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Bal Thind was one of the original investors in Hakkasan and Yauatcha, but this venture
finds him in partnership with New York chef Victor Garvey, who has made quite name for himself in several hot Basque restaurants. Bravas Tapas is a modern joint that done out with salvaged British
furniture and bucolic trappings (bar stools fashioned from old tractor seats, for example). By contrast, the menu features on-trend stuff – how about Iberian tuna tartare topped with organic Rio
Fro caviar and ponzu sauce infused with Valencia orange and mojama or a take on crema catalana involving foie gras custard, cherries, cocoa nibs and serrano ham. Tapas staples such as croquetas are
also available, while former Hakkasan honcho George Matzaridis is on hand to create some jazzy Spanish-themed cocktails.
There is nothing I like more than finding a new hidden gem.What's even better than a hidden gem?A hidden gem on your doorstep.St Katherine's Dock is littered with restaurants from chains like Zizzi's and Ping Pong to independent ones and now they have a serious new contender.BravasI had read that there was going to be a new tapas place opening up and then it turned out that my information was slightly old as it had just opened in March.We have been dying to try it and finally we got down to it.We wandered along, the 2 mins it takes from our house to be told that they were pretty busy. We opted to have drinks outside looking out at the boats and wait for a table, which we were more than happy to do.I mean you would have to actually tell someone you were in London with a view like that.We didn't have to wait long and we came up total trumps with a glorious table in an alcove. Complete with giant mirror.Something that really seals the deal for me in a place is the decor and the attention to detail and these guys have done that exactly. Lovely big wine glasses, the kind you want to cradle over a long dinner. They practically invite you for a 3 hour dinner or lunch.Not too many tables, which would make it feel cramped... and lovely tables they are too! Big scrubbed wooden ones with plenty of space for all your dishes!The kitchen is open with the fresh seafood being displayed and you can watch the chefs whip up your dishesAfter ooing and ahhing over the short but very tasty looking menu we ordered and kicked off with the Brava Potatoes, which came all hidden in clever pots. These were the most divine little things ever. The tomato sauce was heavenly and on top of that sat a whipped garlic alioli which was just incredible. Normally I'm not a fan of foams, but this was unreal. After demolishing 2 pots, we ordered another, and some more bread to mop up the remainder of the sauce.After demolishing 2 pots, we ordered another, and some bread to mop up the remainder of the sauce.Next to arrive were the sliders, these were tasty, filled with an apple slaw and cheese, but not something I'd go back for. There was a seafood special on the board, which sadly I forget their name, but some sort of delicious prawn dish with another incredible sauce that was hoovered up mighty fast.We got some old classics in, padron peppers, torched and sprinkled with salt. Super moreish.We were almost eating faster than they could bring the food, and then she set down the quail.Such sweet presentation, this was a quail leg stuffed with foie gras and wrapped in pancetta, with a sweet dipping sauce. Like little meaty lollipops these were one of my favs. Quails grow a bit bigger, your too tiny to be so delicious!! One dish that we all totally agreed was stand out was the lamb chops, as you can see I barely captured this one before they were all sentenced to life in our guts. I would love to know where they got their lamb from, this was so tender a toothless baby could have had these. Almost no chewing required, they melted in your mouth. The best part of the meal was when we got to the end and got presented with an extremely reasonable bill for all that we had eaten and drunk. When playing the 'guess the bill' game everyone guessed well over! I am so pleased that this place has arrived so close to home, I intend on taking everyone I know there and I must confess since going here for the first time, I've already been back again!! I intend to become a regular! Having glanced back at the menu I can see that they have already made some changes to it, which means it will never be the same old thing over again which means I'm certainly going to have to keep going back!
More from The Frying Pan Diaries »
Backing Bravas Tapas are two big names. Victor Garvey (American chef previously working in Spain), and Bal Thind (restaurateur & original investor in Hakkasan). Victor Garvey is an accomplished chef who grew up and worked in Barcelona before buying is own restaurant in Marbella back in 2010. His menu here at Bravas Tapas is actually very traditional but with a few twists and turns along the way - mostly in its presentation...
More from londonfoodaholic »
When I heard that a new tapas restaurant, Bravas Tapas, would be opening in St Katherine Docks I was excited as it's not too far from both home and work for me. Even better? They'd be doing a soft launch for the first week. Better still? No need to commit to a time because they wouldn't be taking booking and instead would only take walk-ins.The restaurant has a rustic feel to it with deep leather chairs, wooden plank tables and velvet cushioned banquettes along one wall and in front of the windows. The whole place looks like it's been there for ages, even though I know it's brand new. Although I don't have a picture of them (they were occupied while we were there), there are two gorgeous booths, perfect for a cosy group dinner...
More from Not Quite Enough »
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