Monthly Archives: June 2011

Tapas and Sherry bar José opens in Bermondsey


Other than a trip to Borough market, I tend not to venture South East all that much, but I will be from now on… simply to sip jerez fino and gorge on José’s fabulous tapas.

Lamb meatballs, spicy tomato sauce

As a renowned pioneer of new spanish cooking, José Pizarro has gone solo in Bermondsey and it’s totally paying off.  The launch last week was utterly fantastic, we were served a natty little array of tapas plates, adorned with simple, seasonal food accompanied by some delicious wine and my personal favourite, Tio Pepe sherry.

Hake allioli

José has managed to create an atmospheric space that brings together the informal bustle of the tapas bars at La Boquería in Barcelona with the traditional tapas bars found in the hot, dusty towns and villages of Andalucía.  He has designed José for informal eating and drinking, aiming to challenge us Brits to eat while standing – the bar has no seating but plenty of high wooden tables on which to rest plates of the colourful snacks – well we stand in a pub, so why not in a restaurant?


Its menu changes daily according to what looks good at the market, featuring delights such as razor clams a la plancha, spring lamb chuletillas with alioli, crab and basil croquetas and of course – Jamón Ibérico de bellota.  My personal favourites were the grilled aspapagus and manchego, lamb meatballs, Iberico jamon, and gazpacho, but everything I tasted was fantastic.

Jamon Iberico

José was co-founder and Executive Chef at Brindisa Tapas Kitchen for five years before taking the plunge last year to go out on his own, partnering with Hervé Durochat, formerly of Hakkasan and Soho House Group.
“We want to offer people something very different” they said – and they have, and it so works!
The head chef, Javier Capella, has come from El Faro, which has sadly now closed, and wine legends, Tim Atkin MW and Jo Ahearne MW, put together José’s diverse wine and sherry list drawing on established and small producers of Spain.

Pizarro says, “With this little place I want to explore new ingredients, use more fresh produce as well as bring diners some old favourites. I’m so excited”.

All in all, this place totally hits the mark.  The food was to die for, the atmosphere was spot on, the staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming and of course, José just rocks! Highly recommended, my only wish is that it was closer to home!

José: 104 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3UB T: 020 7403 4902 (no reservations)


Cooks & co launches new mediterranean artichokes


I have just come across Cooks & Co‘s new jar of grilled artichokes, and they’re absolutely yummy and not expensive either!

The company gets its artichokes from the coastal mountains of Puglia in the south of Italy, an area famed for its countryside’s flourishing cultivation, which dates back to Roman times.  They are then picked and prepared to a traditional Italian recipe, using garlic and Mediterranean herbs. Unlike many jars, these artichokes are not at all watery, and are really tender and tasty, even if eaten straight from the jar.

I had mine on home made pizzas, but they’re also pretty good in salads, with mediterranean chicken, or simply as bruschetta.

I’ve also been munching all day on the Cooks & Co red chillies, and as they only have a little kick, they’re perfect to eat whole – although I do have an extraordinarily high tolerance for chili, so it’s probably best to test them for yourself.

Visit for more information.

Free burritos!


Yummy yummy yummy!!!! Tortilla on King Street in Hammersmith is giving away 1000 free burritos tomorrow (June 2nd) in honour of its official launch – the company’s 6th site.

Founded and run by Managing Director Brandon Stephens, Tortilla started with the launch of its first restaurant in Islington in October 2007 followed a year later by the Southwark site. The chain now operates at six locations and claims its Canary Wharf store as the busiest burrito joint in the UK.  According to the 2011 results of the Peach Business Leaders Survey, Tortilla was named “one to watch” along with four other catering businesses.

Still, as long as the burritos are tasty, that’s all that matters to me!

6A King Street Hammersmith London W6 0QA