The other week the girls and I planned another girly dinner together. This time heading out for more tapas, we like to share because we care. Our tapas place of choice this time was Rico Libre in Digbeth.
Rico Libre is tucked away on a Digbeth back street, but you’ll know when you’re there because the frontage is bright green, so it’s hard to miss. I must admit I was a little sceptical given the frontage/locale, but it’s had a fresh lick of paint inside. And I can assure you this is the place to find good quality, bargain priced tapas, that you will definitely over order.
Drinks and Nibbles
If you’re a first time visitor, Rico Libre has a bring your own alcohol policy. No alcohol is served on the premises, but you can buy soft drinks if you are not drinking. There is also a minimum spend of £18 a head, but believe us, this is easily met. Especially because you will over order (the menu is so tempting). To kick off our night we started with Pan de Barra, Pan de Ajo and Olives. The bread was warm from the oven and had plenty of oil for dipping. The garlic flatbread was hugs (oops to ordering ALL the bread) and was very garlicky but we had no issue with this. The olives were juicy, salty and enough to share between four.
Then the tapas began to arrive, we swiftly wished we’d had a bigger table. Cue a lot of Tetris type plate moving. First up the Tempura Prawns was a huge portion, with wonderfully tender (not rubbery at all) prawns with plenty of flavour. The batter is light and not greasy at all. George ordered the Scallops which were topped with mango salsa and caviar, they were huge scallops as well. She said they were well cooked and meaty. Laura and Vicky ordered the Camembert. Hats off to them for demolishing their wheels of cheese! For my dish I ordered the Soft Shell crab, I have to admit I just ate the crab as we’d eaten a lot of bread already. But the soft shell was perfectly cooked and delicious!
From the specials board (oh do not forget to order from here). We tried Duck Breast with Goat’s Cheese, which was a super pretty dish. The duck was still pink in the middle and the rich goat’s cheese cut through the sweetness of the sauce. The Shell on King Prawns were enormous, again lovely and fresh, no rubbery-ness here. Laura ordered the Tortilla de Patatas which arrived in huge slices. This was packed with slices of soft potato and plenty of cheese.
The tapas continued flowing, the Grilled Halloumi was not as halloumi filled as we’d hoped. The roast veggies were tasty but it was lacking in halloumi. We then ate a mountain of Patatas Alioli that were a wonderful change from the usual Bravas. These were drenched in a tasty tasty garlic sauce. The potatoes were crisp and well fried, and more-ish. We shared, but I could’ve eaten a whole lot to myself.
The food carried on arriving (!!), this point we were all verging on full. The Light Fried Whitebait were another plentiful portion. Exactly as the menu described, they were lightly fried, however they were a little salty for me. The Calameres was another huge portion. The squid was again of good quality, with no chewiness, but unlike the tempura we all said these were a bit more oily.
The service at Rico Libre was super friendly. The owner is heavily involved in his restaurant and pops out regularly to check on things and recommend dishes. He chatted away to us about ingredients and where the ingredients come from. Everything is cooked fresh on site. He knew a couple of our table from their previous visits, but the service was the same for everyone else here. Just be sure to book, we had a mid week meal here and it was still very busy!
P.S. We paid in full using our hard earned cash. All words, opinions and images are own.
P.P.S. Rico Libre is located at 1 Barn St, Digbeth, Birmingham B5 5QD.