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1 Middlesex Street
EC3 may be all suits and briefcases, but this branch of Barcelona Tapas is a far cry from minimalist, corporate style. Summoning up the spirit of Las Ramblas, the space is decked out with gaudy mosaics and colourful tiles, while a flamenco soundtrack strums away in the background. The long tapas menu covers all bases, moving from charcuterie and cheeses via ‘los classicos’ small plates and the odd modern riff to more substantial items for sharing. Albondigas (meatballs), patatas bravas and crispy deep-fried baby squid with salsa romesco keep it familiar, while generous helpings of morcilla de Burgos with roasted peppers, skewers of spice-infused lamb or pans of paella are perfect for large groups. A fistful of desserts includes the usual crema catalana and Santiago tart, while the vast drinks list encompasses sangria, Spanish-style G&Ts and regional wines. Takeaways and local deliveries too.
To celebrate the Year of the Woman, SquareMeal is running a series of interview profiles with top female chefs. Read here about Marianne Lumb’s colourful career as a private chef and the benefits of operating one of London’s smallest kitchens.
Best Spanish restaurants in London
1 Middlesex Street
Aldgate Tube Station 108m
Aldgate East Tube Station 208m
Lloyds Register of Shipping 344m
Mon-Fri 11am-10.30pm Sat 7-10.30pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 2
I chose Barcelona Tapas after reading all the good reviews on Square Meal and other sites. However the place turned out to be very disappointing.
We had one of the set menus with a mix of different types of tapas. While the classic ones (tortilla, albondigas, chorizo) were pretty tasty, the seafood ones were very tasteless and horrible. Mussels were dry and far from being fresh Likewise, the paella was dry and glued to the paella-pan. It tasted and looked like one of those yellow paellas that you find in those very touristy areas of Madrid or Barcelona.
Also, the service (more than 10%) came included in the bill although it was just two of us and although the waitresses kept forgetting to bring water or take orders.
Maybe we had the bad luck of having dinner there on the wrong night but I doubt I will give them another try.
Food + drink: 5
This is a very good restaurant. Tapas are not authentic – they have been adapted to appeal – but are uniformly very tasty. Tortilla Espanola was particularly impressive, with its runny interior. Seafood is fine and light, paella tasty and hamon serrano freshly cut and flavoursome. Wine list was the highlight of the vsist, so much so that the choice was difficult: I will have to come back, to sample some bottles I earmarked. Finally, service was prompt, friendly, unobtrusive and highly professional. All in all, excellent!
Food + drink: 4
Very good food, for very reasonable money, the Chorizio melted in your mouth, the squid had a light batter and was not chewy, the sauce that the lamb livers came in was divine. Staff very friendly.
Decor, not my cup of tea, all white tiled and the tables were spread out, but that is just a personal opinion.
i would return.
Staff very friendly, manager talked a lot, he told us an amusing story, but it was when our food arrived and the story went on 3 or 4 minutes, his timing was not great.
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