Tapas, the epitome of sharing food, I love it. Steve and I had visited Jose's Tapas Bar once before and he requested we return for his birthday lunch last week, it wasn't difficult to convince me as the food is excellent.
Going for weekday lunch is the way forward, we avoided queueing and were able to sit at the bar by the tiny open kitchen, my favourite spot. The two black boards detail the classics and daily specials. We ordered a few dishes at the time and happily slurped our bottle of house white wine for a couple of hours, a wonderful afternoon it was.
The jamon iberico is heavenly, I always enjoy watching the chef slice it at the bar. The meat is rich in flavour and one plate on this cured ham is not enough, I could have eaten so much more.
You can always find croquetas on the menu at Jose's but the fillings change on a daily basis depending what ingredients are available. We had a spicy black pudding interior which was sublime, cheesy and a hint of spice but not overpowering, absolutely heavenly. With only 5 croquets per portion you'll be fighting over who gets the last one!
Don't be fooled by a simple portion of tomato bread (pan con tomate) because this crusty bread with tomato and extra virgin olive oil spread is perfection.
The spinach and aubergine tortilla was fantastic and packed full of perfectly al dente vegetables.
Some of the best patatas bravas I've had. Perfectly crispy with a generous scoop of home made tomato sauce and aioli. Despite it being a plate of potatoes this is one of my favourite dishes!
The battered hake was lovely but probably my least favourite plate, not because it didn't take nice (it was lovely) but because it was quite a subtle flavour compared to everything else we were eating.
The chorizo iberico was very pungent and packed a lot of flavour. I personally preferred the less intense jamon iberico but this was still a tasty plate.
Our final savoury plate was the pisto with a fried egg with is a tomato sauce packed full of vegetables, much alike ratatouille. Lovely and fresh tasty with lots of texture from the veg and of course a perfectly soft fried egg, wonderful.
For dessert we went for the crema catalana, with a perfectly crisp top that's always fun to break and a rich, vanilla set custard underneath this was the cherry on the cake to finish a marvellous lunch.
I love Jose's, the tapas is heavenly and the wine list is impressive. The restaurant is tiny and always busy so it pays to get there early. With veterans standing around drinking Spanish wine it's more like a bar that serves food, bloody excellent food. I can't wait to return!