After a matinee performance of ‘Everybody’s talking about Jamie’ at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, we wanted our usual fix of post-theatre tapas. Our first idea had been to stop at “Brindisa”:https://www.brindisakitchens.com/restaurant/tapas-brindisa-soho/ on Broadwick Street for Gin O’Clock before moving on to Dehesa. However, trying to reserve online for the latter, we found it fully booked until 9pm, so decided to eat in Brindisa.
From the outside it’s a rather inconspicuous building with narrow frontage. There were a couple of tables on the pavement, but it was far too cold to sit outside. At 5.30pm, the restaurant was empty, and we were shown through the bar area with window tables, seats up at the bar and three booth-style tables for 2. We were in the main intimate dining area with only around 15 covers, but further back, there appeared to be a small conservatory area with an open kitchen. We were told they needed the table back by 7pm which seemed reasonable.
The Gin O’Clock menu offered a range of 7 gins for £8.50 with a nibble. I chose a Monkey 47 Schwarzwaid Gin, said to have ginger flavours, and my friend ordered a Hepple with flavours of Douglas Fir. The nibbles were kikones, a roasted corn snack, and anchovy stuffed olives. The offer is available from Sunday to Thursday from 4.30pm to 6.30pm.
We were chatting about the show and our gins which, to be honest, neither of us particularly liked, until the manager ‘warned us’ that if we were eating, we needed to begin ordering to give us plenty of time to enjoy the food.
Fearing an early eviction, we began choosing from what is an extensive “menu”:https://www.brindisakitchens.com/menu/ of Spanish favourites: croquetas des jamon, pan de coca (bread topped with tomato, garlic and oil), padron peppers, tortilla, and chorizo de leon (chargrilled chorizo on toast with roasted peppers and rocket). They all arrived as we like in dribs and drabs which meant they were eaten when hot. It was also helpful as the tables are not huge. All the dishes were excellent with fabulous flavours.
To drink we’d chosen a half litre carafe of Vetiver Blanco (£21) having discounted the waiter’s more expensive suggestion at £26.
Having finished our tapas, we were enjoying the last of our wine when we noticed the manager hovering. He told us he’d found us seats at the bar where we could finish our wine without rushing. We enjoyed this as we could see all the drinks being made and having checked we had at least another hour, ordered a second half litre and a seleccion de queso. The four thinly sliced cheeses arrived with quince jelly, a spicy chutney, figs and grapes. Apart from a lovely strong blue, the others were all hard cheeses and began with M (Manchego, Mahon, Majorero). The manager, who introduced the cheeses, told us one resembled Wensleydale in flavour, which neither of us could understand.
Our bill wasn’t cheap at £121 (which included discretionary 12.5% service) but we felt we’d had value for money, and we enjoyed our two-table meal.
As we were sat near the entrance, we noticed many customers being turned away, so this is definitely a place you need to book and make sure you chat after you’ve ordered and not before. It’s a great location for the Shaftesbury Avenue theatres, but there are other branches in South Kensington, Shoreditch, Battersea with their flagship restaurant and store being located in Borough Market.
PS – I’d heartily recommend the show as well.