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coruna (1)My first day trip with Anna and Jorge The KilomEATers was to A Coruña, a lovely coastal town about 45 minutes (by car) north of Santiago de Compostela. We started off by visiting the central market, which is renowned for its fish and seafood. After that we drove over to the second “old centre” by the port, and thus began an amazing culinary adventure.coruna (2)

Our first stop was Taberna Arallo, very recently opened in the Plaza Mayor, and run by the same group in charge of Michelin starred Alborada. To me the décor and general ambiance felt a bit “prefab cool”, complete with the now de rigueur long communal table and open kitchen, and smooth jazz Spotify on the sound system. Luckily we were there at opening time (no reservations taken) and got a spot at the end of the table that felt a bit more “private”.

Here we sampled just three dishes (we were saving ourselves as we knew we had at least two other places to go). The volandeiras in hot & sour sauce were spectacular, and the “nigiri” croquetas topped with salted hake were also very good. But the “flamenking” filled with zorza and potato, while tasty, came with a rather pointless sweet chilli sauce. In general it was a pleasant, if pricey, experience.

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Next up was Pulpeira de Melide for their renowned pulpo a feira with potatoes boiled in the same water as the octopus. I thought it was delicious, though Anna and Jorge both insisted they’d had better pulpo there on previous occasions.

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Last but not least was a visit to Boca Negra. I’d heard good things about this place and, upon arrival, we were greeted by chef and owner Pablo Pizarro who arranged a special tasting menu for us. The food and service here were excellent – definitely a “must” when you are in Coruña.

  • Saam: pancetta with mussel, sriracha, shiitake, tartare sauce
  • Cauliflower foam with green curry and mussels
  • Dumpling of zambariñas a la Gallega
  • Jurel (horse mackerel) in palo cortado
  • Bonito tartare with spicy ají sauce
  • Secreto Ibérico empanada with curry, spicy housemade ketchup on the side
  • Marinated and grilled chicken thighs with peanuts, cilantro, chilli, pineapple
  • Dessert: Gin & tonic strawberry ice cream with pink peppercorn

coruna (4)A Coruña struck me as a city of contrasts. Great natural beauty and wonderful turn of the (20th) century architecture at times clashing with patches of modernist wasteland. Though overall it’s an attractive place and well worth visiting. I was grateful to have my two very knowledgeable friends as guides, which definitely helped me get the most of my few hours in town.