Pizarro SE1
REVIEWS, April 23, 2012
Overall Value
out of 5
  • Food
  • Service
  • Ambience
Pizarro, 194 Bermondsey St, London, SE1 3TQ

A convivial Bermondsey bar/restaurant from ex-Brindisa supremo José Pizarro, offering interesting tapas-style dishes; it’s quickly become very popular.

A sunny day in Bermondsey. We walk in to find a decent-size, woody but comfortable restaurant – formerly the Bermondsey Kitchen – devoid of custom but somehow still filled with cheer. And within a minute, three good things have happened: we note that le patron (ex-Bridisa head chef José Pizarro) is very much in evidence in the open kitchen; water (still or sparkling, free either way) has been charmingly offered; and a small plate of excellent pickled cauliflower have arrived. It’s really not that hard to make a good initial impression!

Soon, the place begins to fill up. By the time we leave it will be positively hopping. And we can see why: almost everything we sample is very good indeed. Small plates seem the way to go, with much finesse brought to dishes as basic as croquettas. However, most of the tapas-style plates on offer – both from the printed menu and proposed as specials of the day – are much more ‘evolved’ than that. A salad of walnuts with cauliflower, artichoke and soft cheese was a particular hit.

Our intuition that the starters were the thing was borne out by the only main-course-size dish we tried – a rather mundane hake dish that failed quite to live up to what went before or, indeed, to what came after. But that was a hiccup. This is, in short, as convivial a place to eat as you could hope to find. Lucky Bermondsey. Again.

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