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|Address:||33 Charlotte Street, London W1T 1RR|
|Tel:||020 7768 0265|
|Price: £52.00||Wine: £21.00||Champagne: £55.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 12N-2.30pm Mon-Sat 6-10.15pm|
0 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Beware. If you like us ended up in this beautifully decorated Charlotte Street basement on account of Gordon Ramsay's latest, self-publicising, piece of commercial TV – you will be gutted. Spanish clearly does not equal Tapas. But Tapas should surely sit within Spanish? And the first few other reviews I have read are spot-on.
This is probably not the best tapas in Charlotte Street let alone London. better elsewhere at a fraction of the price. Our favourite being in Marbella, just up front the yacht club where you pay by the number of “clean sticks” at the end of your evening. And you could EasyJet it there and back, and dine, for less than we paid on Saturday. Our last bill in Marbella being €40 for two including drinks!
Four of us dining for my mum's birthday. I'll keep to the facts.
Wine – decent red for £26. So far so good. 8 “grazeing plates” ordered. 3 never came – the razor clams, the plain pan and the tortilla with chorizo. The other 5 at random intervals – which had nothing to do with the time to cook or the pace at which we were eating.
Plain tortilla – very good. Manchego cheese massively over-priced, but tasty. £7.50? Who have we offended? Sardines – ok, tomato bread – by all accounts good and lemon and chillie chicken wings – the best of 5 received from the 8 ordered.
Moving on – my wife had pre-ordered (the need so to do a worry in itself) the suckling pig for 2-3 persons. £35 – now I dont know about you, but for that i would expect it to be (a) perfectly seasoned and (b) one of the best I had ever had.
Neither applied here.
A couple of croquette plates – 2 on each, like something mum would get from Iceland – again stunningly lacking in flavour or seasoning. A long-horn beef stew came to the rescue at this point – very deep and rich flavour – beautifully tender meat – but for around £14 I had hoped for more than 1 piece each. But by this point the extent of the robbery was becoming amusing.
Out of curiosity I asked if the razor clams had surfaced yet – or indeed any of the other missing plates – but language difficulties meant that the manageress appeared next. I am assuming it was a comprehension issue – surely no 20-something waitress would tell a customer quite so agressively and categorically that, despite 4 witnesses asking, no dishes asked after had been ordered. You do remember something like ordering razor clams, it's not really an everyday occurrence.
Anna – the manageress – was of course, charm and warmth personified. Genuinely concerned and wanting to make amends. But then the Spanish lady is a wonderful actress – look at penelope Cruz. Three free deserts and coffees seemed quite acceptable. Nothing wrong with the poached pear, Santiago tart or 3 chocolate desert. In fact very good value for money. Re-read the penultimate sentence at this point.
The cardinal Mendoza brandies were the finale and actually became high point. Quite stunning in fact.
Now here's the issue – I used to be able to get better than this in the Stable Door in Welwyn. And for 4 of us that would have been under £100. Without the peace offerings, this would have exceeded £250. By the way the Alhambra Negra beer forgotten about earlier on was also very good.
But this establishment holds itself up as the very best of its type. Sadly it is nearer to being the worst.
I had assumed an unlucky visit – but then read the other reviews. As Sir Alan would say – if 12 people tell you its an elephant, then it's probably an elephant.
With regards to mood or ambience – very good – and the senior staff really are very good – but unfortunately we were only graced by their attendance as a consequence of the errors made before half-time. There are maybe 30 tables/benches/alcoves below ground at Finos – and a brief review of the occupants of these makes it quite obvious to see what this place has turned into – probably through no fault of its own ; somewhere to bring a boy or girl on a first or second date. In saying “money no object” – which you ARE, if you come here – you will probably get from the non-payer whatever it is you are seeking. The Charlotte Street set in fact, deserve what they have created. And Gordon – shame on you for misleading the public to such an immense degree.
p.s. a previous reviewer. I know where you are coming from, but if you give out 15 points over 4 categories, it is just silly to score the place a one…