Tapas Brindisa Shoreditch
The original Brindisa, on the outskirts of Borough Market, might remain a bustling (aka chaotically over-popular) beacon for small-plate scoffing, but the tapas micro-chain’s refurbed Shoreditch outpost is a nicer place to be. It’s a lofty space, cod-industrial but warmly tiled, with a busy bar-kitchen, crammed wine racks and hams hung aloft. A rear dining room is clattery and tightly packed but atmospheric. And the food? Reliable. Brindisa, once groundbreaking, isn’t really competing with Spanish titans like Barrafina and José these days. But the things it does well, it does very well indeed. This is most evident in the menu’s simpler fare. Ham and cheese croquettes – a litmus test for any self-respecting tapas joint – were perfect little béchamel bombs. Chorizo de Léon was essentially an open version of the Brindisa market stall’s chorizo sandwich, a simple layering of good ingredients – just oily, piquant sausage, piquillo peppers, rocket and chewy bread. A larger dish of baked eggs, sobrasada and potatoes, mushed up table-side, was equally warming. Less successful were the winking riffs on increasingly tired food trends: a slider-size burger of sausage, morcilla and mushroom mayonnaise was a one-note whack of salt and little else. Cutting-edge it ain’t, but stick to the classics – from boquerones to padron peppers – and you won’t go far wrong.
Venue says: “Summer Terraza Sessions – spritz, perfect serve, paella demo gin tasting and live music – June 9 and 23, plus July 7 and 21, £45 pp.”
A mouth-watering meal with bottomless cocktails in Soho
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