This convivial tapas bar in Peckham Rye is not just a natural sideline to the Spanish-food import business run by its owners but a labour of love. Its look mixes the style defaults of a smart Spanish tapas bar with a modern London restaurant – so cast-iron stools, reclaimed barrels serving as tables and faded photos of old Seville are set against a background of bare brickwork and exposed bulbs. And very handsome it is, too.
Happily, the food lives up to its surroundings. Dishes mostly tread tried-and-tested tapas territory, with only the odd flight of fancy thrown in. Though familiar, almost everything we tasted was a high-quality example of its type.
Soft rounds of bread came topped with soft, smoky chorizo and a crisp-edged quail’s egg, a savoury combination beautifully counterbalanced with a smear of sweet slow-cooked onions. Properly cooked tortilla arrived at our table as a runny-centred wedge cut from a freshly fried omelette. Best of all were crunchy-coated morsels of fried chicken served with mojo picón, the spicy red-pepper dip from the Canary Islands usually served with papas arrugadas (new potatoes boiled in heavily salted water until wrinkly). Slightly bland jamón croquetas were the only disappointment.
The all-Spanish wine list is of solid quality and pleasingly diverse, with plenty by the glass. Peckhamites can add another solid local restaurant to their ever-lengthening hit-list.