By Esin Huseyin
Now, I’m hoping by now that you all realise that I love food. But, I’m sure you can all relate when I say this, one of the hardest things to do when you first try a restaurant, is ordering a dish – I was also super hungry, so that didn’t help.
You try to set up a deal with the person you’re with, “you order this, and I’ll order this and we’ll split”…so, why go to all of this hassle when you can pop in to a tapas restaurant. Small snapshots of meals that you can all try and share, a real social way to eat food. I decided to try out the Soho branch of Tapas Brindisa the other day, and loved my life…
The soho branch is just off of Carnaby Street, a pretty busy location, and I actually went on a weekday at about 2 something – considering the time and day, it was actually pretty busy. When you walked in the restaurant felt light and airy with an open plan kitchen at the back, and bar on the left as you walk in. They used light wood, and sky lights to create an open feel – but the general size of the restaurant meant that it naturally had a bit of an intimate feel. Due to the volume of bums-on-seats, we ended up sitting towards the back of the restaurants on the high seats, which in general is problematic for me because I’m a shorty, but I generally felt comfortable.
The menu does offer other dishes that aren’t on the “tapas plates” selection, but when in
Rome Spain. The tapas section of the menu is split into four categories; soup and salads, fish, vegetarian, and meat. We decided to order a few from each section to get a feel for the place, we ordered:
- Watermelon and Mojama salad, with mint and almond dressing
- Patatas Bravas; fried potatoes with spicy catalan sauce
- Deep friend Monte Enebro; goats cheese with orange blossom honey
- Grilled smoked chorizo on toast, with rocket and piquillo pepper
- The Meat Ball; rump steal and Iberico pork morcilla meat ball stuff with monteenebro goat’s cheese
- Pave Rump Steak, with Foie Poele and sauteed girolles
- Gordal Olives with orange and oregano
- Pan de Pincel
Okay, so we got a little excited, but if you could experience the buzz and the smell of the place, you probably would have gone a little over board as well. Due to the absolute beast of dishes that we did order, the kitchen and waiting staff really timed it all perfectly – no dish was left to get cold, and we weren’t waiting empty handed either – just absolute perfect communication, which doesn’t seem to happen that often, unfortunately.
So the first dish to come was the watermelon and mojama salad, it initially looked pretty minuscule, but as we started tucking into each small cube of watermelon, we realised that it was both refreshing and filling. The mojama was super over powering, and I did end up sort of scraping it off myself – but that says more about my lack of love towards seafood, than it does the food. It was nice to have a tender bite of watermelon, with the fresh aftertaste of the mint between each course.
The patatas bravas, or posh chips – nothing too crazy to describe here, other than some diced potatoes served with a spicy sauce. Really nicely cooked; crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside – and an absolute gargantuan portion, I believe we didn’t actually get the chance to finish it. The chorizo on toast was the next to come along, the chorizo was super fresh and still had that raw sort of taste and texture to it, which I absolutely adore. The chorizo itself wasn’t too spicy, but the piquillo pepper added just a subtle undertone of sweetness, which was needed to compensate for the bitter taste of rocket. Rocket is totally over rated, am I right?
My oh my, the meatball. When it did arrive on our table, it did literally look a little crazy, as it is just a huge ball of mince meat drizzled in tomato sauce. But, when you cut in to it, you can see the pink of the mince and that beautiful white gooey goat’s cheese centre. This wasn’t my favourite dish out of all of the one’s I tried, simply because the meat to cheese ratio was a little more favouring on the meat’s side. As well as the fact that the mince was just a teeny weeny bit too pink for my liking – but, it was still absolutely tender, juicy, and really well seasoned. Again, considering timing is everything with this dish, we couldn’t complain.
Now, when I initially wrote this review I genuinely forgot this dish, but it was the staple dish that both myself and my guest loved – the rump steak. The steak was a portion size reminiscent of those at Flat Iron, which is actually the perfect size because you don’t want to over indulge in one dish too much. It was pink in the middle, and seasoned to absolute perfection on the outside. The fatty parts of the liver, were sweet, and considering it was my first time trying were very moreish. Not a lot to say about this dish, but sometimes simple dishes are the best.
The deep fried goat’s cheese – now for some reason I genuinely thought it was going to be coated in bread crumbs and fried, this was just the vision I was having. I was wrong. It literally was a cross section of goat’s cheese deep fried, and what I thought was oil and grease, was actually honey. And, to top off that sweetfest, it also had (what I thought) was oven baked beetroot sprinkled on top. You had your earthy, and sweet tastes combined, with the crunch and creamy texture of the crisps and cheese. Seriously, I probably could have ordered 3 plates of this and been on my way.
The staff are super friendly, and this place is really warm and inviting, it’s somewhere that I genuinely believe you should try if you want to get more of an authentic feel, than say somewhere like La Tasca. It is slightly more on the pricey side, and we sort of ended up spending about £30 each, but if you’re looking to treat yourself guys, it’s an amazing choice. They do have other branches, and I will be having a tapas tour, you can be sure of that.
Have you been to Tapas Brindisa? What did you order? Can you recommend any other Tapas places? Let us know in the comments below.