Since reading about the opening of a new authentic tapas restaurant opening in the Spinningfields area of Manchester I have been looking out for the opening date so that I can try it! I finally got to try it on Saturday evening.
I had looked at the menu about 15 times before I went as I am a nightmare at choosing in restaurants, I am always worried that I will make the wrong choice and be disappointed! This is why I like tapas restaurants as you can choose lots of dishes and if you don’t like one of them its no big deal – not like a standard restaurant when all your hopes are pinned on one big dish that could let you down!
There were a couple of dishes I knew I had to order, the first being Padron peppers, I had these numerous times during a holiday to Palma last year and although very simple they are so tasty and moreish. They are basically little green peppers fried in a pan and then sprinkled with salt and around 1 in 10 can be a spicy one!.
We ordered a jug of Sangria while we looked at the menu – a bit steep at £20 to be honest as it wasn’t very strong – and we were advised to choose around 3 tapas dishes each. We were also given some olives while we decided.
Toasted bread with tomato £2
A bargain at 2 quid and very nice.
Padrón peppers with Maldon salt (v) £6
Loved these and wanted to order more, thought the portion was a bit stingy though, In Spain you would get a massive bowl full.
Ibérica’s Serrano ham croquettes £6
Just ok really, all cheese and hardly any ham – Probably wouldn’t choose these again. Very light and fluffy though and very rich.
Confit of cod (brandada) with olives £4
Despite being warned not to order it by a friend who had been before, it was only 4 quid so we gave it a go. BIG MISTAKE. I hate strong fishy tastes and when i tried it I had to spit it into my napkin! YUK. Just not my taste really, was like eating fish spread.
Fried chorizo lollipops with pear alioli sauce £5
This is the one that surprised me! I LOVE chorizo, I love Alioli and this sounded interesting. To be honest I really didn’t think that the lovely chorizo should have been dipped in batter and deep fried, it was just too rich and greasy as chorizo is fatty enough on its own! The alioli was amazing, best I have ever had, garlicy, rich creamy and sweet from the pear BUT way too rich to go with the chorizo which was already too rich from being deep fried! I wish I could order this sauce on it’s own or with the squid.
Selection of cured meats £12
Smoked chorizo, spicy chorizo, lomo, fuet & cecina
Beautiful, I would order everytime. I love my cured meats and these were unlike any I have had in the UK, the flavours were all different from sweet to smoky and I loved every mouthfull.
Fried fresh squid with alioli sauce £9
What it says on the tin, squid and alioli, very nice and I enjoyed it but its nothing unusual. I would maybe order again although I think 9 quid is a bit ridiculous.
It was all a bit too fast really, we were going on somewhere else after our meal but if you had planned an evening around this meal you might be a bit pissed off when everything you ordered came at once, I know that tapas just comes when it is ready but all our dishes were crammed on our tiny little table within 10 minutes of ordering which is not really a relaxing experience, felt a bit like going for fast food. Its hard to enjoy everything and savour it when you feel like you have to eat quick before things go cold and to make some space on your table. If we had ordered a bottle of wine we would have been left with half a bottle to finish at the end of the meal.
I think if I go again I would just order a massive platter of meat, 2 lots of padron peppers and a nice bottle of red and graze.
I was pretty pissed off to see that 12% service charge had automatically been added though, I didn’t realise that we lived in America? If the service hadn’t been good I would have definitely asked for this back. We were in and out within an hour so I am not really sure why that warrants us paying £8.50 for someone to bring our food from the kitchen to our table ( as you can see in this photo.. it wasn’t very far!)
Gor rating 7/10.
14-15 The Avenue Spinningfields M3 3HF