Had a booking for 6 for a birthday meal and was eager to experience Pinchos for the first time, after hearing a lot of good things from friends and family. Sadly what they and other reviews describe was far from what we experienced.
Unlike a lot of other reviewers I didn't personally have many problems with the service. The only niggle was that they brought out half of the food we ordered and then left us waiting for about 10-15 minutes before the rest came out. Otherwise, they were generally polite and attentive.The restaurant was clean and had a nice atmosphere in general, although one could question the relevance of afro-cuban jazz playing in the background of a Spanish tapas bar.
The food is where they really fall short. I have friends in Valencia and I have experienced authentic paella many times and this restaurant's is way off the mark. Everyone knows Valencian paella must have a slightly charred crust on the bottom as it must NEVER be stirred. I don't know if they are trying to accommodate a more British palate but everything was unbelievably bland(!).Equally the vegetarian paella was virtually tasteless and had nothing remotely Spanish about it. Just a lot of oil - no salt, no paprika, no saffron etc.The tapas were a similar story. They were more enjoyable than the paella, but still rather disappointing, really lacking in Spanish vibrancy and just generally soulless!
The price we payed for this disappointing food was £181 with three bottles of wine included. I begrudgingly paid the imposed 10% service charge and still feel outraged that I had to pay for bread and olives which are complementary in any decent tapas bar!
Overall, I really wanted to like Pinchos, but the food was so uninspiring and bland it's hard to walk away with a positive opinion of the restaurant, with the food they present and the price they charged. I can cook myself a better paella at home and there is another tapas bar not far from this one where I will be going next time I feel like enjoying some Spanish food.
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