Ferrador Restaurant, Noia

If you want to experience a Galician seafood feast, with some self made entertainment thrown in, then the restaurant Ferrador in Noia would definitely get our vote.

Whilst you can order directly from the Ferrador's a la Cart menu, most dinners opt to go for a set meal, in the form of a Plata, for two. There are two different set meals on offer, one at around 37 euros and the other at 40 euros. The former is primarily fish whilst the latter is the seafood that Galicia and its rias are so famous for. Both are served on a large oval plate which you simply pick away at. If you do not like using your fingers to eat, this is definitely not for you.

A seafood plata at the Ferrador restaurant

We opted to go for the 40 euro Plata that was made up of lobster, two different types of crabs, some truly gigantic prawns called cigalas and the Galician delicacy of percebes.

The photo to the left shows you what you can expect to get.

We added starters, desserts and wine to the main course which brought the total bill (including a 15% tip) to just under 80 euros.

This dinner we enjoyed was truly spectacular and definitely one of the highlights of our August 2005 visit.

The entertainment I mentioned comes in the form of dissecting and devouring the various shellfish and crustaceans on offer and especially the percebes. If you have never eaten (or probably heard of) these small crustaceans before, you need instructions or, as we discovered, a trial and error approach before you figure out how to eat them. It took us approximately two and a half hours to finish this meal and in all honesty the effort that goes in to eating it probably out weighs (in calorific terms) the actual energy you get from its consumption, but it is fun, enjoyable and lots of laughs. Percebes in particular have a tendency to explode as you separate the edible and none edible portions, so don't wear your Sunday best.

Left overs of the seafood plata at the Ferrador

Everything about the Ferrador is good and you will get table cloths and traditional right shoulder service. The owner does speak a small amount of English (although I don't think he is too keen to do so) and when we were there the restaurant soon filled up.

To the right, the shells and remains of the sea food plata appear be be greater in volume than the untouched plata itself.

Evening serving hours do not start until 9.00pm, the sea food you eat is on open display and fresh lobsters are murdered on a regular basis (although you do not witness the act itself).

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