Tapas Brindisa Borough 1

18-20 Southwark Street , London, SE1 1TJ

Tapas Brindisa small food plates flat lay with cutlery

SquareMeal Review of Tapas Brindisa Borough

Given its prime location right by Borough Market, it’s no wonder that tables at well-respected Tapas Brindisa are much in demand, though the roadside location isn’t to everyone’s liking. You can’t book, so be prepared to join the scrum at the bar or – if the weather’s more Margate than Marbella – wrap up warm and sit outside. Brindisa is one of the UK’s best-known importers of Spanish produce, so it’s no surprise that the cheeses, breads and charcuterie (including hand-carved serrano and ibérico de bellota hams) take centre stage. Half-a-dozen seasonal dishes using ingredients from the market supplement tapas staples such as tortilla, freshly made croquetas, grilled chorizo and Padrón peppers, and the all-Spanish wine list is divided in to categories like ‘smooth and soft’. Service can sometimes creak under the weight of Brindisa’s unerring popularity.

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Tapas Brindisa Borough is recommended for

Buzzy | Fun | Dates | Afternoon Eating | Breakfast

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

London Bridge Tube Station 312m

London Bridge Station 389m

Address

Address: 18-20 Southwark Street , London SE1 1TJ

Area: South Bank Borough etc

Opening times

Mon-Sat 9am-11pm Sun 11am-10pm

Nearby Landmarks

Borough Market 87m

Vinopolis 177m

Details

Telephone: 020 7357 8880

Website:

Cuisine: Spanish Tapas

6.0

Food & Drink: 6.4

Service: 6.4

Atmosphere: 6.9

Value: 5.4

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 0.0

Francesco C. 11 December 2017

DISGUSTED! I have just been to your London Bridge branch for lunch with a friend who suggested to go there because it was too cold to stay outside in Borough Market. I agreed to go to Brindisa because it seemed a simple/normal option for a quick lunch but now I really regret it. I had been to your restaurants before, maybe one year or so ago and I found it overpriced, hence I never returned until today. However, after our lunch today I never expected we would be so disappointed and that we would feel completely ROBBED. At the end of our very mediocre lunch today, both my friend and I were SHOCKED at the bill: £59 for one portion of bread (bread!) with tomato, 1 small portion of chicken, 1 tiny portion of pork, 1 small portion of jamon (£20!- unbelievable), tap water and 2 coffees. I am still very hungry and no dish was worth it. I work in finance and I am fortunate enough to make a very good earning but I still have the intelligence to value the things in life. I honestly think your restaurant is a DISGRACE, a complete RIP OFF and offers very MEDIOCRE quality. It is clear that you are taking advantage of your good location and the fact that tapas are fashionable in London at the moment. You will never see us again in any of your branches and I will make sure that all my friends and colleagues know about my views.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Emma B. bronze reviewer 07 April 2013

great wine, great food, i love the olives stuffed with oranges.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Grumbling Gourmet platinum reviewer 29 January 2013

So how's the original outpost of growing tapas juggernaut of Brindisa doing since I last visited? Not as well as I'd hoped unfortunately… Situated on the corner of Borough Market's southern corner, no bookings Brindesa was always a tough (and tiny) table to score, light wood interior filled with souls exiting the market laden with goodies, unable to wait until their home before sampling them. The unlucky masses would look on through the floor to ceiling windows and resolve to turn up earlier next week. A recent midweek trip to the neighbourhood let me pop in for lunch on one of the less screwily busy days for the restaurant before the market next door grunts into life on a Friday. The menu is still a organic shopper's wet dream, everything veggie sourced from the nearby stalls while meats and spices come from the Brindesa shop, hotfoot from the best suppliers in their Spanish homeland. The joy has always been that you don't want to wait until you get home from the market, mainly because what the kitchen can do with the same handful of ingredients is infinitely better than anything you could manage. We've been spoilt by Jose, and the jamon croquetas he now serves up on Bermonsey Street. Those are light, fresh and heaven sent, these lumpen cigars of gluey mash under a too thick oily carapace just don't cut the mustard. Huevos Rotos – broken eggs over fried potatoes and Iberico pork sobrasada – is unevenly cooked. Soft slices of spud seemingly decanted into a lukewarm serving dish, the egg just the wrong side of soft and the sobrasada, a thickly spiced tomato based sauce, huddled in one corner under a slice of waxen potato. A great idea, and one I'm looking forward to borrowing for an inevitably hungover brunch, but there's nothing here any reasonably home chef couldn't improve on. Sautéed chicken livers with an onion and caper dressing were fine, and well cooked. If I'd just taken a plate of that with a muscular minerally and obscenely dry sherry, I'd no doubt be hurrahing from the rooftops. Compared to a recent revisit to gracefully ageing Barrafina, the team at Tapas Brindisa have got some way to go to regain their crown. If you're in the area, nip round to Bermondsey Street and see what their old boss Jose Pizzaro is up to at his brace of eponymous restaurants, either one of them easily has the measure of Brindisa I'm sad to say…

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Lynn W. platinum reviewer 11 July 2012

There's something about Brindisa that I still like. There are many tapas bars in London now, most of them pretty nondescript and OK for a quick snack, not very expensive but nothing special. This one near London Bridge fills up very quickly at lunch time, so if I'm round there early I'll go in but would have to walk by later on. The quality of the food I've always found to be excellent, with regular appearances from jamon iberico, olives, cheeses, tortillas, breads, salads and daily specials. For me it's the jamon croquettas, possibly the best in London, they seem to be freshly made and not from a frozen package, the soft savoury bechamel with little chunks of mature ham inside crispy breadcrumbed cases, simply served in sets of 4 and which I can hardly bear to share. And you can go round the corner to Brindisa Borough Market to stock up on paprika, saffron, marcona almonds and several types of chorizo. But what is it about the wooden bench seating at the back? You get a good view of what's going on but the up-tilted seat cuts across the back of the legs and then you go numb. Good job the service is quick and tapas is meant to be snack-and-go. If you want to linger be sure to get another table.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 0.0

Jack M. 03 October 2011

When the Brindisa opened its restaurant in London bridge a few years ago, it was by far the best tapas / Spanish restaurant in London. It was an example and a benchmark to all other tapas places. For far too long, Londoners idea of a tapas bar was la tasca or other poor so-called Spanish / tapas restaurants. Brindisa was a breath of fresh air. Great ingredients, top wines and stunning food. I don’t know maybe with popularity comes complacency. I have definitely noticed a gradual deterioration at Brindisa. The standard is no longer where it was. The price has increased but the quality of food and end product has declined. I was on a date on Friday night gone and I decided to go there. I had the one of cheapest Rioja, the chops, the peppers (pardons), Spanish omelette, croquettes and the prawns. The final bill was £76 which I thought was pretty punchy. Bar the Spanish omelette and the prawns (only ok), everything else was pretty average. The chops (only 2) was priced at £9.75. Once big and juicy, what we were served was shrivelled up tiny meatless chops. The little peppers, if we got 10 we were lucky at £4.50. Brindisa is a quirky little place. It’s always busy and I have never had problem with the wait. The atmosphere and the location is great. Its just such a shame, to see a place that was once so good now being very average and dishing out over priced sub-standard tapas. I don’t usually write negative reviews. I was on a date at the time and didn’t want to make a scene complaining at the restaurant. I use to love brindisa, but I have now had 3 / 4 ok and very average meals so I don’t think I am going to return.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Richard E. platinum reviewer 04 August 2011

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.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

Peter D. 28 June 2011

I went to this restaurant on good recommendation. A pleasant meal was spoilt by the following- Mussels dish. Four out of twelve mussels were completely closed. We ate the eight good ones and asked the waitress about the other four. She said she would replace them. After a long wait nothing happened and when asked again she said she had spoken to the kitchen who didn't feel they needed to provide four mussels as we had eaten the other eight! I didnt want to make further fuss and embarrass my guests. I settled the £90 bill for a very light meal for three and left feeling that the lack of grace was not becoming for a restaurant as expensive as this. Kind regards Dr. Peter Dickens

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 1.0

Nicole l. 05 March 2011

I arrived at 7:30 pm on a Friday (they don't take reservations), we where seated at 9:20. Luckily my dining partner ran a bit late so i was happy to go to the pub across the road which lead to a few glasses of wine and some awesome wasabi nuts (the culinary highlight of the evening). Mainly we didn't go anywhere else due to the lack of other restaurants in the area. So after more than 90min of wait we where finally seated. We chose because for a very long time I would walk, jog pass, visit the market and think, ah it looks such a busy and lovely place… Surely it must be a great. Well its not. The staff was friendly enough, as helpful as staff in a very very busy restaurant can be. The average red wine on the menu was about £20 so not really a easy going, relaxed, table wine kinda place. We ordered 5 tapas between two and was hungry after. I started with lame dry bread and ended with highly overpriced tiny portion cheese. In between we were treated to black rice and calamari was 3 rings of dry, battered calamari on a pile of soggy black rice. Half a bowl full of tiny steamed mussels in a very salty white wine and fresh herbs broth. Some chorizo, potato and pepper omelette with allioli without any chirizo served very chilled and dry. The only tasty part of the evening (aside from the wasabi nuts) was the Iberian ham croquettes. Tasty. We where still hungry so after the food we decided to opt for the ‘Selection of regional Spanish cheeses with toast £ 13.75’. Now don't get me wrong. I am not a whole chicken swallowing, rugby playing giant. I am a average girl with an healthy appetite but seriously. Why the frikkin tiny portions. If you would charge less I would be less annoyed. In total the evening cost us £73. We shared a bottle of table wine, had 4 tapas dishes and a cheese platter and was charged £1 for a glass of tap water. Go if you have more money than sense. A wanky over rated restaurant. I guess its location close to borough market makes for a ‘foodie’ experience but in my opinion I'd rather opt for a Nandos and get what I pay for. A disappointing night of dining, to say the least.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

gmbklm silver reviewer 12 February 2010

A very busy little tapas bar / restaurant at the edge of Borough market. Décor is as you would expect for a tapas bar ! We’ve eaten here 4-5 times in the last 12 months, most recently end Jan 2010. Our main reason for not eating here more frequently is that unless you turn up at an odd time of day, it can be a long wait. The staff are generally pleasant and professional, and seem to cope reasonably well with the high customer turnover, although it can sometimes be difficult to get attention. Brindisa carries quite a limited menu which doesn’t change much, so its fine for the occasional visit. As a result, we normally end up choosing the same dishes – Olives, chartuterie, cheese, salad, Spanish omelette, etc. They don’t serve white bait, meat balls, kidneys and some other Tapas standards. I think the food is good, but not great, with their particular strength being the charcuterie. The highlight of our last visit was the superb large Gordal olives, but at effectively 40p each they should be quite good ! One of their better mixed meat platters was very good, but was £24. The mixed cheese platter of 4 cheeses to share was quite good, but at £15.50 it did not represent great value compared to a good restaurant. They carry a reasonably good wine choice. We normally end up paying £30- £35 inc service. Brindisa is very atmospheric, but as another reviewer intimated, it is not cheap and not necessarily good value for what you get – a bit like my experiences in Spain itself, you need to pay a lot to get decent quality. I think the pricing means you come away with a Tapas bar experience but a restaurant level bill – A basic Tapas style evening meal normally costs us circa £30 pp, inc service, but exc all drinks.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

Gary S. 04 September 2009

I finally visited Tapas Brindisa on a Thursday afternoon prior to a spot of shopping in the market. The service was prompt and friendly and we sat to our table immediately. The food was ok, not spectacular and I was disappointed that I had to de-vein the prawns in chilli and garlic for my guest. I was also disppointed with the potato bravas. I remember eating potato bravas @ Meza on Wardour Street a few years back and how wonderful it was for a veggie dish. Meza was my first experience of Tapas and unfortunately the Brindisa version wasn't half as good. The highlight was the ham croquettes and I could easily eat 2 or 3 portions alone! Also the anchovies with roasted vegetables was tasty. Unfortunately the clams in bacon & butter beans was sold out so I was unable to try this combination that on paper read nicely. I wouldn't rush back here in a hurry but if I was invited to eat there again, I would go.

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