Eating Out

Terrific tapas in the heart of Mayfair: El Pirata restaurant reviewed by Stephen Vowles

This family run complete Spanish dining experience has been in Mayfair for 24 years and the reason for its success is the unrushed philosophy applied to enjoying a meal there. The authenticity of the dishes, especially the fritos de rape, deep fried medallions of monkfish and pulp a la galena, octopus served with olive oil and paprika, so stimulated my tastebuds I had to enjoy a second portion. 

Washing the food down with Iberian wines of Tremenda white and the Cerro Anon red, as suggested by our waiter, complimented the food superbly. It was the meat dishes however that get the big applause. The ‘ajuda’ being the Spanish equivalent of the ‘piece de resistance’ has to be applied to the lamb – no better expression to say than melt in the mouth. The chorizo, still sizzling as it was presented, and lastly the entrecôte steak flash sealed in the pan with the salt crystals adding to the piquant of the dish. 

The pudding selection had to be the chocolate cake, obscenely moreish and served on a slate with two spoons placed either side of the portion to suggest a mutual sharing. Special set menus for lunch and dinner are available. Wonderful food that can’t be faulted and on an average spend  of £35 per head, delicious value. Gorgeously good!

El Pirata is at 5 Down Street, Mayfair, London W1J 7AQ. Reservations on 020 7491 3810. Closed on Sundays.  

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