Omar Allibhoy (pictured below), the Ferran Adrià -trained chef behind Tapas Revolution, has opened his third site in Shoreditch, close to Brick Lane. Like the Westfield White City and Bluewater shopping-centre sites, this new-build’s copper-topped bar, open kitchen and marble tables wouldn’t be out of place in Allibhoy’s native Madrid.
The menu is divided into nibbles, eggs, ham and cheese – the Merino sheep’s milk cheese is wonderful –, vegetables, fish – go for the red mullet a la plancha with mussels, barley and saffron sauce – and meats, which include the delicious Iberian pork cheeks braised with chestnuts and chocolate sauce. Croquetas, always the benchmark of a good tapas, are perfect, containing either classic jamón or truffle and boletus mushrooms.
There are larger meals served with bread and alioli for £10 from 12-4pm from Monday to Thursday, such as Tuesday’s suquet de pescado – Catalonian fish and potato stew with saffron and hazelnuts. The Spanish style G&Ts are another authentic touch, served in large, stemmed glasses, such as Gin Mare and Fevertree Mediterranean tonic, as are the artisanal Spanish beers, such as La Socarrada, an amber ale made with rosemary and rosemary honey.
Bullseye: Pulpo a la gallega – steamed octopus with new potatoes and smoked pimenton is exactly as it would be in Spain, and perfectly cooked.
Misfire: The overgenerous dusting of pimenton on the patatas bravas didn’t at all compensate for the potatoes being undercooked, and by no means crisp.