Chorizo lollipops – now that’s food evolution I approve of…
Salvador & Amanda tapas bar has two London spots: Bloomsbury and Covent Garden, with two very different vibes. Head to the Covent Garden branch if you fancy a more intimate, basement experience with quirky booths and even a dance floor on Saturday nights, while Bloomsbury benefits from its swanky location and offers an airy atmosphere just off Bloomsbury Square, a hop from Holburn tube. But having tried both, the food stood out at Bloomsbury – a big enough pull I’d say.
And of course there’s the Monday to Friday Happy Hour 5-7pm at both venues, when you can scoop four beers or a bottle of house wine or a litre of sangria (check) for just £11. And even Saturday nights get a look in, with Hora Loca between 10pm and 11pm!
Plus, there’s none of your watered down, more ice than alcohol concoctions here, Salvador & Amanda know how to make a stonking red sangria, served long in a carafe, with fruit placed in your glass (rather than the jug) for minimum “plopping” and so no one ends up with all the orange, of course.
Tapas spans all of the popular dishes, including tortilla; garlic gambas; padron peppers in maldron sea salt; Adalusian-style crispy squid; patatas bravas; and meatballs mothered in a rich tomato sauce. But there are some fab innovations, too. Take the slow roasted beetroot salad with hazelnuts and goat’s cheese croquettes, or the braised pork cheeks with parsnip purée – and of course the chorizo lollipops with quince aioli. Lush.
The Best Bits…
We couldn’t resist the bread and oil (which was accompanied by olives and marinated peppers, a nice touch). Then we went full throttle and shared 10 dishes between three of us – well you have to try it all, right? We came to the conclusion, as my trousers pitched my stomach and I found it hard to breathe, that we had ordered one too many.
As opposed to a certain well known tapas chain, this food was oozing with freshness: the beef in the enormous meatballs was quality and the croquettes (again giant-sized) were made with smooth mash and no chunks of processed ham to be seen. The steamed broccoli and almonds was an addition we made when realising there was a severe lack of vegetables in our order. But the show stealer (indeed to rival the chorizo lollipops) was the grilled tuna steak with cherry tomatoes.
Salvador & Amanda tapas bar would be great for a chilled out date or big groups – the more people you take the more dishes you can try!
This place is on Tastecard* for all you bargain hunters, and has a host of special offers throughout the week. Why not try the unlimited calamari and ribs with fries on a Wednesday, for just £9.50?
For more information go to www.salvadorandamanda.com
*At time of publication.