Friday, December 16, 2011

Pizarro, Bermondsey

I have to say that I never did made it to Jose. The few times when I walk passed it, the place was always jam-packed and I find myself heading somewhere else instead. Before you know it, the man himself has now opened a new place a few doors along the same road.

So while I never did made it to Jose, I was able to make it to Pizarro for dinner shortly after it opened. Hey, I guess given a choice of Jose with no seats and Pizarro with seats, it was a no brainer.

We started out with a selection of tapas to share.

Boquerones, roasted red peppers and olives
Boquerones, roasted red peppers and olives £5.5

I like the contrasting mixture of layers and textures in the Boquerones. The olives added a sharpness and texture to the otherwise soft roasted red peppers and creamy egg yolk.

Prawns, ham, chilli garlic
Prawns, ham, chilli and garlic £7.5

Artichoke, cauliflower, soft cheese walnut
Artichoke, cauliflower, soft cheese and walnut £5.5

I wasn't overly excited with the next two tapas that came. I felt that it was more on the bland side and I was wishing for bolder flavours. I didn't know if it was a case of me recently returning from India and my palate has become attuned to the spiciness and strong flavours that are synonymous of Indian dishes. This was not the case after a quick check with my friends who echoed the same view.

Jamon Iberica Manual Maldonado
Jamon Iberica £20

The plate of Jamon arrived and it was demolished in a flash. There was a sense of slight dissatisfaction as what we got on the plate didn't seem to justify the £20 that it was priced at. It felt like we've only eaten a teaser amount.

Ham Croquetas
Ham Croquetas £6

The croquetas was the other tapas where I could taste something other than mild blandness. Nice and crispy fried shell which housed a semi-chunky smooth filling. I really enjoyed this.

Bread and walnuts
Bread and walnuts

The walnuts were great and we ordered them a few times, do note that they charge for every replenishment.

Manchego canelones, silver chard, pinenuts
Manchego canelones, silver chard, pinenuts £12

Onto the mains it was and the manchego canelones arrived first. It wasn't too cheesy nor creamy, the texture was exactly how I like it and there were no hesitation digging in. The pine nuts I felt didn't add much presence to the overall dish.

Secreto Iberico, olive oil mash
Secreto Iberico, olive oil mash £15.5

Salt cod, potatoes, viscaina
Salt cod, potatoes, viscaina £15

The Iberico pork was timed to perfection, the mash was smooth and pleasant with the same applying to the salt cod and potatoes. But it wasn't creative, there was nothing exciting

Desserts were the clear stand-outs for me.

Cava, pear sorbet
Cava and pear sorbet £6

Who would have thought that a cava and pear sorbet combo would give such gastronomic pleasure. The best way to enjoy this is to stick the straw into the sorbet and sip. You'll end up with a good mix of cava and sorbet this way. Sweet and bubbly!

Vanilla ice cream, moscatel grapes, PX
Vanilla ice cream, muscatel grapes, PX £5.5

We wanted to order the chocolate and toast which unfortunately ran out so it was the vanilla ice cream and muscatel grapes it was. Crunch on the caramelised brittles while the soft hint of vanilla ice cream swirls in your mouth, lovely!

Pizarro has a great atmosphere, the service is friendly and attentive which all lends to you having a good time here. The food is made well and of high quality, I just wished I felt more excited after eating it! The consensus of my friends who dined with me (yes, I was the only Jose virgin in the group), Jose serves better and more interesting tapas and is the better sibling.

The bill at Pizarro came to £45 per person which included a bottle of cava. For that amount, I find myself preferring Barrafina. I guess I should have gone to Jose.

Will I recommend: Yes
Will I come back: I'll probably head to Jose first
Have I had better: Yes

Pizarro194 Bermondsey StreetLondonSE1 3TQ

Pizarro  on Urbanspoon


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