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Tierra Brindisa

I’m a big fan of Brindisa, I am a regular in their shop and have enjoyed tapas at Tapas Brindisa in Borough Market in the past. I enjoyed the tapas but I didn’t enjoy the wait, you can’t book and, being a popular spot, the waiting is almost unbearable. I went once and was so put off by the 2.5 hour wait, I didn’t go back. Then recently I heard that they were opening a new central location, in Soho, and you could book a table there. How revolutionary! So, keen as ever, I orchestrated a couple of tapas evenings at the new Tierra Brindisa.

The first night didn’t go very well, in fact it didn’t go atall. A friend had booked a table for her birthday and when we arrived we found out that the reservation didn’t exist, or at least they didn’t have it. She had booked over the phone, and we know these things happen, especially in the early days of a restaurant, but it was disappointing. They compensated by inviting us to the bar for a glass of wine on the house while we waited for our remaining friends. This was a nice touch, but when we were told 10 minutes later that the seats were booked and we had to leave, not having time to finish the wine we had been given, it left a sour taste.

I had a booking for the following Wednesday with friends, and went with some trepidation, after my experience on my previous visit. I need not have worried, we were given a warm welcome, and more importantly our reservation existed, so we happily sat down and started to peruse the menu. The room itself is lovely, quite intimate and warm and with an open kitchen and tapas bar at the back, it’s also quite vibrant and busy. Exactly what you would expect a tapas bar to be.

Service was brisk and friendly and in no time we had a fine bottle of white wine (As Laxas 2006) and some country toast with tomato. One of our party didn’t eat meat so we decided to focus on the fish and vegetarian dishes, save one meat dish. Now, I know you’re all thinking chorizo, given how much it has featured on this blog, this time, however, it was the Ibérico ham croquetas that I was weak for, having read about them on Dos Hermanos. We also ordered potato tortilla, lentil stew with soft Tiétar goats curd, beetroot with Picos de Europa blue cheese and walnut vinaigrette, red mullet with oven potatoes and black olives, battered hake with allioli, we also got some more bread, this time country toast with allioli.

The food was all very, very good. My only criticism would be that the batter on the hake could have been a little crisper. The croquetas in particular were divine, the tortilla nice and moist and eggy in the middle as it should be, the red mullet combined fantastically well with the olives, and the lentil stew with the goats curd was superb. The beetroot was very delicate and was wonderful with the picos de europa blue cheese and the walnuts.

It was all over very quickly, but we weren’t in anyway rushed, it was all a very relaxing and pleasant experience. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am very happy that there is another fine rustic tapas establishment in the centre of town. When life gives you a Brindisa that you can book, you have to go there often!

Tierra Brindisa
Tel 020 7534 1690

Tierra Brindisa on TrustedPlaces

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I like food. I like to make food. Eat food. Photograph food. Write about food. Mainly in London but when I am lucky or organised further afield.

20 Comments

  1. I don’t mind people making mistakes, but when those mistakes are compounded by bad customer service, that’s when it’s annoying – I must say you’re very forgiving going back.

    When I tend to book a restaurant that I think may be fully booked, I always write the name of the person I spoke to, as well as the date and time – not a foolproof system, but at least the restaurant know that you’ve spoken to someone and it’s more likely than not to be their mistake, which they should then do something about.

    The beetroot and blue cheese looks especially delicious – I’ve made something similar at home and it’s divine, only beaten by pear and blue cheese, which I’m sure is one of the best combinations ever invented!

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  2. I must make plans to come to London, I miss the food so much and the buzz. This looks ideal for a good catch up over some wine.

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  3. Michael – I agree, I was most frustrated and if I hadn’t had such positive experiences in their shop I may not have bothered. They admitted it was probably their mistake, given how busy they had been following a review in the metro, and at first things even seemed hopeful, but the communication between the staff was poor and confusion reigned, resulting in the above.

    As for your food combinations, I have been thinking of pear and roquefort recently! I have a bag of pears at home that need tending to :-)

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  4. mmm, those croquetas are still making me drool! I would have been hugely put off by the first experience, not so much the lost bookintg but the rushing you out afterwards – that’s no way to say sorry! Anyway, I’m glad you gave them another chance as the food looks gorgeous, everything I wanted it to be.

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  5. Hi Helen!

    Yummy, yummy croquetas! I am going to attempt to make them this week, I think. This week is dedicated to chocolate and ham ;-) National chocolate week and my own croqueta week. Haha.

    Yeah, I am glad I went back too. If I didn’t have such a positive experience with the shop I may not have. Our treatment the first night was rather rude :-( But, they made up for it. Others in the party were not as forgiving (and why should they be?) and won’t go back.

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  6. Oooooh yum. I discovered yesterday, to my delight, that the Brindisa shop in Exmouth Market sell still warm slices of tortilla at lunch time to take away. Will be a regular trek.

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  7. Hi Bron, I had a slice of their tortilla for lunch yesterday with some of their gorgeous tomato, almond and goats cheese salad. Delicious! I’ve been told that their tortilla is made in Moro next door. I am a regular there for lunch. It’s irresistible!

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  8. Lol, very true. It’s irrelevant where it’s made and delicious. I am mildly obsessed with the lamb from the Moro stall on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s too. Have you tried it? It’s so so good!

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  9. Oh yeah – discovered that last week. In fact, not realising it wasn’t every day, it was what I was in search of yesterday. So finding the tortilla kind of compounded my delight at finding the lamb – now I can choose!

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  10. Ah, Fred mentioned to me the other day that this had recently opened but I completely forgot about it, thanks for the reminder.

    It looks wonderful, that tortilla looks particularly good.

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  11. Bron, I may be indulging in the lamb today!

    Ginger, it’s very good, and that tortilla was mighty fine! Let me know what you think if you go.

    Mark – highly recommended.

    Krista – thanks! We’ve lots of different ones available. This is my favourite.

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  12. I’m glad you ventured back for a second time – and from the review I bet the restaurant is too!

    It’s this kind of thing that makes me wish I lived in London… sigh!

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  13. Hi Kittie. Thanks for stopping by. I would like to go back again too!

    Brighton is so lovely though, and I often wish that I lived there :-) You’re close enough to enjoy London too.

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  14. Loving the blog. I like the food in these posts because I can tell that it is full of flavor just by looking at it. Unlike most places that go over the top with making things look nice I reckon they are more into taste here! Wish I could have a couple of those dishes for dinner!

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  15. myinvestorsplace – it’s a great little spot. Hope you’d a nice meal!

    Niall – thanks so much! It’s very rustic and indeed, full of flavour. You’ll have to try it next time you are in London :-)

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