(Visited July 2012)
(Added 23/09/12: see our much more negative more recent experience)
Trying to liven up a grey London Summer day with some Spanish fire…
Here we are at Cambio de Tercio, for an all-tapas lunch that was pleasant, in a relaxed and straightforward way, a series of colorful and balanced dishes, dishes with a clear personality that also showed culinary skill and interest in presentation. Like these beetroots:
And there were some particularly striking dishes that went beyond pleasant: the Gazpacho Andaluz, vividly coloured, fresh and intense, refined by the presence of a lovely bogavante (lobster),
the pulpo a la Gallega, very soft, plump, in a luscious potato cream (we’ve had far rougher versions in Galicia: this was classy cooking),
and the tomatoes 8-hour cooked in Pedro Ximenes with a basil ‘tartare’, the tomatoes a delicious concentration of sweet flavour, the tartare (spherified basil) once again providing the touch that elevates this dish far above rustic or home-made
We accompanied the meal with an excellent fino,
at the same time rounder and more structured than the most popular supermarket brands (which we also find perfectly pleasant, by the way).
The prices are very reasonable, with pretty large tapas from £6-7 to £12 for the most luxurious ingredients, and mains (which we didn’t have) in the £15-£20 range. You can easily have a satisfactory lunch for £30 or so if you choose well. We are told that it can get very busy here at dinner or in certain periods, but on this occasion there were just a few tables, well attended to by an efficient and attentive waitress.
Spanish cuisine is one of the most appealing in the world and London is lucky to have such a good representation of it at Cambio de Tercio, a place where there is evident care for ingredient quality and expert treatment of them. If we lived at reasonable distance, we’d be there often.