Fish, Scottish, Spanish, Tapas·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Maresco

Silver Award

As you walk into Maresco, you can’t miss a big neon sign on the far wall that reads, translated, ‘Spain, Scotland and the sea.’ It’s a simple premise but one that leads to great things, as it turns out. Maresco focuses heavily on seafood - mostly the top quality stuff from north of the border - and delivers it in straight-forward Spanish plates.

Downstairs is a more traditional chairs-and-tables set up, whilst upstairs sticks to counter dining and window seats - a formula that has worked well at sister restaurant Escocesa in Stoke Newington. With that comes a gentle buzz of excitement and the fun of open kitchen-watching, or gazing out onto Noel Street depending where you are. Service zooms nimbly between tables and stools delivering small plates of fried baby squid, tempura courgette flowers stuffed with goat’s cheese and generous slabs of pan con tomate.

The aforementioned baby squid are beautiful - deep-fried in a crisp, light batter, but tender and perfectly seasoned. We’re offered aioli to go with them but we shun it - seafood this good doesn’t need any accompaniments. Txistorra de mar is a smart play on a classic Spanish sausage - at Maresco it’s made with seafood, before being seared in front of you and served like a little taco in a mini corn flour tortilla. It’s one of many things we’d happily have ordered again, were we not keen to try other things.

The star of the show is a bocadillo de calamar - a soft squid ink bun, stuffed with grilled and fried pieces of squid and a good squirt of aioli. The decision to combine grilled squid tentacle and deep-fried battered squid rings is genius, and with a bit of mayo lubrication it’s absolutely sensational.

There’s a solid, compact wine list on offer as well but our advice is to get advice on some of the excellent sherries in which Maresco specialises. We sipped on a lovely amontillado that had something of the bracing sea air about it, before enjoying a glass of chilled palo cortado with burnt cheesecake to finish. Soho is a competitive part of town for restaurants, but we reckon Maresco will be packed to the rafters for some time to come.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Fish, Scottish, Spanish, Tapas
Cool, Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Counter dining, Gluten-free options, Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Celebrations, Dates, Group dining [8+], Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Maresco is a 48-cover modern tapas bar serving authentic Spanish dishes with a firm focus on fresh Scottish seafood. It comes after the success of Glaswegian restaurateur Stephen Lironi’s Bar Esteban in Crouch End, and his follow-up restaurant Escocesa in Stoke Newington. Maresco is his third project to open in London, this time on Berwick Street in the heart of Soho.  

At the centre of the restaurant is a relaxed counter dining area for guests to enjoy its tasty sharing plates, while a more formal dining room downstairs is reserved for slightly larger groups. Large windows at the front of the restaurant ensure plenty of natural light during the day, and provide happy viewing for diners to observe the comings and goings of busy Berwick Street.

Heading up the kitchen is chef Pablo Rodriguez (ex-Barrafina and Moro), who’s deliberately short menu focuses on daily-changing specials to reflect the seasonality of truly fresh seafood. Permanent fixtures, however, include charcoal cauliflower with mojo verde and pomegranate, txistorra de mar (sausage) with spicy yoghurt and talo, presa iberica with mojo picon and shitake mushrooms, and fried baby squid. Dishes come as and when they're ready from the busy open kitchen. Although Maresco's menu is predominantly seafood-based, there is also a vegetable section that includes dishes like charcoal leeks with romesco sauce, and patatas bravas.

The wine list at Maresco is exclusively Spanish and features mainly low intervention wines, including lots of Stephen’s favourites which he discovered while on his travels around Spain. You can also find a concise cocktail list featuring Spanish-inspired serves, such a Muy Margarita with el cabrito reposado tequila, lime juice and sugar. Sherries, dessert wines, liquors, whiskies and after-dinner cocktails are also on offer.  


Do I need to book?

We would advise booking, especially if you want a seat at the counter.

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What type of food does the restaurant serve?

The restaurant serves classic Spanish tapas dishes.

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Are there tables available or just counter dining?

Upstairs is counter dining, and downstairs has tables available to book.

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45 Berwick Street, Soho, London, W1F 8SF

020 7439 8483 020 7439 8483


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue 12:00-15:00
Wed 12:00-15:00
Thu 12:00-15:00
Fri 12:00-15:00
Sat 12:00-15:00
Sun 12:00-16:00
Mon 17:00-22:00
Tue 17:00-22:00
Wed 17:00-22:00
Thu 17:00-22:00
Fri 17:00-23:00
Sat 17:00-23:00
Sun Closed


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1 Review 

Alistair B

27 December 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Inspired, innovative and very fine quality tapas!

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020 7439 8483 020 7439 8483

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