Anyone who’s been following Jose Pizarro since the early days of his first tiny tapas bar on Bermondsey Street, will be bowled over by his latest restaurant, which is now open in the palatial surroundings of the Royal Academy – you could easily fit his original restaurant 100 times over in here. It’s a beautiful space that feels a fitting testament to a chef that has done so much for Spanish food in London and never seems to put a foot wrong, even his meal kits in lockdown were easily some of the best out there.
If you’ve eaten at Jose’s other restaurants, much of the menu will be familiar, but the setting is a whole new ball game – there really can’t be too many places around the world that you can have tortilla and patatas bravas in an actual art gallery. We kicked off, as any meal at a Jose Pizarro restaurant should, with a glass of his own label Cava and a plate of freshly sliced Jamon Iberico.
We’d recommend ordering your dishes in stages after this, as all the next dishes we ordered arrived in about five minutes so we had a very full table, with the hot dishes going cold. If you order 2 – 3 at a time you can pace it out much better. All the same, it’s hard to go wrong on a menu that features boquerones; pan con tomate; prawn buñuelos; and sobrasada with mahon cheese and honey on toast. Don’t miss one of our favourites too, the chorizo cooked in red wine with quince.
A visit to the galleries and a lunch at Jose at the RA is a match made in heaven. It’s daytimes only at the moment but there is a dinner service once a month on Fridays too, which would also be a great way to experience this beautiful restaurant.
Royal Academy, Burlington Gardens, London W1J 0BD