La Terraza AQ35 Patio de los Naranjos Review: Al Fresco Dining at Hotel Jerez & Spa, Spain

There is something about simple Spanish cuisine which has captured a piece of my heart. I’ve been visiting the southern Spanish city of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia for years now and its sherry scented cobbled streets never fail to excite me. You’ll struggle to part with more than a euro for a glass of wine or Sherry, the people are incredible and the quality of food – outstanding. There are a lot of beautiful sites to see too and no matter what road or street you take, there is always something new to enjoy.

We decided on dinner in a restaurant which we had previously eaten at when in Jerez and one which had left a last impression – La Terraza AQ35 Patio de los Naranjos. A cosy, modern Spanish restaurant located on the terrace of Hotel Jerez & Spa.

In case you didn’t already know, there is one staple dish of this city and Andalusia which is offered with drinks to start off almost every meal. Essentially a Russian salad with potatoes and vegetables, here it’s topped with fresh tuna from the local oceans surrounding Cadiz. A fish which is so famous here and no matter where you order it, it’s always beautiful.

Another staple in Spain is the croquette, or croquetta in Spanish. Here on the patio they’re serve it a little more modern than usual and more uniformed, but still these home-made were delicious. Each golden ball was filled with a potato and jamon filling – the best combination.

A dish I didn’t expect to see and for no real valid reason was the deep-fried golden crumb coated prawns. It wasn’t particularly Spanish and something you’re most likely to see from your local Chinese – but actually there was more than meets the eye. Beautiful fresh prawns, a golden crunchy batter and well seasoned – as well as some mustard dipping sauce on the side.

Fresh tuna with sesame seeds and stir-fried peppers was yet again another dish which seemed more at home in an Asian restaurant, but actually it worked so well. The tuna was well-cooked and incredibly fresh and the peppers soft and full of flavour. The sesame seeds and seasoning were all just to the right amount too.

Portions in Jerez are so gargantuan and for the price you always feel as though you’ve robbed the place and that’s exactly what happened with our last dish. My photo really doesn’t do this meat dish justice but our plate was filled with torched padron peppers, potatoes with onions and juicy Spanish steak. Quality strips of local beef with an astonishing flavour and texture – I only wish it was this good back at home.

This terrace restaurant is one of my favourite restaurants in Jerez de la Frontera and as the sun sets it becomes such a romantic space to dine. The service is always impeccable, the prices affordable, an infectious atmosphere – 0h and delicious food. Next time I return to this beautiful Spanish city I’ll most certainly be dining here once again. It may be simple, but it’s equally as delicious.

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