Tapas Brindisa Shoreditch: Artisan gems at revamped diner
PUBLISHED: 12:59 06 December 2016 | UPDATED: 13:09 06 December 2016
The Gazette samples the tapas at Brindisa Shoreditch, where Spain's artisan producers are celebrated.
Before its revamp, tapas restaurant Tramontana was darker, felt smaller and had more of a Spanish feel, according to one of its waiters.
Now the place off Old Street is lighter which makes the space feel immense, and there’s more of a “Shoreditch” vibe thanks to touches like the obligatory exposed concrete walls.
A garland of hundreds of dried red chilli peppers are hung next to a large communal table which lends a café feel, and diners can enjoy the spectacle of chefs in the open kitchen at a long, sweeping curved bar.
With the new look comes a new name - Tapas Brindisa Shoreditch – stemming from the Spanish word “Brindis”, meaning to raise your glass to toast.
It’s a nod to the Spanish producers and growers whose food is served up here, and it’s in part down to them that it tastes so gloriously delectable.
The quality of their products shines through - right down to the simple dish of olives we started with – the biggest, juiciest, most wonderful ever pass my lips, scented by orange segments that the producers from Cadiz stuff them with.
Brindisa specialises in Mediterranean, Eastern and Southern Spanish cuisine with tapas, picoteos and platters of charcuterie, cheese, cured fish and of course a seafood paella with prawn, cuttlefish and mussels.
You can taste the acorns that the Iberico black pigs grazed on, and we’re told it takes seven years to get the product on the table – three-and-a-half growing them and the same to cure.
My son who usually shies away from peppers wolfed down the salty specimens. The manchego has a deeper taste than anything you can buy in a supermarket and the croquetas de jamon are crunchy and creamy with a gloriously soft flavour.
It’s worth going back for the omelette alone, which looks like a cake and is served with aioli sauce. The black sausage is deliciously rich and the artisan goats’ cheese served with orange blossom honey and dried beetroot was wonderful - again from an artisan supplier with rigorous standards, who throws away batches they aren’t happy with we were told.
Showcasing quality produce and the gastronomic culture of Mediterranean Spain, Brindisa sticks in my mind and I’ll make a point to return.