Friday, 25 October 2013


Classic Spanish tapas in London

Jose at Bermondsey, by Jose Pizarro, is a little tapas and sherry bar serving traditional authentic Spanish tapas. I have eaten at its sister restaurant, Pizarro, and was impressed by it. I was keen to try out Jose as it is regarded as one of the best tapas bars you can find in London. Having eaten at a good number of tapas places while I was on holiday in Barcelona, I wondered if Jose could be as good and true to its roots.

To start, we had a tapas classic, "pan con tomate" (tomato on toast) and this was better than the one I had at a respected local tapas bar when I was in Barcelona! The dashes of olive oil perfectly linked up with the juicy tomato and toast. The "Patas Mojo" (new potatoes with chilli and coriander paste) was light and savoury, and proved to be a good alternative to chips. The spinach croquetas was perfectly fried with nice herbal notes that went wonderfully well with the cheese. Another classic, the "Tortilla" (an egg and potato omelette) was also top notch and rivalled any decent tapas bar in Barcelona.
pan con tomate
patas mojo
croquetas & tortilla

The deep fried white bait with lemon juice was crispy, bitter and salty, an ideal savoury dish. The chicken liver on toast was expertly made. It was moist and tender, with no bitter after taste which is all too rare these days. The pan fried sea bream with peppers was simple but showcased how good quality ingredients mixed with some seasoning can produce outstanding results. The lentils with chorizo dish was stunning. It had really rich, robust flavours and some of the nicest lentils I've ever tasted. It got even better with the show stopper, pluma Iberica, (very rare Iberican pluma with dashes of pepper seasoning on the edge), The meat was rich, earthy and I couldn't fault it at all.
white bait
sea bream
 lentils with chorizo
pluma Iberica
To sum it up, the food at Jose was absolutely wonderful and some of the most authentic Spanish food I've encountered in London. The food was also well priced with no service charge, so it is up to you how much you want to tip, which is a big plus. The only issue, like most other non booking restaurants, was the wait to get in as it is a tiny little bar. It's best to arrive early in order to secure a seat in front of the open kitchen to witness the lovely live cooking and traditional Spanish ambience.

Food 6
Service 5
Ambience 7
Value 7

£31 per head with 1 glass of wine

104 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3UB

José on Urbanspoon

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