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!
Tel 020 7534 1690