The other day my lovely friend took me out for lunch to one of his favourite tapas restaurants in London, Tendido Cero. Having lost my appetite recently he insisted this would revitalise my palate, and knew I wouldn’t be able to resist the little plates of goodness. Part of a family of three Spanish restaurants on Old Brompton Road, this is apparently the best. Despite turning up rather late for lunch, they managed to squeeze us in and took our order immediately. The front windows were open and the sun was blazing in.
Cambio de Tercio across the road is much smarter and more expensive, at Tendido Cero the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, and I got the overwhelming feeling of being somewhere where everyone just really enjoys food. I left the choosing entirely in the capable hands of my friend who ordered in impressively fluent Spanish.
I am a big fan of Spanish meats: chorizo, Iberico pork... at Tendido we tried a delicious plate of charcuterie, which was quite tough but deliciously flavoured. The Spanish cheeses with membrillo were wonderful too, with a big chunk of my favourite, Manchego as well as some intriguing soft cheeses. For fish lovers there are lots of enticing options, my companion ordered the Galicean octopus with potatoes and paprika and the Garlic prawns cooked in garlic, olive oil and chillies. Although I couldn’t bring myself to try the seafood, I tried the salty oily sauce with my bread and it was, I must admit, divine. Lots of sparkling water and fresh bread accompanied our light lunch.
I can’t say I loved Tendido Cero quite as much as my very favourite tapas restaurant, Opera Tavern, but this is certainly authentic tapas of a very high standard.
Visit the website and book here.