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Occupying a beautiful listed building a few yards from the Bank of England, Hispania is thinking big. Elegant rustic decor, marble surfaces and bronze light fittings set the tone in the ‘really
inviting’, high-ceilinged tapas bar/deli, and the kitchen is already garnering rave reviews for its authentic, exquisitely presented and ‘cliché-free’ take on the country’s native cuisine – ‘just
like northern Spain’, notes one fan from the region. Top calls include superb patatas bravas with spicy tomato sauce and alioli, silky salmorejo (Andalusian cold tomato soup), ‘amazing’ black rice
with squid ink, cuttlefish and prawns, crunchy ham croquetas and desserts such as apple ‘three ways’ (poached, sorbet and crisps). Upstairs is an events space and sherry bar, with a dedicated
fine-dining restaurant due to open in early 2014 under the direction of executive chef Marcos Morán (of Michelin-starred Casa Gerardo in Asturias).
A year (and and a few weeks ago) I clicked the publish button on a concept I’d been toying around with for quite some time and had no idea how far it’d grow. It was designed as a journal for my love of food and dining out. A record of what I liked, loved and hated and somewhere in that, if you the audience got something out of it, then that was a bloody good bonus!
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Hispania in Lombard Street looks like an unassuming typical banker location for lunch when you walk by, however you should not judge a book by its cover. When you walk in you immediately feel the vast size of this place. Hispania is the largest Spanish restaurant in London. This place has been rumored for months to be one of the very best restaurants in London in the Spanish cuisine. As we walked in we felt as though we had really stepped out of the busy city to a parador in Spain.Almost everything in this vast place is authentic from the magnificent Spanish floor, to the wooden private dining table that was owned originally by a notorious Spanish banker...
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On a typically rainy afternoon in London I’m having Spanish tapas again. Tapas is de rigueur everywhere apparently, whatever the origins of the cuisine. Hispania’s restaurant manager points out that the Spanish don’t eat tapas at lunch-time, they have three set courses, that’s why this Bank based eating establishment is broadening their menu. I quite agree with this ethos. I prefer a more holistic plate of food that has more complementary flavours. For now though I’m having tapas because Hispania still has a predominantly tapas lunch menu and I want to try a range of options, because I’m greedy. I had a particularly delightful tapas experience at Boqueria in Brixton and I’m on a mission to find some equally good Spanish food...
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