Opera Tavern

Opera Tavern is a tapas bar and restaurant located in Covent Garden. It is spread over two floors and is suitable place for tapas with a small group of friends.

We sat upstairs on a table for four people where most of the main seatIngs. The restaurant was buzzing with people having dinner. While waiting for a friend we ordered a portion of the Grilled flat bread served with Olive Oil (£4.50). The flat bread was nice but I was not sure about the price tag for bread.

Opera Tavern

Classic Tortilla (£5)

Opera Tavern

Confit of Old Spot Pork Belly with Rosemary Scented Cannellini Beans (£9)

Opera Tavern

Charcoal grilled lamb gigot with roasted pumpkin, watercress, goat curd and chill (£8.50)

Opera Tavern

Chargrilled Octopus with Chickpea Fritter, Red Pepper and Mojo Verde (£9)

Opera Tavern

Brasied oxtail with bone marrow, truffle mash and parmensan crumb (£8.50)

Opera Tavern

Overall I thought each tapas was nicely cooked and presented. My favourite tapas of the evening had to be the braised oxtail which made a good comfort food.

Tapas is not really a cuisine that is cheap to eat in London, especially if you are really hungry and need to go through many plates of tapas to fill full. The price of the tapas in Opera Tavern is average and comparable to other London tapas bar and restaurant.

(Not sponsored. Menu and prices correct at the time of dining)

Opera Tavern
23 Catherine Street,
London,
WC2B 5JS

http://www.operatavern.co.uk

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Camino (Bankside)

Camino is a tapas restaurant which has many branches around London and one of them is located in Bankside. It is fairly close to Tate Modern which could be a possible place to consider after spending some time with modern art.

Camino (Bankside)

We ordered a selection of tapas to share amongst the table.

Tortilla de Patata (Spanish potato omelette)

Camino (Bankside)

Croquetas de Jamon (Serrano ham croquettes)

Camino (Bankside)

Camino has a selection of Iberico ham to order

Camino (Bankside)

Crispy baby squid

Camino (Bankside)

Rodaballo (pan-roasted fish wrapped in serrano ham)

Camino (Bankside)

The Arroz Negro (Black rice, cuttlefish, squid ink, alioli) for £5 was on a small size. I could have this little pot all by myself.

Camino (Bankside)

Pulpo Con Cachelos (sliced octopus served with potatoes, paprika and extra virgin olive oil)

Camino (Bankside)

Gambas Al Ajillo (Sauteed Prawns with garlic, chilli and white sauce)

Camino (Bankside)

Mini Iberico Burger served with patatas bravas.

Camino (Bankside)

Camino secreto iberica

Camino (Bankside)

There are larger plates for sharing and we tried the mixed grill that contained chicken skewers, rib-eye steak, presa Iberica and chorizo, morcilla, padron peppers and huevos rotos.

Camino (Bankside)

Overall, I thought the tapas at Camino was okay but it does not compare with Barrafina. However the advantage of Camino is that it will cater for a large group, as it offer more than just bar seating.

Although, I find tapas is not a cheap cuisines to eat, Camino is less expensive than Barrafina. But if you have a big appetite I would not consider eating tapas unless you want to make a big hole in your money bag!

(Not sponsored. Menu and prices correct at the time of dining)

Camino (Bankside)
5 Canvey Street,
London,
SE1 9AN

http://www.camino.uk.com

Iberica Food and Culture Spanish Restaurant (Marylebone)

I remember coming across Iberica restaurant when searching up for paella. There are not many London restaurant that does a good traditional Spanish paella. If you know of any then please do let me know. Unfortunately, as my visit to Iberica restaurant was last minute we did not get to try their paellas.

Iberica’s paellas are only served on Sunday lunch time, and only available Monday to Friday with 12 hours notice. Otherwise, I would have love to try the paellas.

We started our meal with Trio of Ibericos (£22), which was enjoying a taster of three Iberico hams: BEHER Etiqueta Oro from Guijuelo, Gran 10 Vetas from Jabugo and COVAP Alta Expresion form Los Pedroches. For thinly sliced ham I find it all so expensive but that might be that I need some education on why ham can be so expensive.

We follow it by a selection of tapas which included:

  • Traditional Spanish omelette (£5), which was nice but I prefer the one served at Fino (https://chechemui.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/fino/) due to the texture.
  • The octopus a la gallega with potatoes and pimenton (£9) was one of my favourite on the table. This was sliced octopus sitting on a base of sliced potatoes.
  • Fried chorizo lollypops with pear alioli sauce (£5). I love the presentation of this dish and as it said was like lollypops. It is a nice alternative to serving chorizo on its own.
  • Tosta de asparagus (£4) I did not find any thing special, but it was nice vegetable dish to go with the rest of our tapas.
  • Iberica burger (£7) consisted two mini burgers in a portion.

As we were unable to try the paellas, we instead tried the slow stewed Fen chicken with rice (£20) from the perfect to share section of the menu.

Overall, the food was not bad but I could not find any thing special at Iberica with their tapas. However, I would still like to return to try their paellas.

Iberica Food and Culture Spanish Restaurant (Marylebone)
95 Great Portland St,
W1W 5PS,
UK

http://www.ibericalondon.co.uk/

Fino

After ticking off Pearl restaurant on my list of places to visit, I can now tick off another one. This time it is a well-known Spanish tapas restaurant, Fino. They are best known for their suckling pig and is well-remembered to me when I first had it at London Taste of Festival a few years ago.

We pre-ordered a whole roast suckling pig to share among the table, which cost £145. It was the highlight of the evening and it was under the spot lights with all our cameras. The roast was cooked as beautifully as it did at the London Taste of Festival with the crispy skin.

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The taste of the suckling pig reminded me of a Christmas turkey with flavours of rosemary. But I felt it needed more taste which the sauce that came with the roast pig did not help. I actually had mine with the Brava sauce that came with the chips.

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Along with the roast suckling pig we also ordered some tapas from the menu to share on the table.

Wind dried beef.

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Octopus with capers.

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Razor Clams – It has been a very long while when I last had razor clams and was excited to see them on the menu. We ordered 4 portions as one portion only had two, so it would not had been enough to go around the table.

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Tuna Tartar – This to me tasted so oriental and I felt it was out-of-place for a Spanish tapas.

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Cuttlefish

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Arroz Negro – This is an ink squid rice which came served in a cute little brass pot.

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Tortilla – We ordered two different tortilla to try on the evening. One was the classic which when you cut open had a running yolk inside. The other one was the chorizo tortilla, which had the additional of choriza. Both are nice with the choriza tortilla having more flavours, which was brought by the choriza itself.

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Marinated chicken wings with lemon, chillies and garlic.

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Donuts served with vanilla ice cream – We ordered two portions and each portion came served with three donuts. They were not mini donuts but almost the same side as an average donuts. We could have ordered one portions to share between a few of us as it was too filling for one/two people to go through it all.

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Santiago Tart – This is an almond tart which was nice. But it was actually fairly sweet and probably needed some ice cream to go with it to balance it out.

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Poached Pear in red wine – I think this had to be the best dessert of the evening. If I was ever to visit Fino again then this would be the dessert of my choice.

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It was a great and fun evening, but it did come at a cost. We spent about £45 per person include drinks and service charge. But I expected it, with the roast suckling pig contributing to most of the cost.

One thing to note is the restaurant policy because if you book for more than eight people, then you are required to pre-order in advanced to secure the table. We were advised if you pre-order a whole suckling pig then that would be enough to secure the table. However, if you go for the smaller portion or just want to have tapas then you have to order everything in advance. Personally, I think it is annoying as you do not know what you want to eat until on the night. My advise is check with the restaurant beforehand.

Fino Restaurant
33 Charlotte Street,
W1T 1RR,
London
(Entrance on Rathbone Street)