On my first day in Santiago, having finished the walk and completed my ablutions in the hotel, I walked into the city.
Passing a trendy restaurant, called Con: Fusion, I was able to spy on the menu that they were serving a Prawn Curry.
The restaurant name is a clever play on words in Spanish. Con meaning with fusion, and taken together confusion.
Sending a message to my friends, asking if they wanted to join me for dinner at 8.30pm, I got no response. However the prawn curry looked to good to miss, so I resolved to dine alone.
That evening, Juan, my friendly waiter with a tidy beard and apron to match, asked the damning question, « have you eaten here before? ».
I explained that I had just finished the Camino, was new to the city, and really wanted a prawn curry and a bottle of locally produced wine. Juan was very helpful with the wine, a beautiful white called Fanrel, from the Orixe region in Galicia.
The confusion came when I tried to order. Juan informed me that he was keen to get me to try the local specialities, and sadly prawn curry was not on the list. My starter was going to be Ceviche de Bonito, a raw tuna dish, which I discovered later originated in Peru.
Finishing the Ceviche, Juan returned to the table, beaming when I told him how great it had been. « Now for the prawn curry? » I said. Juan had other ideas. « Have you had Galician Octopus ? » he inquired. I pointed out that yes I had had octopus on the trail, and dépité Galicia spelling it differently to the rest of Spain, it didn’t hold the same allure as the prawn curry. Clearly that was where I was wrong, because octopus it was going to be.
During this time Konstantin had asked for my location, to join me for dinner. Incredulously, when he showed up, he asked Juan for a prawn curry, which the waiter brought him without a whimper. It just was not fair.
I asked for a prawn curry, despite feeling full, determined not to be beaten. This was turning out to be an expensive meal.
No luck, they forgot to cook it. Konstantin was keen to move onto a bar he had found, so we paid up and left, sin gambas.
The following night, having fortified ourselves with a few Bombays and tonics, we returned as a four, for our last supper together. Curry de Gambas we sang as one. Juan looked sheepish, but knew he was beaten. Confusion was over, I got my prawn curry, and boy was it worth the wait.