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Lacking the pizzazz of José P’s nearby tapas-bar sibling, which is one block away, his somewhat bigger contemporary Spanish restaurant never inflames quite as much passion as its little sister. It still achieves very good ratings, though, for its “really interesting food” and “attractively priced wine list”.
José Pizarro’s contemporary Spanish restaurant never quite matches the drama (or ratings) of his original venture – the nearby tapas bar sibling, José, on the other side of Bermondsey Street. Service here can be “a bit hit and miss”, but in other respects it is a “highly competent” operation with a “warm” atmosphere and “authentic” cuisine from “a relatively short menu”.
“In the creative quarter that is Bermondsey St”, Sr. P’s busy sibling to his nearby José “is a far cry from the tapas bar down the road, with more substantial dishes and a very modern design”. On most accounts it delivers “extremely flavoursome Spanish dishes to a very high level”, but a hint of resistance is creeping into its prices and a perceived “sense of entitlement, as it’s so busy and popular”. Top Tip – “The Presa Iberica was superb and so tender”.
“The bigger brother of José, nearby” – this “more traditional Spanish restaurant” in Bermondsey wins praise for its “friendly welcome”, and “delicious individual or sharing plates”. Some of José P’s fans feel it’s a turn off though – “the extraordinary just became ordinary, over-extended and over-priced”.
|Wine per bottle||£27.00|
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.
194 Bermondsey St, London, SE1 3TQ
|Number of Diners:|
|Monday||12 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Tuesday||12 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑10:30 pm|
|Sunday||12 pm‑9:30 pm|