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Eat My Words: We review Ole Ole in Lincoln





It’s been claimed you should never work with children and animals. I’m convinced that mantra should extend to eating as well.

As a father of two under tens I’ve become accustomed to a meal out being punctuated by continual moans of ‘how long? I’m hungry’ until the food comes out, by which time the conversation has moved on to the equally as highbrow ‘eeurrgh! What’s that?’.

Some stage between ‘I want pudding’ and ‘I’ve got chocolate sauce on my top’ you become convinced the day cannot get any worse, only for someone to present you with a small slip of paper outlining exactly how much this horrific experience is going to attack your wallet.

Lincoln's Ole Ole, a family-run tapas restaurant
Lincoln's Ole Ole, a family-run tapas restaurant

It’s fair to say that meals out with the kids haven’t been high on the to-do list since they moved on from the oh-so-manageable sitting in high chairs and throwing carrots to the floor stage.

But following a recent family holiday I noticed a slight shift in the squabbling siblings.

Yes, they still manage to slurp down a full glass of fizz quicker than you can say ‘you’re not having anoth-’, but my youngest - a staunch chicken nuggets and pizza loyalist - was becoming slightly more open to the fact that other foodstuffs exist.

A look at the menu
A look at the menu

So, in a pique of bravery, we decided to risk a family meal at one of my wife and I’s favourite restaurants.

It’s been more than a decade since Ole Ole first opened up in Lincoln by the Abruneiras family, whose story began in the kitchens of the Asturias region of northern Spain in the 1970s.

Arriving via time in the restaurants and hotels of Lanzarote, they opened their first restaurant in the Bailgate in 2013, moving to their current home at The Lawn in the shadow of Lincoln Castle five years later as demand soared.

Some of the artwork on display, adding a vibrancy to the place
Some of the artwork on display, adding a vibrancy to the place

The metal bull’s head hanging from the outside wall as you prepare to enter let’s you know you’re heading into something different.

From the vibrant art work to the traditional pottery displayed on the shelves, this is very much authentic, off-the-tourist-trail Spain in a small pocket of Lincoln.

And the same can be more than be said about the food.

Yes, I never learn. We over ordered, but I'm glad we did
Yes, I never learn. We over ordered, but I'm glad we did

Having still not learned my lesson about over ordering tapas, and concerned there may be some grub the kids took to more than others, we ordered an optimistic 10 dishes, which included two servings of cesta de pan con ali-oli (bread selection with the ever-moreish ali-oli dip).

Of course, it was just as the final piece of this lavish banquet was placed on our table that the five-year-old finished his second breadstick and declared he was full, before picking up his phone and spending the rest of the meal trying to thrash strangers from around the globe on HeadBall 2.

Undeterred the remaining three grabbed the bull by the horns.

A warm welcome from this Spanish bull
A warm welcome from this Spanish bull
Eat My Words, a review
Eat My Words, a review

Onto the food and, first, I must declare an interest.

There was nothing new about the datiles con bacon (dates stuffed with almond and wrapped in bacon) or the gambas al ajilo (sizzling prawns in garlic and brandy with chilli flakes) which are the two orders that are musts when we visit (if you only take one thing away from this review then please let it be ‘try the dates’ - they’re perfect).

Read more Eat My Words reviews here.

The estofado (braised beef and vegetable and potato stew) and chorizo al vino (Spanish sausage in white wine) are also regulars and never fail to impress.

Inside Lincoln's Ole Ole
Inside Lincoln's Ole Ole
A view of the kitchen
A view of the kitchen

The croquetas de pollo (homemade chicken croquettes), albondigas (meatballs in rich tomato sauce) and patatas fritas (square chips) were all particularly kid friendly, with the meatballs the standout of the three.

The one dish that didn’t particularly do it for me was the zorza con patatas (marinated pork in spicy smoked paprika, garlic and herbs with potatoes) which suffered from being a little dry and just surrounded by a lot of extremely great rival options.

With a platter this good there was no room for dessert, so without any worries of chocolate sauce down tops it was a double muchas gracias to Ole Ole.

The food hit the right note
The food hit the right note
The bread starter an aioli dip
The bread starter an aioli dip

Out of five:

Food: An absolute delight. The finest tapas place I’ve eaten in, here, Spain and beyond. ****

Drink: As I was behind the wheel I had to plump for a non-alcoholic Estrella, one of the better 0.0% beers. ****

Decor: It’s a colourful, vibrant, lively spot, with real thought put into bringing every inch of the place to life. ****

Staff: Several members of staff attended to us, each of them great to deal with and particularly doting with the kids. ****

Price: The meal cost a total of £92.50. But at just over £23 per head (which included £18.50 for five drinks) I feel this was a fair price. If you ever visit in midweek I’d recommend the lunchtime menu which is very reasonable. Plus it’s way cheaper if you leave the kids at home. ***

Have you had a great meal? Share your own Eat My Words reviews or tell us where to try by emailing: news@lincsonline.co.uk



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