I think I might have just stumbled upon the BEST sangria in London. (Until I’m proven otherwise, that will be my official statement. But you’re very welcome to prove me wrong any time, I have plenty of time that just opened up for sangria tasting!)
A friend of mine had been visiting and was more than a little bit into Spanish food as she was just back from a work-trip to sunny Spain. So, where to head but to Brindisa, one of London’s top players in terms of Spanish food?
We started off with a pitcher of what I’ve since refered to as London’s best sangria. It was really fruity, and unlike many other version, light enough to drink it like if it was juice. And obviously something we needed to browse the menu and pick what we wanted to eat! It took us a while as there were so many we had our eyes on… But the beauty of tapas is that you don’t really have to choose and can just order the whole lot, so it’s kind of what we went for…
Getting the ball rolling with the obligatory Padron peppers. Brindisa’s were perfectly cooked and sprinkled with just enough Maldon salt flakes to balance out the sweetness of the peppers. But then I’m not sure I’m the best one to judge padron peppers, as I love those little things and will judge you if you don’t order them every opportunity you have. Don’t take any chance, just order them! 😉
We also got a plate of charcuterie (which I don’t have any picture of as I was far too busy fighting for the last slice of chorizo… very un-British of me, I know!), along with some patatas bravas. The charcuterie was absolutely top-notch, with decadent amounts of fat running through it and excellent value at £12 for a massive plate (it was enough for 5 people to feast on without any of us fighting too much for the last bits!).
We added in some veggies with sauteed broccoli (meh) and this little wonder: Spinach, raisins & pine nuts. I wouldn’t have bet on raisins with spinach, but I was quite wrong there and will be trying to make some version of this dish very soon (I’m thinking cranberries…)!
Then came some sliiiiiiightly naughtier vegetables in the form of Berenjenas Fritas (that is fried aubergine with chesnut honey and pine nuts, for those of you who speak Spanish as well as I do!). And yet, they ARE as lush and delicious as they look, thanks to very thin batter and all that glistening honey!
After a lot of negociation, I managed to convince my friends that ordering the Galician-style octopus was a good move. I might have been a bit over-enthusiastic though, as it was a nice dish, but not as life-changing as I would have expected it to be. However, the salsa verde was a nice addition and helped lifting up the dish and making it fresher than it usually is. And that smoked paprika? Oh my. I need to get my hands on a box of that magic spice when I next go to the Borough Market! (Brindisa has a store there, where you can buy any- and everything you need to cook up a Spanish feast at home!).
Last but not least, we got some Croquetas del Dia (gooey little balls of happiness, as far as I’m concerned, which I have no picture of for obvious reasons. aka I was putting my mouth on fire to eat my fair share when it was still hot!) and Grilled chorizo on toast, which was every bit as good as the one they serve in rolls at their Borough market stall, and gone far too quickly!
Add to all of this delicousness the fact that the staff was lovely (and a few more jugs of that excellent sangria), and I’ll leave smilling from ear to ear (and very full). Which is pretty much what happened at Brindisa.
Tramontana Brindisa – 152 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3AT