I blame the lovely Sabrina. Her magnificent trip to Barcelona totally got me hung up for Iberico…no more, no less.
I developed hay fever walking from Southbank to Old Brompton Road. Don’t ask me why I walked, ok?
And I also had a fever walking against the gust back home.
I did this twice… TWICE
These awful health-risking walks were, surprisingly, worth ‘it’.
My first stop at Capote Y Toros, the newest addition to the Cambio de Tercio family, was spell-binding.
(Mind my descriptive adjective. My brain has been embattled by the tirades of overtly exaggerated Royal Wedding covers)
Walls of framed bulls and matadors. Relaxed atmosphere but rife in Spanish rhythm. Counters and tables. No cloth.. just hot, wax candles (still talking about the restaurant). Friendly waiters that hopped in and out. Capote Y Toros is a bar for diners to lounge before progressing to the neighbourly Cambio de Tercio, which is opened an hour after.
Sherries were hot on the menu – so many I didn’t realise there were that many Sherries in this world – and the simple, kindly priced, sherry-infused tapas dishes and ham. Comfort food, as opposed to the more ambitious offerings at Cambio de Tercio (coming soon).
Dishes. (1) Andalucian Style Chilled Gazpacho Soup. Peppers, Onions, Chives, Migas all in delectable micro bites no one could expect a £4 dish to deliver!! A little fiery sidekick after a soothing coolness of sweet and rightly acidic tomato soup. Fragrance from the dribble of olive oil. (2) Carpaccio of Duck Liver, Reduced Pedro Ximenes. Again the £6.50 mark made my eyes bulge. Quite a phenomenal as I am Asian and have really tiny eyes like this -__-” Amazing velvety foie gras shavings with intense sweetness from the PX. The latter tasted like a mixture of concentrated dry fruit. If you reduce it yourself, it can also go pleasantly with vanilla ice cream! The foie was lush and the warm (free) bread became its legitimate partner.
The ham – they do (3) Jamon Iberico Pata Negra by Meson Cinco Jotas that I absolutely adore!! – came in two sizes. Small at £14 and large at £22. Harrods does a packaged 100g for staggering £25, which is less than the large platter at Capote Y Toros. I went for a small. Don’t want to perplex my PT with weight gain after a long holiday. Luxuriously carved in long, thin stripes.
More meat. (4) Chorizo in Fino Sherry. Fresh chorizo. Hot. Sweet-ish Sherry. Good but nothing too raunchy. (5) Meat Balls “Palo Cortado Fragrance” from Jerez. Smelled ripely gorgeous. Tender, well seasoned balls. Moist and had this great consistency to them. Delectable tomato based-sauce that did not overwhelm the balls one bit! Good texture and flavour contrast from the potato balls. It was, in a matter of speaking, the BEST meat balls I’d ever eaten.
(6) Chocolate Tart, Crema Catalana Ice Cream. Recommended. Didn’t like it that much. Was more like a dry tiramisu with chocolate dust (instead of coffee). Bitter but light. The CC ice cream was good but not strong enough to make itself tasted amidst the tart and the fruit. Nobly good – I can see people loving it – just not to my liking.
That was my first long march..
I walked again to Old Brompton Road.
Hay fever, yes…
And (Spanish) fever…
For the tasting menu at Cambio de Tercio.
Will post that one tomorrow X
My head rating says, “9 out of 10″.
My heart rating says, “8 out of 10″.
CAPOTE Y TOROS
157 Old Brompton Road
Tel. 020 7373 0567