We got there around 6pm and waiting time was “just” an hour and 15 minutes. On any normal occasion I’d’ve thrown in the towel and rushed to the nearest alternative (unless it was Maccas). But this was tapas night. No amount of hunger could have stopped us from queuing.
40 minutes later we were shown our seats. Hallelujah!
First of our tapas was the lomo Iberico de Bellota (£8). This had a mild salty flavour and the portion was pretty good. Can you see how lean the cuts are? Super sulit. We ordered some bread and olive oil (£2) to go with. I enjoyed the oil which tasted cold-pressed on the first instance but Plaid Boy wasn’t too keen.
G chose some chipirones (£7) and they were fantastic. You can rarely go wrong deep fried breaded baby squid, unless of course you don’t use fresh ones. Crunchy, chewy, salty, these bad boys would go down well in any beer match snacking.
After much egging (har har) from my two dates I tried a bit of the potato. The caramelised sauce was nice, but it still had an eggy aftertaste so this one was really not for me.
I was looking forward to Barrafina’s courgette flowers but as they were unavailable at the time, we ordered baby artichokes (£6.5) from the specials board instead. I loved this. It was light and delicate yet flavourful at the same time. The aioli was decent enough – it didn’t overpower the smokiness of the artichokes.
The octopus with capers (£9) was something I knew I definitely wanted to try even before we queued. This is how I like this mollusk grilled: perfectly charred on the outside with hints of undercooked bits in a few places (sans sliminess!). The smokiness of the octopus may have been heightened by a generous dusting of paprika but was also balanced by the tangy capers sporadically spread across the board.
I’m not big on pork shoulder as it’s another one of those well marbled cuts of meat so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the presa Ibérico with confit potatoes (£10). Admittedly, I’m not one to order pork in restaurants so I’m glad someone else ordered this. It was crispy in some parts and tender in most, deliciously sweet and cooked nicely (although some would possibly say this was a bit under). The confit potatoes were delicious too!
The grilled quail (£7.5) was another one of my choices and considering how difficult it is to cook quail, ours was perfect. Served with a pot of aioli (which, quite frankly it didn’t need), the bird was tender and moist.