Mechela is a medium sized place with 6 counter seats in addition to the small bare wood tables. Tables are set with paper mats and napkins and the plaster walls hold chalkboards with daily specials of wine and food. There are also a few paintings and windows to the street along one wall. The kitchen is in the back with a small window that serves as a pass through for food. Service is pleasant, helpful and good English is spoken. A number of the plates come in two sizes and even a small one can be suitable for sharing, which allows you to try lots of different things. The food is trying for inventive but it seemed to me that too many things were repeated in terms of sauces and sides. Overall it’s a good place but the repetitiveness made it feel a tad dull.
We started with a gift from the house of potato salad with apple. It was finely chopped potato and apple in a very creamy dressing. It was nice.
Tables are set with olives, bread and breadsticks. The bread was crispy on the outside but mostly airy and light on the inside.
The Crispy big prawn with cashew nut “ajoblanco” and herrin roe tapa plate was a little tough to split as we just had one. It was breaded with fried noodles and decorated with really tasty strawberry grapes, avocado and roe and served on top of a creamy sauce with almonds. It was a pretty large prawn that allowed it to be shared and would be fairly heavy if you wanted to eat a whole one by yourself.
The grilled ocotopus with vichyssoise and crouton was also a tapa plate but the octopus was cut up so it was easy to share. The octopus was not overcooked but parts of it were too scorched and were unpleasant tasting. The potato sauce underneath was almost sticky. This one would only rate okay.
Another tapa plate we had was Roasted Vegetable Lasagna. This lasagna has no pasta just sliced vegetables and it is presented on a squash sauce. It included asparagus, eggplant, carrot, mushrooms, spinach, thyme, a bechamel-like sauce and cheese that I could detect. It was a fun take on an old dish and pretty tasty.
The Iberian rice with strips of pork ribs and mushrooms was really good. The fatty, juicy pieces of pork on top of the rice were coated with a glaze. The rice itself was nicely al dente and filled with mushrooms and more tasty pork. The sweet sticky sauce soaked through the dish. A yum here.
Pork was served nicely rare with roasted potatoes, carrots and onion on apple sauce with a side of broccoli. It was fairly tender meat but slightly dry. The sauce was fine and it was basically a good dish.
Venison was served with tomatoes, potatoes, portabellos, onion, broccoli on a squash sauce. It was also nicely rare but a bit tough and dry in texture. The sauce was the same one used before and too many of the vegetables had been in previous dishes. The onion here was tasty but the tough outer leaves had not been removed and were inedible, but otherwise it was sweet and tasty. The tomatoes were nicely herbed-up. It was another okay one but not great.
For dessert we had a toffee and date cake with a caramel sauce with toffee ice cream. The two blended well and the cake was nicely moist and surrounded by additional caramel sauce on the plate. It was good.