Spanish King Jose Pizarro, he of Tapas Brindisa fame, now resides on Bermondsey St – Jose is a teeny weeny Tapas & Sherry bar which is also on my hit list, but today with the family in town, we’re here for a meal at Pizarro, the more formal sit down restaurant.
Although the place doesn’t take reservations (Grrrrr) its largely empty at 7ish on a Saturday evening, no doubt the pleasant weather keeping folks away till late.
The decor is dark woods, dim booths, perfect to cosy up on winter nights but seemed incongruous on a bright sunny London eve. Although to be fair, its not like we get so many of those anyway.
We kick off with Breads & Olive Oils – the olive oil was a treat. One taste & you wonder what on earth that liquid you have in a jar at home is meant to be.
Although I don’t have a picture, the beetroot cured salmon with yolk proved a tad too ‘raw’ for many tastes, I had no such qualms and it was moist, tender and had a beautiful flavour.
The croquettas were hot, light, flavoursome and happily meaty for one who is so often accustomed to balls of mashed potato with no filling masquerading as croquettas.
Having exhausted almost all the small bites portions, we progressed onto mains, however we still preferred to share so these were laid out for all.
The Salt cod was well cooked, flaky, moist and delicious but my personal favourite was the Iberico Pork Press.
Given the volume of Iberico Ham we’d got through, it seemed at odds to order the Pork but oh am I glad we did. Pork Press isn’t at all what I expected it to be. Certainly not anything like the dried out pork chops you so often get with a dollop of fake apple sauce on the side.
This was moist, rich, flavoured and came with a crunchy layer of what I can only call candy. Pieces of pineapple, chocolate (I think it’s chocolate anyway), grains of rye, it was a combination I could have add for dessert.
The service was attentive and helpful; they offered helpful advice and information about what we were eating & were happy to let us share all the while as we ignored the set order of the meal.
Only one thing blighted the evening, we were informed at the beginning they had a 2 hour turnaround policy which we agreed to – while ordering our dessert they let us know they needed the table back in 15. We powered through dessert, only to be told by another waiter that they didn’t actually need the table back as they weren’t full.
Perhaps our waitress hadn’t realised there weren’t any waiting punters, but it wasn’t a dignified end to a great meal.
Jose is next on my hit list!