Sabor: El Asador

Silver Award
££££
Spanish

Sabor: El Asador
Sabor: El Asador
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SquareMeal Review of Sabor: El Asador

Silver Award

Queue-averse diners will find solace (and bookable tables) at El Asador – the third part of Basque chef Nieves Barragán Mohacho’s “sensational” three-pronged Sabor. One floor up from the fino-fuelled bar and tapas-focused Counter, this rustic dining room tells the traditional story of Spanish country cooking and long family lunches fuelled by copious quantities of Rioja. It looks the part too, with its wrought-iron staircase, tiled kitchen, communal tables and short blackboard menu.

To eat, the Iberian lamb ribs and txuletón gallego (well-cured Galician rib of beef) have their followers, but most come here for the “amazing” Segovian suckling pig (quarter, half or whole), cooked in a Castilian wood oven the time-honoured way, to produce crispy, tanned skin and tender flesh that needs only the slightest touch with a knife to fall off the bone. Simply add some patatas fritas (with espelette pepper or mojo rojo, perhaps) and a perfectly dressed tomato salad.

For a proper feast, start with crispy pig’s ears, paprika-spiked Galician octopus with potatoes or a slice of glossy cuttlefish empanada, its rich filling as black as night. After that, a few spoonfuls of refreshing goat’s-cheese ice cream with a splash of liquorice jus is about all you’ll manage. The Spanish regional wine list is a pleasure to explore, with plenty by the glass from well-known producers, old and new – another highlight of this Iberian high-flyer.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Spanish
Ambience
Fun, Lively
People
Dates, Group dining [8+], Special occasions
Meet the team
Sabor: El Asador

Nieves Barragán Mohacho

Chef and co-owner

Nieves Barragán Mohacho grew up in the Basque region of Spain and started assisting her mother in the kitchen at a young age. She worked briefly in Spain before heading to London with barely a word of English, landing a sous chef job at Sam and Eddie Hart’s Charlotte Street restaurant Fino. Such was her talent, she was soon running the kitchen and a few years later helped the brothers launch Barrafina, which soon became London’s most celebrated and influential Spanish restaurant. A Michelin star and more sites followed. In 2018 Barragán Mohacho bid a fond farewell to Barrafina and opened Sabor with fellow Spaniard and Hart Brothers alumnus José Etura. The Mayfair restaurant – which comprises a tapas bar downstairs and a more upmarket but still informal upstairs restaurant that majors on wood-fired dishes– has once again raised the bar for Spanish food in the UK.



Sabor: El Asador Also Offers

Sabor
Event Party Venue

Location for Sabor: El Asador

35 Heddon Street, London, W1B 4BS

020 3319 8130

Website

Opening Times

Tues-Sat 12N-2.30pm 5.30-10.30pm Sun 1pm-8pm

Reviews of Sabor: El Asador

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1 Review 
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Mr. Alex G

Taste the difference
30 January 2019  

Expectations run high when you combine a chef whose CV includes Fino and Barrafina with the restrauters behind the likes of Gymkhana, Xu and Bao. However, Sabor (Spanish for ‘taste’) mostly pulls it off and delivers a more authentic Spanish encounter than many in London. As with other restaurants under the management of the Sethi family, a lot of the experience is a function of the ambience. Much thought (and probable expense) has been put into Sabor, a three-floored venture on the edge of Mayfair comprising a sherry bar, communal dining counter and sit-down restaurant. Per Hide, the three areas are unified by an impressive (in this case, wrought-iron) staircase. Beyond this, there are tiles that would not look out of place in an Andalucian kitchen as well as large communal tables and open kitchens, both bedecked with fresh, local produce. Most of the serving staff are Spanish too. Despite being around a year since Sabor opened, when my comrade and I visited on a recent weekday lunchtime, the whole dining space was packed – and it is easy to see why. Top-quality tapas and pretty decent mains are provided by a fast and (almost too) enthusiastic team, and everything is priced reasonably. Tapas comes in at around  £7-10/plate, while mains cost in the region of £20/head. The menu is mercifully brief, which makes choosing easier and specials (displayed on a blackboard above the counter) vary daily. We kicked off with three tapas offerings, all of which impressed highly. Red Mediterranean prawns were as light and juicy as the morcilla (black pudding) was earthy and hearty. However, the highlight was the tortilla, which had to rank among the best I have ever sampled. Done in a Galician style, the egg yolk was a beautifully violent hue of orange and still runny when the tortilla was split. This was rich, deeply satisfying and very moreish. After such a promising start, the Segovian suckling pig main which we shared was a relative anti-climax. The crackling was delicious and the gravy side a nice touch, but there was a degree of monotony and none of the culinary joy I felt towards the starters. At least a perfectly-executed green side salad acted as foil to the pig. Overall, a ‘muy bien’ for Sabor. There is every reason to return.

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