Wednesday, 13 August 2014


I don't know about you but, when it comes to food, I want to try everything. I'm lucky enough to work in an environment where weird and wonderful foods are often at my fingertips which suits me perfectly...the weirder, the better! Tapas is a perfect all-rounder. The small plates make it ideal to share numerous dishes between a group or, if you'd prefer to stick with what you know and like, ordering a couple for yourself works well too. In my experience, tapas style restaurants often come at a cost. Too much food is usually ordered to begin with when everyone has eyes bigger than their stomach, and a whopping bill is delivered at the end. I am pleased to announce that I have learnt from my mistakes! 

After a recent visit to 
Boqueria, I was incredibly impressed by the quality and the overall cost (or lack of it) at the end of the evening. Situated within easy walking distance of three tube stations (Brixton, Clapham Common and Clapham North), Boqueria is not to be missed. The impressive wine menu is a visual as soon as you walk through the door, with a simple bar area available if you need to wait for a table or if you fancy a drink before your booking. The staff here are ridiculously friendly in a non-annoying, non-suffocating way which, compared to some places, is refreshing. The menus were laid out conveniently acting as a place mat so we could begin feasting our eyes as soon as we sat down. Take a look; the choice is amazing.

 After ordering ourselves a bottle of prosecco and olives to nibble (la-di-dah indeed!) we moved on to the good stuff. As I said, learning from previous lack of judgement, we paced ourselves by ordering a couple of dishes at a time(kind of). 

First up, Pimientos de Padrón (salted peppers to you and me). These are the epitome of simple, yet effective. The salt acted as a flavour enhancer as opposed to being over-powering and the charred effect added a smoky flavour to what, on paper, sounds quite bland. These are a perfect appetiser and suitable for most people due to being vegan and gluten free.

Next came the Chorizo a la sidra (chorizo with cider). I'm not a massive meat eater but, as I said, I will try anything and these were well worth it. I've always been put off by chorizo as I tend to find it very fatty and chewy but these were the total opposite. The meat was so tender and the sauce, although not screaming out cider, was incredible and added a nice level of heat. Also gluten free. Winner. 

Patatas Bravas. Probably one of the most well-known dishes served up in any half decent tapas restaurant. I have to admit, the appearance of this surprised me as I've usually had them served up in more of a chopped tomato base with garlic and spices, but these were nice nonetheless. I could give or take them to be honest! 

Now this is more up my street. Carpaccio de atún con ajo blanco y soja (tuna carpaccio with garlic, almond, soy sauce and tomato). If it's from the sea, I'll eat it. Although this was full of flavour, it was more from the marinade than the tuna itself. It was almost as if the carpaccio was TOO thin (if that's possible) so, on it's own, the flavour didn't stand out. However, it was delicate and light which was a nice change to the stodge of the potatoes and chorizo.

Queso de cabra con cebolla caramelizada (goats cheese with caramalized onion and red fruits). I'm not gonna lie...I've just had to text my partner in crime to remind me of what this was. As you can tell, by this point, so many different plates had been put in front of us, they all began to blur! This however, pretty much does what it says on the tin. Nice, but forgettable (clearly).

The penultimate dish. Cochinillo asado (suckling pig with parsnip, sweet potato crisps, apple sauce & lemon sorbet). Sounds weird, tastes incredible. The suckling pig was so moist (everyones favourite word) and went surprisingly well with the lemon sorbet. Anyone who knows me well knows I hate mixing sweet stuff/fruit in savoury food. I'll make an exception for this! Definitely one of the stronger features on the menu.

As you can imagine, we were pretty stuffed by this point. But for the benefit of this review, we shared a desert to round it all off nicely (aren't I generous). As with the starter, this was simple yet effective. Helado de vainilla con pasas y Pedro Ximénez (vanilla ice cream with raisins and Pedro Ximénez sherry). This was relatively light but the sherry added a touch of something special to something otherwise quite bland. The best dessert on the menu in my opinion

Before we slowly waddled off clutching our stomachs, there was a bill to be paid. All the above, plus the prosecco, came to a reasonable £62.00. Take it from me, having been to large chain tapas restaurants where the quality leaves a lot to be desired, this is impressive! I will definitely be back here again. In fact, I may make it my mission to work my way through the menu if anyone cares to join?


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