Yesterday afternoon I left Caldo quite disappointed. I’m Basque myself and I was quite looking forward to check a bar/restaurant where they claim to serve Brit-Basque food. Sadly, I must say, I did not found Basque influenced food anywhere. It felt like just another typical Spanish tapas place with the typical tapas. For example, the chorizo in cider tapa (not especially Basque) was unjustifiably expensive, the portion surprisingly small and it was served without bread. The pintxos on offer (two types) looked like something made up with last day’s leftovers. The one we tried was combination of an almost uncooked Padrón-like pepper, a cold slice of chorizo and a cold piece of chicken. Sorry if this review seems harsh, but I was expecting quite a lot more than what I found.
Time Out says
Posted: Fri Sep 30 2011
New restaurant and bar in Queens Park. Previously Penk's.
Caldo 79 Salusbury Road
Average User Rating
4 / 5
- 5 star:6
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:2
It was with a fair bit of trepidation that I went to Caldo in Queen’s Park for the first time last Saturday: I so wanted it to be good. Partly because it is in walking distance from my home, partly because I had promised myself beforehand that I would write a review of it – which would be pretty awkward if the experience was dreadful: I would have to sneak past the place it in the future, just in case a revengeful restaurateur would be waiting in the doorway to lurch out and bash me one with a rolling pin... Thus I am hugely relieved to report that Caldo on Salisbury road is an excellent restaurant! Phew!
Caldo is located in the former Penk’s, but I believe that it is still the same people behind the restaurant, though it has changed dramatically from a narrow space serving (very good) British cuisine to a slightly larger room serving (brilliant) Brit-Basque food. The menu is a traditionally-ish selection of classic tapas dishes such as shrimp fritters, grilled razor clams, spinach and Manchego croquettas, roast lamb in sherry, chorizo in cider and crispy goat cheese fritters. All made from British produce. The house also offers a range of sherries tailored to accompany the menu.
We were 4 of us last week, and between us we managed to order just about every single dish on the menu of about 20 different tapas offered. The lamb roasted in sherry and served on a bed of white beans was without any doubt the most well-cooked, succulent and beautiful piece of meat I have had in a tapas. Ever. Where ever. Including in Barcelona. I don’t really “do” meat and lamb is really not my “thing” – I see little fluffy, happy animals running around in fields when I’m eating it – but in this case I was willing to ignore my conscience and quell any empathy with the piece of tender meat melting in my mouth.
The goats’ cheese fritters drizzled with honey were so good that we had to have them twice, the croquettas were feather light, the razor clams tasted like they had been dug out of the sand the same morning and the chorizo had soaked up the Galician cider beautifully. The only dish that didn’t quite make it to the same level of moreish-ness was the tortilla; it was a bit dry and lacked a little punch. Only one of us could master a pudding and ordered a white and dark chocolate truffle. Unfortunately for him it looked so tempting when it arrived, that he didn’t have much left of it after we all had a taste of it. The balance of the two types of chocolate was perfect. Another of us ended his meal with a well-shaken velvety, espresso Martini.
I drank a dry and nutty Olorosso sherry which matched the tapas flavours beautifully, while the others had Spanish beer from the tap.The service was attentive without being annoying, the room is warm and cosy and the whole place is devoid of the boho/yummy mummy pretentiousness that often lurks around in Queens Park’s restaurants. We left with a bill that was as long as an arm –admittedly that was due to our gluttony – but very reasonable, considering the amount of tapas, beer and sherry we enjoyed!
I loved Caldo! The food was so good and totally affordable. It's got a very romantic atmosphere and it's just seconds away from queen's park station. The goat cheese and honey fritters are my favourite. By far the best tapas bar in London!
We come here all the time. It's a great place to have just a lovely drink (try and nab the sofa!) and an even lovelier place to stop for a bite to eat. The tapas is delicious.. proper tortilla, amazing livers in sherry, beautiful sardines with cumin, proper patatas bravas, decent wine, relaxed service. The bill is always unexpectedly low. Love it x
What HAS taken us so long? We must have eaten, drunk and got very merry at this fine new joint in Queens Park twenty times. At least. Perhaps we’re complacent, taking it as read that this is the place we hang out at and have quickly grown to love. Best of all, it’s in glorious stumbling distance from where we live. Caldo is – as its full name suggests, a bar and a kitchen. You can do one or the other, or both. All too frequently, we set out to have a couple of drinks (and the drinks, by the way, are great – mojitos, French Martinis and gin pairings, which we haven’t yet seen anywhere else in London) and end up ordering everything off the menu, which focuses on fabulous Brit-Basque cooking and the joy of small plates, meaning you never feel like you’re missing out – or to put it another way, you don’t get food envy. Tonight Matthew, we had padrón peppers, mushroom croquettas, crispy calamari and vegetables in saffron batter with aioli, grilled scallops with a tomato and pastis sauce and herb crust and sautéed chicken livers with a sherry sauce. Our tipple that evening was a bottle of Crémant d’Alsace and since we were feeling particularly greedy, events were beautifully completed with crema Catalana and rum and raisin ice cream with sweet Pedro Ximénez sherry. Needless to say, the food is very good indeed. Rustic yet elegant tapas with flavours that most definitely hit the spot – and for which we shall keep coming back and back and back.
What a great find - joined colleagues for pre-party cocktails and ended up staying all evening. Enjoyed trying the different gin cocktails in particular. Great food too - Grilled scallops + tomato and pastis sauce, chicken livers, croquettas, calamari - all to die for. Lovely wines and wicked puddings. Worth a trip to Queens Park. We'll be back!
Went for party and meal. Tried a number of tapas . Very disappointing. The lack of basic bread or service was shocking. Don't go for a evening meal. Three adults and one teenager needed food at home after a meal last night. And we are small eaters. The wine and decor were fine. Shame.
Caldo is a fantastic new bistro in the Queens Park area. Caldo has a wide variety of tapas dishes, which are all very reasonably priced and taste great. From champagne cocktails to classic ales, Caldo has it all,with friendly and helpful staff and great transport links to Central London plus a 2 for 1 cocktail night on wednesday, Caldo is definetly worth a visit.
Went for the 2 for 1 cocktails and they were great! Still need to try the tapas but hear great things.