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104 Bermondsey Street
José Pizarro began his London career working for Spanish food importer Brindisa before launching his Bermondsey flagship Pizarro, then this little tapas bar down the road. So it’s no surprise that London’s best-known Spanish chef also knows his produce: the hams, cheeses and everything else here are exemplary. There isn’t a great deal of space and it’s standing room only much of the time, but that doesn't stop the tiniest of preparation areas (‘kitchen’ may be too grand a word) from turning out “amazing” croquetas, grills and assemblies. Beyond the patatas bravas, tortilla and Padrón peppers, we’re very partial to the cured tuna with almonds, baby chicken with potatoes and romesco sauce, chorizo al vino and figs with sheep’s cheese and honey dressing. A few little plates and a glass of wine or sherry is sufficient to set most people off in a good mood for the rest of the evening. It’s perennially packed, but the accommodating staff are as expert at dealing with crowds in confined spaces as Spanish bus conductors.
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Best Spanish restaurants in London
Best in London Bridge
SquareMeal 2 Stars
104 Bermondsey Street
London Bridge Station 351m
London Bridge Tube Station 525m
Fashion and Textile Museum 44m
Greenwood Theatre 321m
Mon-Sun 12N-11pm (Sun -5.30pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
It’s fitting that this bijoux tapas bar comes under this particular page heading because here we sampled some of the nicest nibbles we’ve had in a long while. It started well when we were handed a glass each of their recommended clear sherry – and we’re kicking ourselves because we failed to get the name. It needs to be said that we’re not big sherry drinkers – or so we thought. Banish your thoughts of dusty dowagers, this stuff was delicious, tasting more like a perfectly dry, yet aromatic Sauvignon Blanc than Grandma’s favourite tipple. As for the food, we didn’t have much say in the matter and we were thrilled to bits, we love being fed. In no specific order, we demolished jamón ibérico, Padron peppers, chorizo, croquetas and calamari. But the highlight had to be the ultra-simply-put ‘bread and tomato’. More crostini in style than the sliced white and discarded fry-up variety, the bread was squeaky-fresh with crunch and the tomatoes oozing with – well, tomato, and garlic and just the right amount of extra virgin olive oil that was good enough to want to taste. This is our kind of food.
I'll keep it simple, as that's what Jose has accomplished here. Delicious tapas treats, all the usual suspects and more. Fabulous wines by the glass, carafe or bottle. Happy smiley staff. A small yet lively taverna atmosphere where you will happily while away hours. What's not to like. I only wish it was slightly bigger to fit my enormous buggy, so us local mothers could swap coffees for a carafe of fine Rioja!
What does Tapas mean to you or to anyone? Small plates of food served with a drink? It’s not just the food. Obviously the food is good. For me, it’s the food and everything else that goes with.
If you have been to Spain, You will tend to notice, how the Spaniard just sit around with vin and cervecas and their tapas, chatting away with no worries of everything that’s happening around them.
I always been a great lover of cultures who sits down and spends time to enjoy the food and the company they are with. It saddens me something that we do not have this culture in London. Even in Asia, even how very over productive they are, time is essential for making money. They still take time to have their lunches. A proper lunch at most time with friends or even just on their own.
In London, having an hour break seems a sort of guilty pleasure that you’re forbidden to enjoy. I was once, one of the Londoners, who have sandwich in the office not willing to sacrifice lunch time. Things changed, when I realise quality of life makes you a better worker.
Today, I was with a couple of friends in the Cheese at Leadenhall. Had a cheese platter over some wine. I will consider that a tapas session. Small portion of food, wine and great company.
I thoroughly enjoyed today. We three have never sat together for so long, as we are busy with our own lives. But we see each other everyday. But never sat down to have chat,I wish we do this often. Have you notice how people are more themselves outside work? I think the Spanish got it right. Go out, have a drink, have a tapas, relax and enjoy what is more important.
As I very much realise, I am derailing from the topic here. I want to introduce, one of my favourite tapas places in London. The food is good, but what I like about it is, it feels I just stepped into a tapas place in Spain. No reservation says Jose. Yeap, Jose’s tapas bar. This little tapas place in Bermondsey brings me back to times good times in Spain. Wine barrels as table tops, simple tapas dishes, and all good Spanish wine by the glass.
I went to Jose yesterday, had a few tapas and drinks over long chats on a summer’s day (in London). It was perfect. Simple Spanish food and culture. A good way to experience Spain in London.
I highly recommend Jose for exactly what I said. SIMPLE SPANISH CULTURE!!!
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