Tapas Brindisa Soho
The name Brindisa is synonymous with Spanish tapas in London. It’s a brand that, since 1988, has brought restaurant-quality Spanish produce to wide-eyed (-mouthed) Brits in the foodie dreamland of Borough food market. We had to wait until 2004 for its first tapas bar, Tapas Brindisa (18 Southwark Street, Borough, SE1; 020 7357 8880), but, undeterred, we crowded in and queued up to get our hands on its pitch-perfect Iberian classics such as Manchego cheese with quince jelly and the legendary acorn-fed pata negra ham. Now, finally, there is more room for its many fans (booking advised) in Tapas Brindisa Soho (and also, Casa Brindisa in South Kensington, 7 Exhibition Road, SW7; 020 7590 0008), whose menu, essentially matching that of Tapas Brindisa, features bestsellers such as giant olives stuffed with orange and oregano, sizzling chilli prawns, and deep-fried goat’s cheese with honey; an inviting list of Spanish wines, sherries and cava has been composed to work with the food. Needless to say, its towering reputation is undiminished here. All of which is highly conducive to making a toast, which, ironically, is what ‘brindisa’ actually means.