3rd February 2012
Championed by Gordon Ramsay in his ‘Best Restaurants’ Channel 4 series (in 2010), I was excited to dine at El Pirata De Tapas. Expectations were riding high and I was expecting modern twists on classic Spanish fayre. On research, I discovered that Omar Allibhoy is no longer at the helm, as he’s off with his new venture, (Revolution in Westfield & BlueWater shopping centres), so I’m not sure we’d get the same vigour and flair. Hey ho, I hadn’t had Tapas in a while and was keen to try out their offering and it was an opportunity to socialise with food-lovers. I joined a table of ‘Foodspotters’ for the popular apps’ 2nd Birthday (who kindly donated £25 to our kitty and cute badges – so thanks to them and London organiser, Katherina!).
On entry, the restaurant was quiet, but true to the Spanish way, the room came alive and was bustling, post 9pm, with later night crowd. Our communal table decided on sharing the two different tasting menu’s:
Tasting Menu at £21 (TM) and the Chef’s Menu at £25 (CM).
The best combination, was picking and choosing from each of the menu’s, as there were some interesting dishes on both. However, the Chef’s menu was definately one that caught the foodspotter crowd’s attention, as there were some beautiful dishes. I’m afraid that I didn’t have good light on all of them, so I haven’t done justice to some of them…
Noteworthy: Brozen Eggs, deliciously moreishly scrambled eggs with Serrano ham and potatoes and the oozing croquettes. My first introduction to Little Creatures, I opted for the divine Pale Ale.
Not so good: The Crema Catalana was a cold citrusy custard with a sprinkle of cinnamon. For some reason, I had expected a creme brulee style dessert… I was reliably informed by my Spanish fellow diners, that this was the true presentation of the dessert. The Tasting menu was not as interesting as the Chef’s one, next to each other there was a stark difference in execution for a £4 difference, so I’d suggest paying more.
I am absolutely, no expert on Spanish/Catalan dishes, so I’m not going to draw judgement on the execution. I will say though, that 4 of my fellow diners were Spanish and thought the food was a little lack lustre. I hope this was a one-off as it’s a bustling restaurant that obviously cares about creating new dishes and using great Spanish produce, so here’s to the next time…El Pirata Detapas: 115 Westbourne Grove, W2 4UP Tel No: 020 7727 5000 Website: http://www.elpiratadetapas.co.uk/