The La Bandera signature dish is Pulpo en dos Cocciones (twice cooked octopus to you and me) which is a take on the traditional Canarian dish ‘pulpo frito’ (fried octopus) with a heavy dose of La Bandera finesse.
The dish has three main elements- the octopus, the Spanish paprika mash and the Mojo Rojo sauce which is about as Canarian as it gets. Chef Kevin starts by taking the whole octopus and dipping it into boiling water a few times.
This process is called ‘scaring the octopus’ and is used to tenderise the flesh. Octopus can be very tough and unpleasant to eat, and this method ensures that doesn’t happen within the walls of La Bandera.
After the octopus is been sufficiently frightened, it is left to boil for 30 minutes. It is then taken out and put into an ice bath to completely cool down. Kevin makes sure to retain the water- which he uses to boil the potatoes for the paprika mash. This gives it a faint fishy note which helps marry the elements on the plate.
The tentacles are then cut off, rolled in flour and fried in oil. These two methods of cooking ensure a crispy outer layer with tender juicy flesh in the middle which simply melts in the mouth. To finish it off, Kevin pops a liberal spoonful of the mashed potato- enriched with real Spanish smoked paprika- and lays the octopus tentacle on top.
Mojo Rojo is a Canarian sauce made up from oil, garlic, vinegar, paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and a range of other spices which will make it unique from home to home, restaurant to restaurant. This sauce tops the octopus and the dish is finally finished with a little squid ink, violet flowers, garlic emulsion, and Paprika oil.
Not only is this dish delicious to eat, it is beautifully presented too. Colourful and aesthetic- this dish is a delectable work of art. A trip to La Bandera without trying the Pulpo en dos Cocciones is a trip wasted.
La Bandera, 2 Ridgefield, Manchester M2 6EQ
0161 833 9019