Address: 192 Acre Ln, SW2 5UL (MAP)
Transport: Tube: Clapham North (Northern Line).
Website: www.boqueriatapas.com. Follow them on Twitter.
The food. Being from Spain, I find really hard to value Spanish food out of my country because, as it usually happens, it’s very easy to feel disappointed. In fact, in my effort to show some of my friends the great things of our cuisine, I have been very picky selecting a proper restaurant where we could have those Spanish flavours I was looking for. Thankfully, Boquería was a great success. We decided, and I don’t think that’s a surprise for anyone, to order several tapas to share. The Chorizo with cider transported me straight back to my grandma’s kitchen, and just for that reason it has to be my favourite plate. Actually, every meat we tried was excellent, especially the Iberian Pork and the Beef with foie and Pedro Ximenez wine, probably the highlight of the night. And, as a recommendation, you shouldn’t go without trying a couple of (my favourite) jewels of the Spanish comfort food: tortilla and croquetas.The letdown came with the Patatas Bravas and Huevos rotos, two dishes that I adore but that didn’t meet my expectations. But I guess I’m being too hard to please, since all my non-Spanish friends seemed to love them! We finished our gorgeous meal with some very typical desserts that everybody loved, like Crema catalana and Santiago tart. Have you ever tried fried milk? Well, it sounds odd but I can assure you it is delicious.
The place. It is probably too nice and minimalist to be the classic Spanish tapas bar but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have charm. In fact, the atmosphere was vibrant and very animated, and we all absolutely loved it. The main space is quite small and the tables are very close to each other, which made the room very crowded and the temperature quite hot inside. Just as if you were at a bar in Madrid!
The service. All the personnel is Spanish, which means they could be a bit slow and take their time to serve, but they’re incredibly welcoming and friendly. There was a lot of waiters serving all the tables and everything looked pretty well organised. And something that I really appreciated was that they invited us to a round of Orujo liqueur shots after the desserts, so my friends could complete their meal the Spanish way. A top class service helped by a fantastic staff.
The value. All the most traditional tapas are around £5-7, but they’re a bit on the small side, so it is necessary to order around 3 or 4 plates per person. What made our dinner more expensive was a couple of fantastic bottles of Ribera del Duero red wine, £25 each. The tricky thing is that I know those dishes (and wine) would cost much less and the portions would be bigger in my country. But considering we are in London, having a proper Spanish experience with such a fantastic food, I think the price was right. Would I come back? I would love to take all my non-Spanish friends there!