Sunday, 3 February 2013

Cambio de Tercio

Exceptional Spanish cuisine on a whole new level 

I don't have much experience when it comes into Spanish food in London, with Brindisa London Bridge, Brindisa Soho and Opera Tavern as of writing. Brindisa were great, excellent lamb dishes and lovely cheese. Not a fan of Opera Tavern, way too over price for what you are getting, and I failed to notice any special dishes. I heard good things about Cambio de Tercio so decided to check out the place as I been eating a bit too much of French food lately and it is time to have a little change!

They had a new tasting menu and while I was checking it out online it seems like they are going toward to the El Bulli style of Spanish cooking and at £39 seem like a no brainer to give it a try! Before the tasting menu, we ordered a traditional tapa of Iberico Pata Negra Ham "5 JOTAS SANCHEZ ROMERO CARVAJAL" toasted bread & tomato. This is one amazing plate of ham, the fat of the ham were spread evenly and loved the hint of sweetness and salt releasing through the meat.

Iberico Pata Negra Ham

First dish on arrive from the tasting menu was the Beetroot baked in clay, foam, yoghurt.  A really fun way of presenting a beetroot dish, light in taste and a hint of sour slowly appear as you reaching toward the bottom, a great dish to start off the menu. Loved the bread and olive oil, the oil were so rich and smooth, top quality stuff.
 Beetroot baked in clay, foam, yoghurt

Next come Mussels in paprika escabeche, presented in a little tin just like a traditional tin of cured fish. A very simple dish yet tasted so great, the paprika seasoning were perfect and the mussels were tender and not chewy at all, matched really well with the paprika without the paprika over power the mussels, well balanced.
Mussels in paprika escabeche

Third on arrive the Tuna caviar, with tuna caviar and tune tartare inside a caviar tin serve on ice, another very tasty dish, always been a big fan of raw tuna. Enjoyed the light sweetness and oily taste of the meat, this is my first time to try tuna caviar and not sure what to make out of it, however it worked really well with the tartare, it created a rich and elegance taste, an interesting combo.
Tuna caviar

Next: Raw oyster, grapefruit air, shallots vinaigrette. This is a brilliant executed dish, replacing lemon with grapefruit as the citrus source was a nice and refreshing touch, the shallots vinaigrette added a smooth texture to the sweet taste of fresh oyster. This is one of the best oyster I had in London along side One O One seafood restaurant at Knightsbridge. 
Raw oyster, grapefruit air, shallots vinaigrette

The next dish is the most playful dish of the day: Salty cod and olive oil brandada. A classic brandada dish presented in a completely different format, with the warm emulsion were put inside a tube, which diners can squeeze out and spread onto the crispy bread, this really added a fun factor and the brandada tasted great with the potato really lifting the cod flavours with its creamy texture.
Salty cod and olive oil brandada

On to course no 6: Hake "Basque style" in salsa verde with mussels and razor clams. A more traditional dish this time around but it was cooked brilliantly, the salsa verde were packed with Mediterranean flavours of all kind with the herbs were blended together beautifully. Nicely cooked Hake and shellfishes just at the right level swimming in a sea of Mediterranean goodness, absolutely delicious. 
 Hake "Basque style" in salsa verde with mussels and razor clams

Next come the meat course: Veal cheek burger, pan fried foie gras, artichokes, caramelized tomatoes. Never expected to see veal in a burger but it tasted great, soft and moist. The texture was very different to a normal beef burger. The artichokes and chips added a mellow and crunchy texture, which really matched the burger, special mention to the caramelized tomato, it was done at the highest level and never tasted tomato this great in the past!
 Veal cheek burger, pan fried foie gras, artichokes, caramelized tomatoes

The first desert (or breakfast?!) The fake poached eggs, fries and ketchup. Yet another very playful dish of which mandarin acted as the egg yolk, mango as the fires and strawberry as the ketchup, a very fun way to present the dish and everything tasted light and refreshing.
As usual I was close to my limit and thank goodness the final dish was only a carrot: Dirty carrots sitting on a clay pot with soil made of chocolate. Really enjoyed all the playful idea of the whole menu, going avant garde without risking the quality of cooking which is a very hard thing to master but Cambio de Tercio really pulled it off.
Fake poached eggs, fries and ketchup
Dirty carrots

Service was great, very knowledgeable. I like the fact that all the staff were Spanish, and with the d├ęcor  really gave the place an authentic feel as if you were in a local Spanish restaurant in Spain. Not only Cambio de Tercio created great food, but the extra fun and creative factor really added a lot in the dining experience. I wonder why this place hasn't been awarded with a Michelin star yet, in term of cooking and the concept behind it is just as good if not better to most of other 1 star venue. Highly recommend it for people who are seeking something unusual and top Spanish food in London, well worth the money you are paying for. The Iberico ham impressed me so much, that after leaving I went straight down to Borough Market to get myself more for my pack lunch!

Food 7.5
Service 6
Ambience 5
Value 8

£63 per head

163 Old Brompton Rd, London, 
Greater London SW5 0LJ

Cambio de Tercio on Urbanspoon

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