the restaurant and the market is all the wonderful architecture along the route, more of which next…

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