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Casa Ruiz Review by Leon Burakowski

Alfonso Yufera-Ruiz from Casa Ruiz

IT WAS the Tortilla Espanola that impressed me. I have munched on many of these traditional potato and onion omelettes in Spain over the years but none has tastud so delicious, with just the right texture, herbs and seasoning as the slices I sampled at Casa Ruiz. And the location of this authentic tapas bar… Barcelona, Valenci? No, Bridgnorth on the soggy costa del Severn. Judging by the busy tables and number of bookings, the arrival of Alfonso Yufera-Ruiz’s new first floor restaurant (above a deli) in the High Street has been an instant success in this Shropshire market town.

This proud Spaniard from Gran Canaria does all the cooking himself and uses such words as “pride” and “passion” to describe his food. Many of the ingredients are imported from Spain, such as the chorizo sausage, morcilla (black pudding) and olive oil from Martos in Andalusia because… it has to be right. I managed to snatch a few words with the cook he prefers the term to “chef and he denied that he is a perfectionist, saying his food is for mouth and stomach rather than the eye. He learned to cook by watching his grandmother, then trained at a cookery school in Madrid before a career in food brought him to the UK and Simpsons Restaurant in Kenilworth and then Birmingham, where he learned from Michelin star chef Andreas Antona. ”I am really proud of what I do. If I just wanted to make money I could do something else that would pay better,” said Alfonso, before he disappeared back into his kitchen. The restaurant is dark wood with wine red walls.

Tapas range in price from £3 to £4.50. I would recommend three each, at least to begin with. Highlights included that Tortilla Espanola. Also sweet-savoury chorizo cooked in Rioja wine (Chorizo al Vino), tender red peppers stuffed with smooth black pudding (Pimentos Rellenos de Morcilla), spicy prawns cooked in garlic and chilli oil (Gambas al Pil Pil) and, my second favourite pork and beef meatballs in a delicious tomato and herb sauce (Albondigas). There is a good wine list and Spanish beers plus an ever changing sweets selection which, though short, does have delights including on my visit a gorgeous almond tart.

Contact Casa Ruiz (House of Ruiz) on 01746  218084 or  see www.casaruiz.co.uk. The restaurant is open Tuesday to Saturday.     Leon Burakowski.

Note: Original article has been edited, and therfore may not be a full representation of Leon’s works.

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