Camino Bankside tapas is ‘top notch quality at a reasonable price’
- Credit: Camino Bankside
Tapas is the “in thing” nowadays it seems, with restaurants of any ethnicity jumping on the bandwagon with sharing plates galore. But Camino is an old school tapas diner – the real Spanish McCoy.
You get all the old favourites like the crispy skinned patatas bravas (£4.50). The spiciness of the brava sauce is tempered with the alioli.
The signature dish arroz negro (£5.75) is subtle and delicate, and you might not even guess it’s sea food as it’s not at all salty or over fishy, with cuttle fish, squid ink and alioli. It’s clear the rice is good quality my friend points out.
The La Rozay cured goats cheese (£5) comes with an unusual fig and almond nougat accompaniment.
The Jamon Iberico 5 Jotas Black label is a bit more pricey than other cured meats on the menu at £15.75 but it’s worth splashing out. The nutty flavour of the acorns the free-range black pigs graze on shines through.
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Head Chef Nacho de Campo changes the menu regularly, and two salads added for spring include spinach with pine nuts, golden raisins soaked in manzanilla sherry and a honey dressing (£4.25), and exquisite heritage tomatoes with red onion, oregano and extra virgin olive oil (£6.25). Churros (£4.75) with a dark artisan chocolate sauce finish our meal off nicely.
The original Camino was opened in Kings Cross in 2007 by Richard Bigg who decided to quit his City trading job after a road trip across Spain. He added Blackfriars to the brand with Bankside the latest addition. Not far from the Tate modern it’s contemporary, with floor to ceiling windows, and walls decorated with colourful Spanish tiles giving it an authentic feel.
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Lucky Richard and his team travel regularly through Spain to taste and source some of the best wines in the country, and we were impressed with the Tierra Fuerte Graciano (£29 a bottle), with a deep blackcurrant aroma.
I’ve sampled quite a few of them in East London lately, and while many have delivered with terrific food, for the price quality ratio I’d say Camino comes out tops.