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|Address:||18-20 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TJ|
|Tel:||020 7357 8880|
|Price: £37.00||Wine: £18.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 9am-11pm Sun 11am-10pm|
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Tapas bars in Spain are that: bars. In the UK, we tend to think of them as destination restaurants (think the very excellent Fino). Maybe this is why there have been so many people let down by Tapas Brindisa which is, after all, pretty authentically Spanish.
It has a bar complete with stools. It has bustle. The cutlery comes in old pepper tins. You cannot book, but you can sit outside on the pavement. In fact all it lacks is rows of hams hanging from the ceiling, gently oozing fat into those white plastic cones to make it properly Spanish. I am guessing that there is a health and safety issue with this, although it doesn’t seem to have overly harmed our Iberian colleagues.
The food is basic tapas, like jamon (we had the selection of Serrano, Iberica and Bellota, all very pleasant, growing in strength from left to right), which came with the obligatory tomato bread. There was also piping hot ham croquettes and some spicy chorizo on toast. Nothing special, nothing outstanding. Just good honest tapas in a nice friendly bar. Sort of what tapas should be, yet in this country rarely is.
Were there to be a complaint, it would be the price. It is not that the food is any more expensive than, say, Fino, it is just that Fino is a real destination restaurant and Tapas Brindisa is a real tapas bar. That cannot be right: £30 a head for what was a light snack is just plain wrong. Far better to save your pennies and go to Seville: start in the old town behind the Alcazar and just wander. Stand at the bar. Sup a cruzcampo here, taste a tapas there; each bar has a speciality that brings people in, so just follow the locals. A bit like a Spaniard coming to London and doing a pub crawl.