Ronda sits in the province of Malaga. It is popular with day-trippers and offers a number of quality restaurants to try some of the region’s typical dishes. A friend and I decide on one of Ronda’s more lavish restaurants, Don Miguel which sits in the cliff, offering a beautiful view of Puente Nuevo. On a winter’s night the outdoor terrace is closed but guests can warm up in the dining room. Each table is covered with an intimidatingly white tablecloth and a candle, and the other guests in the restaurant are mostly older couples out for a romantic meal. A waiter who is more composed than a Spanish bullfighter hands my compañero and I trilingual menus that offer starters from 7€-15€. We decide to share the lettuce hearts with anchovies in vinegar; a typical dish found in the south of Spain. Other starters include the melon with ham or smoked salmon (11.65€) or paté with raisins and wine from Malaga (10.25€).
After we finish our starter we’re left to enjoy the awkward quietness that is the off-season as we await our mains. I have chosen the cod with tomato and clams (11.75€) and my friend has chosen the house special of Ronda’s famed stewed oxtail (15.25€). When his dish arrives I regret my 15-year-old decision not to eat meat, and my more recent decision to eat some meat but not to choose the oxtail. He tells me the meat is soft, juicy and it easily slides off the bone. Unfortunately, my cod is what the Spanish say, regular, which of course doesn’t stray far from its English definition.