loti eats | josé tapas bar

As new restaurants open all the time in London it’s sometimes all too easy to forget about the places that have been going for a few years, ones that you might have enjoyed first time around but not been back to many times since. As we don’t find ourselves on Bermondsey Street too often, it’s been ages since we were last at José Tapas Bar, the original spot from one of London’s best, and nicest, chefs – José Pizarro.

A planned Sunday afternoon trip to the White Cube gallery was the perfect opportunity to stop in for a bit of lunch and sherry at his tiny tapas bar and we were happy to see it still busy and knocking out some perfect tapas dishes. We started with a dry sherry and some Iberico ham because it’s really the only way to start a lunch like this and got to work picking the rest of of our dishes.

We settled on some classic starters – pan con tomate; croquettes filled with rich squid ink and prawn; tortilla; and beautiful boquerones, practically swimming in olive oil, garlic and parsley. This was paired with an incredible glass of wine, Flor de Vetus Verdejo, which we were raving about so much the people next to us ordered it too. There’s also larger plates on the menu and we had thin slivers of Iberico pork neck, cooked medium rare and served simply with a sprinkle of salt and a few red peppers. Then there was a dish of baked vegetables in tomato sauce, topped with a fried egg and goat’s cheese, plus a cheeky side of patatas bravas.

José Tapas Bar is all about simple dishes made with great produce and it just goes to show you don’t have to be shouting from the rooftops all the time to make a successful classic restaurant in London. Highly recommended.

For our favourite London restaurant, see our Top 20 guide here.


[easy-image-collage id=113199]

104 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3UB