22 July 2014

Restaurants & Bars

Find and book great restaurants

Find a Restaurant

Square Meal Selections

Register here for your Square Meal Guides


How do you feel about London's gourmet burger trend?


Enjoy tapas with Estrella Damm


omar1_estrella damm - omar-food_16_resized.jpgSpanish tapas has never been as popular in the UK as it is now. With its clean and crisp taste, Estrella Damm, Spain’s leading premium beer, is the perfect accompaniment to tapas dishes, which can vary considerably in terms of their taste, texture, and spiciness. Try Estrella with top London tapas at the following restaurants:

Aqua Nueva
Bold and bright, Aqua Neuva is very much a modern take on Spanish food, delivering pumping DJ beats and trendy tapas to a dressed-up, moneyed Soho crowd. Start with dishes like creamy ham croquetas, tender grilled octopus with garlic oil, and Catalan spinach, sultana and pine-nut salad, before moving on to crispy roast suckling pig with sweet-apple compôte. And check out the roof terraces, a perfect spot for pre-dinner drinks.

Barcelona Tapas Bar y Restaurante
Top-notch tapas is the order of the day here. The Barcelona Tapas mini-chain offers unpretentious, good wholesome food, covering all regions and styles of tapas. Spanish expats come here to watch football, while the City branches count financial whizzkids among the regulars.

Always bustling, Camino is a funky take on tapas, with young, keen staff and snacks and tapas plates prepared in an open kitchen. Based in the grandly named Regent Quarter close to King’s Cross, the menu follows Spain’s culinary contours, from para picar snacks such as charcuterie plates and pan con tomate to bigger dishes such as black rice with cuttlefish or escalibada (a mix of char-grilled onions, aubergines and red peppers), all prepared in an open kitchen. Oh, and try and grab a seat in the oasis-like courtyard.

Still the best Spanish restaurant in the capital for some, Fino, set in a windowless basement not far from Tottenham Court Road, serves up top-end dining without losing the informal tapas style. Take a seat at the bar, or relax into the one of the loungey banquettes before deciding what to order. Ingredients are top drawer: jamón de jabugo, buñuelos de bacalao (lightly fried, crispy cod balls) or octopus with capers, as well as arroz negro (a black-rice paella), are all worth trying.

La Bodega
fino_estrella promotion - Chorizo-and-tomato-salad_resized.jpg La Bodega is perfect for early birds, offering breakfast and brunches, in addition to its first-class tapas. It also offers a selection of pintxos (mini-tapas) during the day, too, while the full evening menu is available from 6pm each day. The restaurant’s motto is ‘where good friends meet’ – the perfect philosophy for enjoying tapas and Estrella.

La Terraza
Located a stone’s throw from Clapham North station, La Terraza offers a wide range of tapas, particulary from Galicia, that oh-so-green corner of north-west Spain, including polpo (octopus), grilled lamb cutlets, and pimientos de Padrón. If you prefer, you can go for something more substantial – and if the sun’s out, you can eat outside.

Lola Rojo
Lola Rojo always attracts a smart crowd, and successfully adopts a modern take on traditional tapas. The front area of the restaurant is bursting with life – complete with vibrant paintings and oversize print wallpaper – while diners nibble on crispy aubergine with orange blossom honey or paprika-dusted Marcona almonds to get the juices flowing. Highlights from the menu include confit of pork with vanilla apple, & piquillo peppers with garlic prawns & spinach.

The speciality at Pix is the self-service pintxos – a Basque take on tapas in which food is served skewered on little wooden sticks. Whether your taste is traditional (Ibérico ham & zucchini, quail’s egg with morcilla) or more modern (gazpacho & langoustine shot, quince-coated chorizo), Pix always delivers, and the friendly, attentive service is an added bonus.

Salvador and Amanda
Named after Salvador Dali and his muse Amanda Lear, this stylish joint – located just off Leicester Square – is a loving tribute to all things Spanish. Crowds nibble on tapas such as pan con tomate, tortilla, and Galician-style octopus and jamón croquetas against a backdrop of peeling posters and religious imagery, while Balearic and Latin beats play in the background. The mood at this seductive restaurant is pure Ibiza.

Tapas Revolution
In a different league to most Westfield Shopping Centre eateries, Tapas Revolution is the work of 20-something head chef Omar Allibhoy – a man who arrived in this country desperate to spread the word about tapas and educate UK diners about what it has to offer. Shoppers can tuck into jamón ibérico and other tapas favourites, as well as bocadillos (sandwiches) to take away.

This article was published in summer 2011. The competition ended in August 2011.

« Foodie Events