Tapas – Spain on a plate in the UK

by Lorraine Williamson
Tapas - Spain on a plate
del canto chambers 2

 

International travel is looking like a possibility again.  If Boris Johnson´s road map and traffic light system continues according to plan, you could be visiting Spain and enjoying tapas again by June. 

In the meantime, to get you “into the spirit” we will be looking at some of the top Spanish restaurants and tapas bars in the UK. Enjoy a taste of Spain from home!

Modern and innovative Spanish tapas

Let´s start off in London. Old Brompton Road, South Kensington to be exact. Cambio de Tercio was established in 1995 and has received countless awards and recognition over the years. In fact, Piers Morgan has called it the best restaurant in London. This tiny restaurant claims  it is “a pioneer in offering modern and innovative Spanish cuisine in London”.  Traditional Spanish tapas are on offer but with a modern twist such as Galician padron peppers, Andalucian style squid and even ice cream with Pedro Ximenez Sherry.

 

Multicultural clientele

Staying in London, this time in Islington, we found Knowhere Special. This modern, basement bar offers tapas with a British twist. Everything is made using sustainable and organic ingredients and which complement the tastes of their multicultural clientele. A variety of tapas are offered as small plates and cater for vegetarians as well as meat and fish eaters. They also have a rather interesting doughnut with wild garlic custard and pickled raspberry.

Churros and chocolate

 

tapas

Heading south to Brighton, to the famous Lanes and Ole Ole Tapas. This restaurant has been serving authentic Spanish tapas since 2009. They have a selection of veggie, meat, and fish tapas as well as traditional Spanish churros with chocolate for dessert.

Food is meant to be shared – tapas are perfect

 

tapas with a modern twist

Tapas Revolution have several tapas bars in London, Sheffield, Kent, West-Midlands, Bath and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. The very first Tapas Revolution opened in 2010 in the heart of Shepherd´s Bush and is still going strong. Owned by Madrid-born and bred chef Omar Allibhoy, they offer the real taste of Spain in the UK

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They offer a fantastic selection of tapas, vino and cervezas (wines and beers) that are typical of those you would find in his hometown of Madrid.  Omar says, “like life, food is meant to be shared, at any time of day on any occasion”. When you visit, you will enjoy his little bit of Spain in the UK. On today´s menu is a delicious looking Tortilla De Patatas, made using Galician Corn-fed Eggs, Potato and Onion. Omar has also published several successful Spanish cookery books.

Best kept secret

 

tapas - albondigas - meatballs

Further north to Manchester this time and we visit Evuna in Deansgate. Here you will be taken on a journey from Madrid to Valencia and from Bilbao to Murcia as you explore the hidden gems of authentic tapas and typical, regional tapas from all over Spain.  Evuna also has other restaurants in Altrincham, Knutsford and the Northern Quarter in Manchester which has been open since 2013. Evuna boasts as being one of the North-West´s best kept restaurant secrets. Some favourites include pulpo (Galician style octopus), albondigas (meatballs in tomato sauce), and of course, a selection of paellas to share.

The full Spanish tapas experience

2008 in Scotland, Joe Conetta decided to open Café Andaluz in Glasgow. This became so popular, that soon others followed in Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Joe now has a total of 5 restaurants. He offers the full Spanish experience in his restaurants from the furnishings, the ornaments, the tiling and obviously the food. Sharing plates include the famous Serrano or Iberico ham and Spanish cheese. A selection of seafood, meat and vegetable tapas is available, along with a variety of delicious paellas.

Summer in Spain in Belfast

 

seafood tapas

2Taps in the heart of Belfast is one of the top restaurants and boasts one of the city´s largest outdoor terraces. It creates all the atmosphere of summer in Spain (regardless of the weather). 2Taps is a holiday, a home, and a fantastic restaurant all in one. It has an amazing menu serving authentic Spanish food. Some firm favourites are the Morcilla Frita (black pudding served with apple puree and shallots), Pato Confitado (confit duck leg served on a chickpea stew), Calamares (squid) and Mejillones (mussels) and the ever-popular dessert Crema Catalana.

The finest Spanish ingredients and produce

Last, but by no means least on our list is Santiago´s Tapas in Cardiff. Santiago´s is anuthentic Spanish Tapas Restaurant which uses the finest Spanish ingredients and produce. They invite you to come and enjoy their Spanish hospitality at one of their three restaurants. Tasty tapas include Papas arrugadas (Canarian potatoes in sea salt), Boquerones en Vinagreta (Anchovies in Vinegar), a selection of pinchos (meat/veg on skewers).

 

tapas - gambas pil pil

For more information on the history of tapas, check out our previous article.

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