The former Curtain Hotel has gone and the Mondrian Shoreditch is in, having been transformed earlier this year with three-Michelin-starred Spanish chef Dani Garcia taking charge of the restaurant BIBO. It’s his brasserie-meets-tapas bar concept, which already has outposts in Marbella, Madrid, Tarifa, Doha and Malaga, inside the completely revamped hotel. BIBO Shoreditch is pretty dapper inside with an island bar with high tables for tapas service, a Spanish courtyard with hanging plants and a retracting glass roof, and a main dining room decked out in rose-coloured tiles, tan leather furnishing and rattan pendant lights in a nod to the brand’s Andalusian heritage.
The menu features BIBO faves like oxtail brioche, jamon croquetas with tomato powder and Russian salad with quail’s eggs & tuna belly. We tucked into gambas al ajillo with garlic and chilli that arrived sizzilng hot drawing in looks from neighbouring tables trying to pinpoint where they live on the menu. We immediately ordered bread to soak up that rich, tasty juice and got a pat on the back from the waiter for doing so as he knows it’s the best bit too.
We also loved the glazed aubergine topped with herbs, yoghurt and broccoli, which looked stunning and was soft, smooth and flavoursome. The star of the show, however, was the roasted chicken paella, which was more than big enough for two people and was carved up tableside before taking centre stage in front of us. The slow-roasted chicken was super tender and just a delight with the Spanish rice and broccoli.
There’s a Spanish slant to the cocktail list too, which might not be to everyone’s taste, Sprite or Lemon Fanta in the mix anyone? Still, with their versions of red and white sangria, rebujito (sherry & lemon-lime soda), agua de Sevilla (pineapple juice, cava and whiskey) and various vermouth-based bevvies, as well as good classic margaritas, there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy. OLÉ.
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Mondrian Shoreditch, 45 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3PT