Camino Blackfriars

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Square Meal Review of Camino Blackfriars ?

The life and soul of España oozes from every pore of this reliable mini-chain, which promises genuine vibes, gutsy food and authentic drinks. Camino is Spanish for ‘road', and a giant wall map heralds a tapas menu that roams the country's regions – think platters of artisan charcuterie, Mallorcan cheese fritters with tomato jam, or potted crab with ‘chapata’ bread. Other good calls include duck stew, and hand-dived scallops with samphire and ‘ajo blanco' sauce, while an imported charcoal grill lends its smoky tones to everything from chicken livers and Basque steaks to presa ibérica (pork shoulder) with roasted aubergine purée. Imbibing is taken seriously, too, with sherries aplenty and wines from a long list of bodegas, plus jugs of sangria, beers and zingy cocktails. Service is sharp and helpful (if a touch ‘haphazard’), and there’s table football in the high-decibel bar.

Spanish Wine List Of The Year

Wine List of the Year - Spanish ListAt fewer than 50 bins, this is a well-put-together and laudably concise celebration of Spain – no other country gets a look in until you get to spirits. Reds and whites are listed by style – sunny, juicy, buxom and luscious for the whites, which made our judges smile. Half the wines are available in a variety of smaller serves, the ubiquitous tasting notes are short but helpful and the illustrations of the cocktails was a nice touch, too. Lots of personality, but no over-indulgence and superbly customer-friendly.

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