The Tapas Room: Review
It’s hard to write a review of The Tapas Room without mentioning the fact that Tooting is beginning to change, much like its neighbours Brixton and Peckham. In the past few years new residents have started moving in and signs of impending gentrification loom.
We’ve long visited the area for its excellent South Indian and Sri Lankan restaurants, where it’s possible to buy incredibly satisfying fried mutton rolls and giant lacy dosas for not much money. We’ve supped many a bottle of BYO booze while sitting in fantastic regional restaurants, wolfing down waves of ‘authentic’ food (thorny term, that) cooked by people who live, work and shop in the local area.
All of this shouldn’t mean there isn’t room for more good food, however, including that which is flying out of the Tapas Room, where shutters clattered open in May. It comes from the people behind Donostia Social Club, a much-loved tapas spot in Pop Brixton where they really know their ingredients, most of which are imported from Spain.
The food here is very much an extension of that original site and we perch at their beautiful, tiled bar, our feet dangling, hands clutching sherry glasses as we bop along to the unapologetic 80’s pop playlist. Did they hack into our Spotify?
The quality of the food is top. Pan con tomate is always a reliable yardstick with which to measure a tapas bar, and the version here is good, the sweet, chopped tomato giving up juice to the toasted bread, glistening with salt crystals. Chicken liver parfait was a great example – smooth, rich and luxurious once layered in thick wadges onto toasted bread. Charcuterie and cheeses were high quality, well-kept and in a generous portion size for the price at £12 – in many London restaurants, this would be nearer twenty, or more.
A notable mention also goes to a stand out morcilla and eggs, the crumbly blood sausage particularly iron-rich, atop piquant Piquillo peppers. We can imagine returning to eat this after a night on the tiles and leaving revived by its magical porcine qualities.
If you think this reads like a rave review, you’d be correct. Were there any downsides? Well, the bar stools could use some foot rests, and we’re not sure about the green herb oil drizzled over everything…
All in all, though, The Tapas Room is a fantastic addition to this buzzing market which was packed with people on a Friday evening, and a brief look around suggests there are more treasures to uncover. We couldn’t resist nabbing a lahmacun from a nearby stall for the journey home, and it turned out to be one of the best we’ve had in London. It turns out that this, too, is a recent addition to the market, and we see no reason why these businesses can’t thrive alongside the longstanding originals except… oh, the market is under threat from the Crossrail development. This means they need your support, and what better way to show it than by stuffing yourself with tapas and sherry?
JOL was invited to review The Tapas Room on a complimentary basis. We retain full editorial control.