It's been ages since I visited Jose Pizarro during the 50% off soft launch but as is life I was too busy to write about it until now. First came the tapas bar Jose (which I've already raved about), then came the more formal restaurant Pizarro (which I'm yet to visit) and now the third instalment seems to be a combination of both.
Situated next to Liverpool Street Station this Spanish restaurant is definitely pulling in the city crowd. The atmosphere is smart and there's several pricey dishes on the menu that will be sure to make an appearance on many an expensed receipt. That being said the restaurant still oozes with charm akin to the tapas bar, just on a (much) bigger scale. The waiters recognised us from out last visit to Jose's and we had a nice natter about the new restaurant and even got to meet Jose himself which was lovely. He's sweet, charming and incredibly friendly which has only made me love his food even more.
The menu is split into lots of different sections and you're advised to choose a few plates from each. As with tapas you really ought to share everything and with a menu this exciting the more food you order, the better.
As with Jose, the magnificent croquettes change daily. On our visit they were cheese and leek with a soft melt-in-the-mouth centre and a perfectly crispy exterior. I could have eaten so many of these perfect little balls.
Half way through out meal the lights were dimmed which suddenly made my photography a lot more difficult, but I persevered. The prawn fritters were juicy, not too spicy and very meaty. The saffron aioli was a nice, subtle accompaniment, if garlic has been used the flavour from the prawns would have been lost.
£25 for a plate of jamon iberico sounds expensive but trust me when I say this is some of the best cured ham you will ever try. The meat literally melts in your mouth and the intense flavour lingers making this incredibly moorish.
The grilled octopus was wonderful, cooked in paprika this was a sweet, spicy and slippery dish. Combined with the little side dish of baby boiled potatoes the texture from the firm spuds and soft octopus was a nice touch. I've had this in a few other tapas joints and JP has put them all to shame.
The cured cod was my least favourite plate of the evening thanks to the overwhelming taste of olives. I hate olives so I couldn't get my head around this salty dish unfortunately.
Asparagus, ducks egg and tomato sauce - the perfect combination. The waitress told us to mix everything together, we obliged. It looked a mess but tasted amazing.
The iberico meatballs were rich, meaty and completely divine. Quite possibly my favourite dish of the evening, you could not fault this.
We didn't really need to order these as the octopus dish came with boiled potatoes and to be honest they weren't a patch on Jose's patatas bravas.
I was surprised by the size of the lamb cutlets, I wasn't expecting so many but this is not a complaint as the meat was heavenly. Crispy from the charred edges and buttery soft thanks to the fat, these were tender with the meat falling away from the bone and absolutely delicious.
I really wanted to try the chocolate on toast but they'd run out and none of the other deserts appealed to me so they gave us a chocolate brownie from Bread Ahead. Even though this is an off menu option it's worth saying this was one of the best brownies I've ever had.
I really enjoyed our meal at JP but Jose's will still remain my favourite of the trilogy. It was great to see some exciting new dishes but I'm glad there's still a place for the firm favourites. The quality has undoubtedly transferred from south of the river to the city I think the restaurant will do wonderfully amongst the hustle and bustle of Broadgate Circus but it's this reason I would prefer to be tucked away down the quiet Bermondsey Street.