Browsing Tag

Spanish

Blog, Eat, London

Camino Bankside, Southwark

September 10, 2015
Camino, Bankside

London seems to be building up a very nice collection of excellent tapas bars.  Up in my favourite Clerkenwell you’ve got Morito and Iberica, Central London is dominated by Barrafina and Brindisa, and finally Camino is very well represented in the City and Southbank.  The newest addition to the Camino chain is Camino Bankside, minutes’ walk from Southwark station, behind the Tate Modern.  Not a bad location, and an area I am not very familiar with (but certainly liked what I saw).

Camino, Bankside

And this is where – very fortunately – I was invited to the most recent #zomatomeetup, the perfect opportunity to try out Camino and what they had on offer, as well as a chance to meet some other bloggers.

It’s located on Canvey Street, a new-ish Bankside development with lots of attractive restaurants and cafes and big outside terraces [not applicable to my experience since it was pissing it down – again].  Camino is first and foremost a tapas bar, and the bar does take up a substantial part of the large and airy space.  But its also a very cosy restaurant, and I love the Andalusian design influences (mainly all the colourful tiles on the walls).

Camino, BanksideCamino, Bankside

We were treated to a carving masterclass with Chef Nacho del Campo (£30 to the public, should you be interested – it’s a great thing to do with a group of friends), and we told all about the Iberico hams.  I loved the chef’s passion and enthusiasm (which was infectious), and his Spanish charm.  We learnt not only how to carve (so hard), but also how the taste of the ham can vary depending on the ageing process, which part of the leg its from and which area in Spain the pig is from (including if the landscape is hilly or flat).  The ‘Rolls Royce’ of jamon is less fatty and you can almost taste the acorns the pig has guzzled up.
Carmino, SouthwarkCarmino, Southwark

Apart from plates of delicious ham we were also served their fabulous padron peppers (and I learnt they can be spicy), wonderful cheeses, heaps of tomato bread and tortillas.  That, along with a couple of glasses of Cava and some fun conversations with a number of inspiring bloggers, and it made for a very excellent evening indeed.  Thanks for having me, and I’ll be back!
Camino, Bankside

Camino Southwark 

5 Canvey Street

London SE1 9NA

Camino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Barcelona, Blog, Spain

Llamber, Barcelona – EAT

September 6, 2015
Llamber, Barcelona

It’s not hard to find good tapas restaurants in Barcelona.  But it is hard to find one like Llamber.  In the popular district of El Born and around the corner from Passeig del Born, I was expecting it to be fairly touristy.  But it felt as local as it could be.  That, coupled with very stylish interiors, exposed brickwork and up-cycled wooden tables, made it the perfect venue for a Friday dinner.  During the day you can enjoy lunch on their terrace too.

Llamber, Barcelona

We sat at a high table, ideal to observe the restaurant from, and waited with anticipation for every tapas plate to arrive.  This is not your standard tapas.  Every dish was beautifully, and creatively presented.  Their cod croquettes were light and fluffy, and were served in the cutest dish.  Their tuna sashimi was so fresh it melted in your mouth.  I loved their sardine meatloaf, which was something I would never normally have ordered.  Lastly, the thinly sliced beef was served in the most original way, with ‘edible coals’ (we saw it served at a neighbouring table and promptly ordered it), but we found the beef not as tender as it could have been.

Llamber, BarcelonaLlamber, Barcelona

If you want to try the local cheeses, order one of their cheese boards.  They line up the cheeses (goats on one side, dairy on the other) in order of strength.  The strong ones were unbelievably overpowering (to the point of drying out your mouth), but it was fun to try them all.

Llamber, Barcelona

The service here was also surprising.  I can’t say I have found the Catalans to be the friendliest, yet here the staff were wonderful. They were warm and helpful – letting us try different wines to see which we preferred, advising us on which tapas dishes were best and generally really adding to our evening.

Llamber, Barcelona

We stumbled out of the restaurant past 1 in the morning, a food coma not adequate to describe how we felt. Luckily for us there were a whole host of bars still open on Passeig del Born a few minutes’ walk from the restaurant, so we ended up drinking vodka, soda and lime for a few more hours at the originally named bar El Born.

Book ahead and don’t miss this place.

Llamber

Carrer de la Fusina, 5

+34 933 19 62 50

Photos a mixture of Llamber’s own and mine from Instagram.

 

Blog, Eat, London

Morito, Clerkenwell

July 8, 2015
Morito, Clerkenwell

I know I just wrote a rave review about one of my new favourite London tapas bars Barrafina, however those of you who have not heard of, or been to, Morito will be glad I’m sharing this with you today.

While the similarities to Barrafina are as such: they serve Spanish tapas, it’s bloody good and you can’t book, that’s really where the likeness ends.

Morito is a bit more low key.  The interiors are a little dishevelled, a touch rustic, nothing flash.  You come here for the tapas and for it’s location.  It’s slap bang in the middle of Exmouth Market (those of you who read City Turtle will know I’m a little obsessed).  If you’re lucky, you can even grab a table outside and soak up the buzzing vibe of this charming area.

Morito, Clerkenwell

It’s the little sister of it’s much respected neighbour Moro, a more sophisticated restaurant which serves Moorish food and is as adored as Morito (though with a higher price tag I might add).

The tapas is delicious.  But the portions are small, while the prices are not.  Still, if you compare it to other London restaurants (Barrafina, dare I say it), it isn’t ridiculous.  I’d probably come here for a glass of wine and some pre-dinner bites rather than for a full on dinner.  Because if you’re like me and you eat a lot, then you can rake up quite a bill.

Favourite?  I’m a sucker for lamb, and the spiced lamb, aubergine, yoghurt and pine nuts was heavenly (as were the lamb chops, come to think of it).  The salt cod croquettes were also fantastic, and not something I would usually have gone for.  But I’m so glad we did.    Another favourite was the crispy aubergine, whipped feta & date molasses.  I love the North African influences, which spice it up a bit (literally).

Morito, Clerkenwell

Dislikes?  They serve the wine (house wine commendable, and at £17 a bottle well priced) in tumblers, not wine glasses.  They also serve the (copious amounts of) Espresso Martinis we ordered after dinner in said glasses.  I know it probably doesn’t, but in my mind it takes away from the taste and the experience of the drink.

But apart from that I can’t complain.  It can get busy and crowded, but you can leave your number and they’ll call you when there’s space (just like they do at my favourite Palomar).  And this place is most definitely worth the wait.

Morito

32 Exmouth Market

London EC1R 4QE

Photos Morito’s own, and the Instagram one mine.

Blog, Eat, London

Barrafina, Covent Garden

June 29, 2015
Barrafina, Adelaide Street

Many friends were outraged when I – a food blogger no less! – admitted to not having been to Barrafina.  A Spanish tapas bar that, for some reason, seems to get people passionate, to demand some sort of loyalty.   And so I, unsure at first, then a lot more willingly (having read the menu), found myself going with a group of girlfriends.

It all started badly.  I ended up at the ‘original’ tapas bar at Frith Street, only to find out that the organiser of the evening (and Barrafina-obsessive) was waiting for the rest of us at the new Covent Garden one, on Adelaide Street (which opened at the beginning of the year).  And that we’d lost our space at the bar which she’d waited an hour for.

Barrafina, Adelaide Street

Barrafina, Adelaide Street

But things went up hill from here, because, having wrangled some seats at the bar, the food arrived.  And instantly you know why it is such a raved about place.  The tapas menu, for one, isn’t your standard oily chorizo and soggy patatas bravas  which has often (and unfairly) put me off Spanish food altogether.  It’s diverse, at times unusual (bordering on ‘pretty out there’ – i.e. the brain/tongue/kidney options) and always interesting.  Make sure you ask for their specials, because in this place they live up to their name.

Their stuffed zucchini flower is a must, their Chicken wings in Mojo Picon finger-lickingly good.  And we argued over who got the last of the Iberian Pork Ribs.

Barrafina, Adelaide Street

While I cursed the bar for not suiting our seating arrangements (sitting four in a row does not lend itself to good group conversation), I so adore an open kitchen.  And here you really get to see the chefs in action.  And observe how on earth they make food taste so good, while doing it so quickly.  I loved watching how they presented the food so artfully, even if it meant serious food envy as mouth-watering plates I failed to order were served to neighbours.

So I join the gang of loyalists (though my blog on Morito – a rival tapas bar – will be up soon).  Because the tapas here is really good.  And even if you can’t book, it is most definitely worth queueing up for.  But just come with one date, not three.  It just makes life (and conversation) easier.

Oh and I nearly forgot to mention the donuts.  Do not leave without trying the donuts dipped in chocolate sauce.

Barrafina

10 Adelaide Street

Photos by Paul Winch-Furness.  And the Instagram one mine.

Looking for the latest London tips and travel suggestions?

Stay in the loop and sign-up for City Turtle's monthly newsletter.