On the Lytham social media there has been a great deal of discussion about Lytham’s latest venue, the El Uno Spanish Gastro. Based in the former premises of the well-loved Java restaurant and underneath the popular Mode Hotel, Lytham, the restaurant has a tough act to follow. Being a lover of fine food, I decided to give the place an ’emergency review’ so that our readers could get a true insight into what the place has to offer!
It was my birthday and having turned the ripe old age of 38, I decided to go out with my partner to celebrate. We arrived at the venue a little late due to my work commitments in Liverpool that day, however, being a man of manners I phoned the place up to inform them and they were very polite and accommodating and told me to “take my time” which I found very heart-warming. When we got there we were greeted by a delightful waitress with a beaming smile, she offered to take our coats and took us to our table that was nicely prepared. You can tell a lot of money has been spent on this place, as the decor and layout was spectacular. There was traditional Spanish music playing which brought back memories to spending my entire summers in Monte Pego, Denia. A pleasant waiter took our drink order, my partner ordered her standard Hendricks gin and slimline tonic, and I decided to replicate my Spanish trips and go for a traditional Estrella beer. The pleasant waiter told me he was Venezuelan and had lived in Spain the majority of his life.
My partner and I decided to mull over the menu, there was a reasonable choice of unique dishes and it was very difficult to choose, however, what made our mind up was another fellow diner’s meal – he was eating traditional paella! This instantly made our decision for us! The portion was huge and it was for two people to share. However, I have an embarrassing phobia of king prawns if they have the heads on still with the eyes and I just cannot eat them, I quietly asked the waiter if the chef could kindly pull the head off the prawns before they brought them out – he nodded and quietly obliged which gave me huge relief. For starter we decided to get some salt and pepper chicken wings as a snack.
When you order seafood, it requires white wine, so the waiter brought the wine list. What stood out was the Lighthouse Keeper Pepe Albarino. The wine arrived and the waiter poured if for us. The Albarino was a pleasant and crisp wine, with appropriate acidity, clear pear tones, fruity and almost sweet in flavour! A perfect partner to our main dish.
The starter promptly arrived, the salt and pepper chicken wings. Although one was a little burnt, the rest were very nice and the homemade BBQ sauce was a great accompaniment.
Once we had finished our starters, the pleasant waiter topped our glasses up again, and removed the plate. There was still Spanish music playing and the restaurant was full and everyone looked like they were having a good time. The other meals that fellow diners had ordered included beef to share and they all looked scrumptious; we both were excited for our paella.
The paella arrived, and the presentation was really good – the waiter even did a count down before removing the lid! The chef had pulled the head off the prawns as promised. The paella looked amazing. The little bowls for the paella were authentic too, and the waiter served us. The paella was yummy, the ingredients were fresh including the mussels and you could tell that it was made by a Spanish chef, who we were later informed had won awards. One nice little touch about this place, was the service, the waiter kept coming over to us and removing the mussel shells so we didn’t get “overcrowded”. The paella tasted of the ocean and was as good as any paella I have had in Spain or the Canaries. The wine and the paella were also a match made in heaven. The portion was huge too, I literally had 3 bowls full!
As I had eaten three bowls, I wasn’t particular open to having a dessert, however my partner rebelled and ordered a pistachio cake. What happened next was magical, the entire team of waiters and waitresses all came over and sang happy birthday and had decorated the pistachio cake with candles – it was a superb moment that I won’t forget in a long time. The cake was scrumptious and I enjoyed sharing it with my partner.
As I had quite a lot of wine to drink (my other half only ever has one glass!), I told my partner to order herself a nice coffee as she was looking sleepy and I needed her alert and on form as it was my birthday evening. She decided to order a barraquito, which I have never seen in Lytham before! The barraquito is a multi-layered coffee liqueur drink served in a glass to enable easy viewing of the different layers. The presentation of this was really good, and she thoroughly enjoyed it. I finished my wine and asked for the bill which came in at £90.30.
Overall this is a great addition to the family of restaurants in Lytham. The price reflects the quality. The service here is outstanding, and the staff here just couldn’t do enough and you could tell all of them loved their job and were excited about the future of the venue.
I will be visiting this place again in a few months and will give it a follow up review.