Small, compact and lacking in frills, this tapas bar with its glass-fronted entrance off the cosmopolitan Cowley Road combines well-cooked food with knowledgeable staff to create a memorable dining experience.
We went at lunch time and were not expecting to get a table - given how popular this place has become, and its (apparent) no-bookings policy - so were pleasantly surprised to be seated at the bar. This gave us the opportunity to speak to the serving staff who gave us excellent advice on choosing appropriate Sherries to accompany our small handful of tapas dishes. Try both their Dry Oloroso and Amontillado - great accompaniments to any of the dishes we tried, although I felt the Amontillado had a fuller body.
Olives (£3) are huge, green plum-sized mouthfuls. The Chorizo and harissa tostada (£4) was oily but very tasty, with a hint of coriander. Salt cod croquetas, aioli (£6) came as two huge deep-fried fritters which would have filled any normal stomach (!) Red prawns, aioli (£8) consisted of 4 large (gamba) prawns covered in garlic butter. Perhaps the finest dish was the Ox cheek with cauliflower puree (£8) which was sublime; slow-cooked beef with a filling cauliflower puree.
Would I go again? Yes, definitely and I would recommend it wholeheartedly for what it is - A TAPAS BAR. Remember that!
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