A curado (Spanish for ‘cured’) is a Basque bar specialising in jamon and pintxos (Basque appetizers on skewers) and this is certainly the best way of getting the most out of this high pedigree, winsome spot in the heart of Guildhall Place, only a stone’s throw from Central Station. The long thin shape of Curado Bar lends itself well to the Spanish theming and all notion of its former life as a burger bar is a distant memory when packed on a Friday night. White tiled walls, blue neons and exposed concrete beams give the space a contemporary, industrial feel that adds to the experience in no small measure.
The strength of Spanish cuisine is its simplicity and Curado aims to make its dishes shine by using high-quality ingredients sourced directly sourced from Spanish suppliers. The menu is divided into bar snacks, pintxos (meat, fish, and veggie), de la tienda (‘from the deli’), de la cocina (‘from the kitchen’), jamon, and postre (‘dessert’). Bar food offers traditional appetizers such as olives, pan con tomate and Manchego, whereas the pintxos cover both classic and experimental dishes, from jamon iberico, octopus salad, and tortilla espanola, to smoked sardines with ewe’s milk, and peppers stuffed with blue cheese and walnuts. Start with a plato of jamon and a glass of sherry and maybe follow in with our favourite pintxos: queso azul con miel; gildas, Morcilla (Spanish blood sausage) y queso de cabra; and Secreto al la brasa.
The reasonably-priced mains are mostly traditional with options including patatas bravas, fried calamari and chorizo al vino; however, there are some more experimental dishes on offer such as deep fried school shark and an entire deep fried baby squid. Jamon and queso also features, with a choice between three pre-selected boards, or the option to put together your own platter, which you can choose from over twenty meats and cheeses. To finish, the menu boasts a variety of traditional Spanish postres, such as churros, tarta de queso and turrones.
Curado offers an expansive drinks menu featuring many types of beer, wine, vermut, sherry and more, plus weekly specials by glass. For the more daring, check out their list of rare and iconic wines.
If you fancy bringing the taste of the Basque country home with you, Curado boasts both a deli and shop selling products sourced directly from Spain, just like their ingredients.