Bar Pepito

Bars, Spanish·
·
Bronze Award
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SquareMeal Review of Bar Pepito

Bronze Award

Across the courtyard from its larger sibling Camino, this boxy bodega is so persuasively styled, you’d swear you’d landed in Cádiz not King’s Cross. Elegant sherries are the thing here, and Pepito has helped overturn the common perception that this fortified wine is only fit only for vicars and maiden aunts. If you don’t know your Manzanilla from your Moscatel, Jerez’s finest come in flights of three and as part of a ‘road trip’ – an eight-dish tapas menu with suitable pairings: try wafer-thin hams off the bone with a dry Oloroso Alfonso or blue cheese croquetas alongside a Palo Cortado Apostoles. Friendly staff ensure you won’t go wrong, but if you want to go it alone, the menu's failsafe advice runs thus: ‘If it swims, drink Fino. If it flies, drink Amontillado. If it walks or runs, drink Oloroso.’ Gutsy Iberian wines too.

Good to know

Cuisines
Bars, Spanish
Ambience
Cosy, Traditional
Food Occasions
Late night dining

About Bar Pepito

Sharing a courtyard with its sister restaurant Camino in King’s Cross, Bar Pepito is the result of several research trips to the Spanish sherry region in southwest Andalucía. Its vision is to overturn stuffy stereotypes of sherry drinkers and to bring the fortified wine to the forefront of 21st century London dining.

Tucked away in Varnisher’s Yard, Bar Pepito is brimming with Spanish flavour. The dark interior, exposed brick walls lined with bottles of sherry and immersive atmosphere mean that you could be forgiven for thinking you’re in a cellar in Jerez or Cadiz rather than in the bustling heart of King’s Cross. The high tables and chairs are situated closely together, giving the venue the cosy and intimate atmosphere of an Andalusia bodega. While the smaller size of the venue does provide a degree of authenticity, it means that Bar Pepito is unsuitable for larger dining parties.

The menu is heavily reliant on elegant sherries, but there’s no need to feel intimidated if you’re no Frasier Crane. Bar Pepito’s sherries are served in ‘flights’ of three accompanied by a suitably paired tapita, or as part of a ‘road trip’; eight sherry samples also accompanied by carefully chosen tapitas, including Marcona almonds, manchego and wafer thin Jamon Iberico.The menu is ideal for sherry novices and connoisseurs alike.

It’s not just sherry on offer at Bar Pepito. There’s also a range of carefully chosen Spanish wines, for which the Camino brand is famous, as well as spirits from Scotland and the West Indies with a Spanish twist.

This venue also offers

Camino King's Cross
Restaurant

Camino King's Cross

Location

3 Varnishers Yard, The Regent Quarter, King's Cross, London, N1 9FD

020 7841 7331

Website

Opening Times

Bar Evening
Mon Closed
Tue 17:00-23:00
Wed 17:00-23:00
Thu 17:00-23:00
Fri 17:00-23:00
Sat 18:00-23:00
Sun Closed

Reviews

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3 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Alex G

05 December 2019  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 4.5
Sherry supreme; sceptics surrender

Sherry is cool. Few people fully appreciate this and so not only can geeks revel in their superior knowledge, but there is also a wonderful satisfaction derived from converting previous sceptics to the cause. If you want a venue in which to do it, look no further than Bar Pepito. The owner behind the venture (and also the Camino mini-chain, one of which sits opposite, in the trendy King’s Cross quarter) has been a backer of the sherry cause for over a decade. Bar Pepito is his effective love-child, a tiny space modelled accurately on the bodegas of southern Spain. Low lighting, mood music and wonderful wall decorations all add to the authenticity. Your reviewer has been an intermittent visitor for the last ten years but was lucky enough to spend an evening at Bar Pepito recently tasting through a full flight of sherries paired expertly with tapas. Things kicked off with a Spanish sparkling that is not allowed to call itself Cava, partly because its grapes sit outside the formally denominated region, but also because sherry (rather than sugar) is added by way of dosage. The effect is a bone-dry drink with a nutty subtlety. With this to whet the palate, the bar was set high. Next up – and a similarly virtuoso piece of drinks theatre – was a sherry-based cocktail. Take the concept of whisky sour, add oloroso and – hey-presto – you have an exciting drink, garnished beautifully with a maraschino cherry. Onto the sherry, and we sampled seven, from the bone dry with barely any oxidation through to the richly decadent Pedro Ximinez finisher. What makes sherry work in general terms is its sheer versatility. The acidity inherent in the drink cuts through both fatty and spicy flavours. Perhaps most inspired was an amontillado paired with a flavoursome morcilla (black pudding) accompanied by algería peppers. Oloroso was a superb match for ox cheek and probably the most structured and least sticky Pedro I have ever sampled served as a perfect foil for a blue cow’s cheese. Each dish was competently executed and beautifully presented. If the above description is not incentive enough, then consider that sherry is arguably the most undervalued alcoholic drink in the world. You can eat and drink well at Bar Pepito at a reasonable cost. What’s not to like, especially if you can impress your friends into the bargain too.

Elle E

31 October 2012  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4
Value 4.5
We met at Pepito on a cold Monday evening, the bar was quiet to say the least but it didn't matter, I had good company. As I was late, the wine had had time to breath and it was delicious. The French waitress was friendly and still non intrusive. I wasn't hungry but was convinced by my friend to try the smoked steak tartare (smoked tartare, really ??) and we stood by the tiny cooking station behind the bar to watch the magic. The cook/chef/guy sliced thin piece of beef and started mincing it by hand and smoking it with burning oak. Pretty special. It arrived at the table under a glass dome and looked pretty cool. It had an interesting oak-y and citrussy flavour. I'll come back hungry next time !

Richard E

21 April 2012  
Food & Drink 5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 4.5
Tiny, cramped with magnificent sherries, Bar Pepito is as fabulous a place to grab a slice of jamon, some quesos and a manzanilla or pedro ximinez as you will find in London. In fact, it wouldn't be out of place in Catalunya. So there are only three tables, but do the Spanish thing and stand up, grab a nibble and a glass of something chilled and have a great time.
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