José Tapas Bar, Bermondsey
Location: 104 Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, London SE1 3UB
It was a cold November night when we were strolling through Bermondsey looking for somewhere to have dinner, we had not even heard of José Tapas Bar, we just wandered in as we were starving and we were not disappointed. It is a small tapas bar on Bermondsey street and seems quite authentic when compared to the tapas bars of Spain, and unlike a lot of tapas places in London which are more like restaurants that sell Tapas, this place is actually a bar. It was founded by José Pizzaro, who co-founded the Tapas Brindisa chain (I'm not a huge fan of Tapas Brindisa but he has hit the nail on the head with his latest venture).
The restaurant serves tapas, as you would expect, and the quality of the small plates on offer makes for a delicious and mouth watering meal. We started with the Iberico ham, which was bursting with flavour, definitely a quality cut of meat. Next we went for the Tuna Tartare which came on a bed of Guacamole. The Tuna so was so tender it felt like it melted in the mouth. The wild mushroom rice was rich and had bags of flavour, somewhere between a risotto and a Paella. The lamb chops were served with potatoes and a Romesco sauce, again the meat was excellent quality and very tender. It was my first time having a Romesco sauce, it is a tomato based sauce which originated in Catalonia and is usually served with fish. They serve the standard crowd pleasers too; fried Padron Peppers and Patatas Bravas, a must have for any tapas bar in my opinion. We finished with the fried goats cheese with honey, which was a lovely sweet way to finish the meal, almost like a dessert. They also have an extensive wine list full of tasty vintages and they also have beer if you don't fancy the wine. To sum up the food, everything is of a fantastic quality and extremely tasty.
I'm not sure how busy they are most of the time, but it was absolutely rammed when we were in. There are people sitting and there are also people standing around barrels getting merry and enjoying the quality food. The atmosphere is electric and it really feels like an authentic Spanish Tapas Bar. Pricewise it is pretty reasonable, it came in at about £50 a head which included food, a bottle of wine and a tip; very good value for the quality of food on offer. We will be returning again soon!