Little did I know it was Jose’s fare that I was about to tuck into before I entered his petit tapas bar on oh so trendy Bermondsey Street. Until I tasted by far the best croquetas on the planet. Until I researched on my phone to find out who had put together this fine, diminutive but fully formed tapas menu together. I felt stupid. I should have known. I loved Brindisa. I love Saturday Kitchen. But I love his food more.
I started with a round of croquets and quickly ordered another round. They are not made with potato or cheese but a handmade mouthwatering béchamel and jamon I have never tasted a something so unbelievably crispy on the outside yet ridiculously soft and creamy in the centre. I was utterly hooked. I ordered prawns in garlic and chili, suggested by the affable waiter, the scrumptious patatas bravas, chorizo and Ibérico Manuel Maldonado, a Spanish speciality. I could have grazed there all day if I wasn’t a little squiffy from the night before. The wine was served at the perfect temperature and again upon suggestion, (2011 Joven de Silos, Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero) was the perfect accompaniment to a perfect lunch.
Formerly the co-founder and head chef of Brindisa it is clear Jose has high standards. You will find his tapas bar on the corner of Bermondsey Street and Leathermarket Street. Authentic, always busy, friendly and smells delicious the minute you enter. You can also sample his restaurant, Pizarro, further down on the same side, Pizarro. This will be our next stop.