Last year’s first series of ‘Last Tango’ was both a surprise hit and proof that the BBC wasn’t entirely comprised of sneering ageists. The familial drama – centred around a pair of septuagenarian lovebirds – has reportedly even been snapped up by Diane Keaton with a view to an American remake.
We’ve got two pieces of advice for Diane, should she be reading. Firstly, don’t try and cast Woody Allen to play opposite you, cute though it may sound on paper. Secondly, if you reach a second series, don’t start it on quite such a sombre note as this new run begins on. Whereas the first series began with the joys of new-found love (and the lols of seeing oldies on Facebook), we reconvene tonight after Alan’s (Derek Jacobi) heart attack.
If that wasn't enough of a bummer, the delicate romantic entanglements of the pair’s respective offspring make for a slightly confusing 15 minutes. Yet, despite the absence of any initial sugar-coating, ‘Last Tango’ thankfully remains as charming and well played as ever.
Tapas Brindisa Rupert Street
Brindisa began as an importer of quality Spanish ingredients in the late 1980s, but its founders later segued into hospitality, launching the first of their small chain of tapas restaurants in Borough Market in 2004. This latest branch is the first to shift focus from tapas to cooked meats – roasts, grills, and slow-cooked braises – in a modern take on the Spanish asador. The large, low-lit dining room is handsomely designed, with colourful Moorish floor tiles, copper light fittings, and a central marble-topped bar-cum-kitchen. The visceral experience of a traditional asador has been somewhat sanitised: unlike at, say, Ember Yard, here your senses aren't arrested by the smell of meat. Also, unlike in Spain, no whole animals grace the menu, just specific cuts of suckling pig and milk-fed lamb. Dishes are hearty in style, but presentation is self-consciously rustic, with braises brought to the table in mini cauldrons. Chistorra ‘fritters’ made a memorable first impression, presented as beer-battered chorizo on sticks in a light-hearted Iberian take on American corn dogs. Grilled lamb chops – served with excellent chickpeas – were tender, though not juicy or well-seasoned enough to be finger-licking (many of the dishes needed an extra pinch of salt). Plump marinated sardines had moist, firm meat that worked well in a kale salad. Dessert was also good – goats-cheese cheesecake topped with the faintest of burnt-sugar crusts contrasted sweet and tart notes. The all-Spanish wine
Venue says: “We are officially back after a summer makeover! With a new menu inspired by the fire cooking asadors of Castile and León; come and say hola!”