After regular theatre trips to London’s west end, a friend and I always opt for tapas, and over the years, it’s fair to say we’ve visited most restaurants, sometimes more than once, when we’ve forgotten we’ve been before. However, a quick Google search of ‘tapas near Ambassador Theatre’ came up with Salvador and Amanda, which because of its slightly unusual name, we definitely knew was a new one to us.
Having seen the excellent Vardy v Rooney – The Wagatha Christie Trial, it was only a three-minute walk to Great Newport Street and the basement restaurant.
At 5pm we were the first diners of the evening and were a little disappointed to be shown to a rather small table for two – with so many dishes, it’s always difficult getting them all on the table. However, a ledge at the side provided storage for the flowers, candle and bottles.
We chose a bottle of cava plus padron peppers to nibble on whilst choosing and discussing the merits of the play. The peppers were hot and salty, but sadly there wasn’t a spicy one amongst them, but the portion size was so big, we didn’t get through them, as we were also brought a dish of huge, tasty olives.
The menu had all the usual Spanish favorites, but some had a couple of twists. We ordered four dishes to begin with: chorizo lollipops, tortilla, fried Mahon cheese with a spicy dip and albondigas (meatballs).
We were pretty full but had to finish by sharing Churros with chocolate sauce, although disappointingly there was no Pedro Ximénez sherry to go with it (the waiter brought out a bottle of Tio Pepe which had about an inch left, but we declined).
The restaurant is Salvador Dali inspired and there were lots of pictures on the walls. But it wasn’t clear who Amanda was – we later found it was Amanda Lear, his muse for 15 years.
The toilets were interesting . . . . with three cubicles which required a shimmy to actually get into. I thought the one I’d chosen was a bit tight, but the middle one which my friend chose, was even smaller.
On leaving, we checked out the rest of the restaurant which was quite large with nooks and crannies and a stunning stained-glass window which is said to be the church area.
All in all, it was a good experience and as there are lots of different offers available throughout the week, and live flamenco on Wednesday, it’s worth checking out the website before visiting.