This place never disappoints. The food is delicious, and from my experience, authentic. The service is friendly and respectful. My daughters see it as the only destination when we have something to celebrate and some friends who spend so much time in Padstow they're on first name terms with Mr Stein said it was the best tapas they'd ever had. What more do you want?
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Thu Oct 18 2012
A narrow corridor of a venue, with a conservatory out the back, the Orford Saloon conjures up a little piece of Spain in the middle of Walthamstow. Tiled floors and tables, juicy manzanilla olives, dishes served as soon as they’re ready – the only thing lacking from this Iberian dining experience was sunshine. It’s a popular local, and during our visit the place was bustling with couples, families, and a few folk having a drink at the little bar. The fact that there are two sittings is further indication that you’d be wise to book ahead.
The menu covers all the expected repertoire, including three versions of paella (for which there’s a 45-minute wait). Our choices were mostly excellent. Spicy, juicy langostinos pil pil; good judías verdes (green beans) with jamón; and moreish patatas bravas were all winners. However, the tortilla wasn’t moist enough and the calamares’ ‘special batter’ didn’t convince either.
Service is knowledgeable and solicitous; the staff cheerily offered us extra bread for mopping up the juices. The Spanish wine list – which includes some fine sherries – merits praise too.
Orford Saloon 32 Orford Road
- Venue phone:
020 8503 6542
- Opening hours:
Tapas served 6-10.30pm Tue-Fri; 10am-3pm, 6-10.30pm Sat; 10am-3pm, 6-9.30pm Sun
Tube: Walthamstow Central tube/rail
- 32 Orford Road
- 020 8503 6542
- 32 Orford Road
- Orford Saloon
Average User Rating
4.2 / 5
- 5 star:8
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:1
We too had a very upsetting experience at this restaurant and found the staff and manager most unwelcoming and almost aggressive. We booked a table for 6.30 and were told we would have to vacate by 8.45. I didn't see this as a problem. The waitress reminded me of same when we arrived. The meal went OK but felt the waiting staff seemed quite dour and seemed to rhyme off the specials without any care as to whether we'd remember them. We requested the dessert menu wherein the trouble began. Having ordered coffees and 1 x rice pudding we were then advised by waiting staff that the chef was 'too busy' to process our order and we would be getting coffees only. Another table were advised of same. My husband had to cajole the manager into allowing our daughter a scoop of ice-cream. I noticed at one stage a waitress looking at our table in exasperation waiting for us to clear it. The manager then proceeded to hoist us with the bill without us asking, when I confronted him about the issues, he suggested the customer was wrong in this instance and we were told at the outset we would have to leave the table by 7.45. I told him we were advised by staff it was 8.45 and he then demanded to know who it was I spoke to. After us paying the bill he then told me I was arguing with myself. Such contempt from as a paying customer, I have never experienced. Avoid this place like the plague!
I keep coming back to this restaurant time and time again as it is ,without doubt , my favourite restaurant in London. The owners are very friendly ,the staff attentive but the food is superb. I've tried nearly everything on the menu by now and never been disappointed. The chef is amazing for a local restaurant in the back streets of Walthamstow. The spicy patatas bravas are worth the trip alone.
After several good experiences at the Orford Saloon, I think it's safe to say my boyfriend and I have become regulars. We both share a love of Paella and found it difficult to venture away from this as the seafood version available is outstanding and a bit on the filling side. However we've since taken to sampling other dishes on the menu and were very pleased. The Pil Pil is a highlight. (along with an anchovy dish I can't remember the name of) All in all, A great atmosphere with some truly gorgeous grub!
Myself and my boyfriend had such a LOVELY time in this restaurant last night. Before going there I had read the reviews below and so I really had my concerns. But we actually did EXACTLY what Tom says not to do, in ignoring the comments about what had or had not gone on and go anyway and make our own minds up on the basis that we had been recommended this place for its quality of food. On arrival we were met with a warm welcome smile by what turned out to be one of the owners. We were then greeted by the other owner and exchanged friendly banter and we were told the specials. The girl that is for some reason being torn apart on this is very young and is firstly not polish, and secondly, is quite shy and not confident in her English but TRIES. At no point was she rude or unpleasant. However, I do personally train in hospitality for a living and I agree that the customer service is very important and she could do with some training to build on her confidence in recommending dishes on the menu. This was as the manager did later when we went for seconds. As I said this is something that I do for a living so I tend to be very critical, but I have to say we both found the atmosphere in this place so lovely. Very cosy family business feel to it and we really felt like we were on holiday in Spain! Only one little problem with the food was the sauted potatoes were very greasy for us. All in all, this restaurant really deserves a visit. Maybe there were previous problems with service but I can safely say they were non-existent last night. Owners are lovely people, really made the effort to make us feel welcome. Oh, and if you go on a Sunday- there's a great pub a few doors down for a spot of Karaoke after. Family owned again with a lovely pub cat and dog, Great night!
Tom's experience doesn't surprise me at all. I share his and Anna's view that the standard of service really has dropped at The Orford Saloon Tapas bar. And the current Polish waitress in question is one of the reasons why my partner and I are reluctant to return. It is just not pleasant to sit in a restaurant and be treated with indifference by a person who rarely smiles or makes eye contact, and fires off the daily specials' menu in unintelligible tones. Her English is poor, her attitude is worse and I'm afraid it was only inevitable that she would eventually become the centre of an altercation. The previous Romanian waitress was much more professional. Who knows, maybe the owners will eventually find the humility to listen to their long-term customers and understand that there is no such thing as a negative review, there are only reviews of negative aspects. In the meantime, my partner and I are spending our money elsewhere, which is a shame because the standard of food at the Orford Saloon was always nothing short of excellent. But as Tom quite rightly says, good food is only half of the dining experience.
As the owner of this Tapas Bar I would just like to comment on the last review. The person who wrote this review had only just arrived at the restaurant when we had finally got these people to leave, this incident had been going on for some time and was very distressing to our staff and genuine customers. It was actually three people, one female and two males who arrived at around 8pm on Sunday they were quite drunk and a little aggressive verbally while being seated and explained the days specials. The waitress served their drinks and returned to take their order for food. To my horror I heard the female call the waitress a f.....g polish b...h. I went and told them they were leaving and one of the men who was a little better behaved paid for the drinks but the other two who were worse for wear were not happy for him to do this exploded and tried to grab the card and hit me. The female and the other male were very foul mouthed and abusive. We had to phone the police and when I told them they were on the way the three of them left but as they did so the female pushed the waitress into a table that she was now serving, she flung her arm out in surprise and touched the female but did not hit her, thankfully she did not have hot food in her hands when pushed. They threatened to return and cause harm to my family and property, we went outside to hand their property to the police i.e. a Waitrose bag containing a wrapped gift and a sweatshirt. That is what really happened, they were not some innocent young couple but 3 drunk abusive people. These drunk people racially, physically and verbally abused myself and my staff, this will never ever be tolerated. Tom W should not comment and guess what happened before he arrived, as stated before they were not some lovely young couple but three drunk louts who were old enough to know better.
I love this place - especially the owner who seems so passionate about the place. It is always full so you always have to book. A local gem.
We have been regulars here for years and have NEVER NEVER been disappointed. My partner is a very particular and difficult person as well as a fussey eater and we LOVE this place. Food is outstanding, portions are good sizes and the price is SPOT ON! They are ALWAYS fully booked (except the bar), so book ahead. They make ALOT of effort to be 100% authentic spanish and the chef is a lovely Spanish man with broken english - and he KNOWS his stuff!! EVERYTHING is freshly made. Cannot recommend this place enough. ALL our friends and family have joined us for dinner here for years and ALL of them have returned afaterwards also.
I've had lots of tapas in London and this is the best. Have never known service to be slow or /anything/ to be bland or bog standard. The little lamb shish-kebab things (not called that in Spanish, obviously), the creamy spinach and pine nuts and the lentils with or without chorizo are all absolutely gorgeous. Very much better selection for vegetarians than other tapas bars I and my vegetarian partner have been to. Puzzled by the Time Out reviewers bland reaction!
Never been disappointed with the food or the friendly staff. Never found they were overly slow, even when very busy, of course this not food that would be rushed. Also very good at explaining the menu and providing guidance on the appropriate number of dishes and mixture. Think also very reasonably priced for the meals I've had there
Had a very tasty meal here at the weekend. Great food but the experience was marred by very slow staff, we had to ask them to come over to us several times and they forgot to bring the drinks we had asked for. There are two sittings, we were in the 9.15pm sitting but at 10pm, before any food had arrived at our table, we were told that the kitchen was closing shortly. As this is tapas you would expect to be able to order more dishes if needed but sadly we were restricted to what we had ordered at the start and we would have definately ordered some more if it had been possible. Would recommend trying to go to the earlier sitting as the service may be better when the manager is still around.