Authentic Andalusian Tapas Nights at Choquera Bakery & Bistro

Wednesday, June 12, 2024. 11:03am
Take A Trip To Tipp This Summer And Experience Authentic Andalusian Tapas Nights At Newport’s Newly Renamed Choquera Bakery & Bistro

Take A Trip To Tipp This Summer And Experience Authentic Andalusian Tapas Nights At Newport’s Newly Renamed Choquera Bakery & Bistro

Spanish food lovers need not necessarily grab their passports and head to the airport this summer in search of gastronomic specialities. Instead, they can embark on a culinary adventure much closer to home by hotfooting it to Co. Tipperary and bagging themselves a table at the newly renamed Choquera Bakery & Bistro in Newport.

There, owner and Andalusian native, Cinta Ramblado, will be cooking up a Spanish storm as she hosts traditional Tapas Nights throughout the summer months and into the autumn that proudly showcase authentic Andalusian dishes from her home city of Huelva – the provincial port from where Christopher Columbus famously set sail on his own journey of discovery in 1492.

Diners heading to Choquera Bakery & Bistro will not only have their taste buds transported to southwestern Spain for the evening. Live performances by Cádiz-born Spanish Guitarist, Juan José Manzano, accompanied by flamboyant Flamenco dancing, which also has its origins in Andalusia, will whip up an atmosphere evocative of a traditional Taperia – not at all what you’d expect to find in a small yet charming Tipperary town nestled in the heart of the Irish countryside.

Formerly known as The Pink Tent Café, which opened its doors in April 2022, Cinta has taken the decision to rename her newly expanded seventy-seater eatery Choquera Bakery & Bistro to better reflect her Huelvan heritage. The inspiration for the new name comes from ‘Choco’ (meaning cuttlefish) – a staple ingredient in Huelvan cuisine and an Andalusian delicacy – and the term ‘Choqueros’, which affectionately describes people hailing from Huelva.

Cinta’s culinary influences date all the way back to her early childhood when, as a baby, her mother – a butcher in the local market – would bring Cinta to work with her each day in a wicker basket, as was custom at that time due to a lack of available childcare. As soon as she was old enough to walk, she started exploring the other market stalls, touching, smelling, and eating local foods from the region.

Those first food experiences and the love, passion for, and appreciation of Andalusian cuisine she developed during her time growing up in Huelva continue to provide the pillars upon which her rustic menus at Choquera Bakery & Bistro are created.

Authentic Andalusian Tapas Menu

Choquera’s new Summer Tapas menu features delicacies such as Tortillitas de Bacalao (salted cod fritters), which Cinta prepares according to one of her mother’s family recipes, and Chocos Fritos (Fried Cuttlefish strips), a classic dish that features on the menus of many of Huelva’s popular tapas bars.

Other Andalusian specialities include Calamares de Campo – onion and bell pepper rings, that are tossed in flour and deep-fried – and Gamba Blanca al Desnudo; signature white prawns imported from Huelva, cooked simply in sea salted water and served with a side of homemade mayonnaise.

Cinta’s tasty Tacos Colombinos are filled with Ibérico pork – one of her home region’s most treasured culinary delicacies – which is slow cooked and topped with pickled red onion, sriracha sauce, and Hegarty’s cheddar from Co. Cork. They are served with Choquera’s pan-fried potatoes.

Tacos de Isla Cristina comprises tacos filled with bluefin tuna belly that is caught and tinned close to Huelva, in Isla Cristina, and a tomato & chilli salsa, accompanied by an aromatic coriander rice.

Cinta’s dish, Papas con Choco – a cuttlefish stew with Spanish spices, to which she has added her own twist with the addition of Irish potatoes – represents a fusion of her rich Huelvan heritage and the Irish influences she has picked up whilst living here for the past 30 years.

Albondigas de Choco (cuttlefish & Huelvan white prawn meatballs in an onuba sauce) is another flavoursome dish that showcases authentic ingredients imported directly from Andalusia. The addictive punchy Paprika sauce can be happily mopped up with a serving of some of Cinta’s freshly baked homemade sourdough.

Presa a Alta Temperatura con Jerez y Tomillo features melt in the mouth Ibérico pork cooked with sherry and flavoured with thyme, seasoned with organic sea salt from Isla Cristina, and served with Choquera’s crushed potatoes.

And, no great tapas menu would be complete without a show-stopping Paella-style dish. The difference at Choquera is that their ‘Arroces’ (rice) dishes, are ´melosos´, similar to a creamy risotto because of the starch found in Spanish bomba rice, as opposed to the more widely eaten ‘dry’ rice paellas that many will have experienced before. Choquera’s version, Arroz del Mar (gambas, almejas, choco), consists of prawns, clams, cuttlefish, and rice cooked in a broth flavoured with paprika, saffron, and a ‘sofrito’ of sautéed Mediterranean vegetables – which forms the base of many of Choquerea’s dishes.

To finish off a dining experience with a difference, you can choose from a delightful selection of homemade desserts that include Tarta de Galletas (cookie cake), Coca de la Costa con Espuma de Leche Merengada (a Spanish-style Bakewell tart served with a lemon meringue foam), Helados Caseros (homemade ice cream), and El postre de la Tita (banoffee trifle) – Cinta´s nephews´ favourite dessert.

To fully embrace a taste of Andalusia, why not sit back and savour a glass of chilled Vino Naranja – a distinctive orange dessert wine exclusive to Huelva that is made with exquisite Pedro Ximénez and Palomino varieties of grapes, and fermented with dried orange peel before being aged in American oak barrels for 10 years.

Andalusian Wine List

Choquera’s Andalusian wine list has been carefully curated with the help of friend and Sommelier, Ruben Márquez, the owner of wine merchant, Bodegas de Andalucia, based in Tarifa, Cádiz; to include some of Cinta and her Irish husband, John’s, favourite pours.

Their selections include wines from Bodega La Margarita, in Constantina – a small village in the  province of Seville – that for the last two decades have been made by Raúl Fernández and his family. For a number of years now, he has harvested grapes during the night – an ancient custom that allows the grapes to retain all their properties, allowing for a more natural process and fermentation.

Other picks include wines such as ‘Lume’ and ‘Vallehondo’ that Cinta and John discovered during a dinner in what, at the time, was Huelva’s only Michelin Star restaurant, Acánthum. Both South Atlantic wines are produced by Contreras Ruiz – a fourth generation family-run winery based in Rociana, Huelva, that borders the Doñana National Park. The wines they make there with the Zalema variety of grape are full of character and reflect the unique saline profile of the soil; a key factor in the region becoming a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).

Commenting on the renaming and the expansion of her business, Choquera Bakery & Bistro’s owner, Cinta Ramblado, said: “Choquera, for me, encompasses who I am and the identity of our gastronomic offering. The main reason for the change of name was precisely this, to emphasise the authenticity of our menus and our culinary inspiration.

You will taste the dishes I grew up with, the ones I learned to cook with my mother and those I enjoy eating with friends and family when I go home. Thus, the dining experience at Choquera will aim to transport our customers to the Coast of Light to enjoy the flavours of my homeland, and of my journey from the markets of my childhood to the Emerald Isle.”

Choquera Bakery & Bistro’s Summer Tapas menu is available between 7.00pm and 10.00pm on Friday and Saturday nights throughout June, the first two weeks of July, and the month of August, and will change to reflect the season come September. Weather dependent, diners will have the option of dining indoors or being seated at oak barrel tables in the bistro’s recently opened outdoor dining space.

The bakery & bistro also offers a daytime menu featuring Cinta’s homemade sourdough bread, freshly baked Andalusian cakes and pastries, and a selection of savoury Spanish dishes made with quality locally sourced ingredients and specially imported Andalusian artisan produce. The likes of Pan con Tomate y Jamón for breakfast, Empanada or Tortilla de Patatas for lunch, and Tarta de Santiago, or Natillas for dessert.

Reservations can be made online via their website,, or by calling Choquera Bakery & Bistro on 087 636 3241 OR (061) 378 894.

Share this:

Explore topics: