On Monday last week, both my friend C from Stockholm and P from Munich were in town for meetings. Last time we managed to be together in the same city was a couple of summers ago, in New York. They used to be fellow East Londoners, so we decided to meet up in Hoxton and have a proper catch up.
We arranged to have dinner at newly opened Tramontana Brindisa, part of Tapas Brindisa group, already behind some pretty successful Spanish restaurants in town. Their menu is focussed on Spanish Mediterranean cuisine – which covers northern Catalonia to Almeria and the Balearic Islands. Being a sucker for tapas, I was really excited to try this new restaurant.
Tramontana Brindisa is located at the corner between Curtain Road and Old Street, a minute walk from Hoxton Square.
The front area of the restaurant is dominated by some high tables and a vast bar overlooking the open kitchen in full swing, headed by chef Alberto Torres.
Having booked our table the day before, we were directed to the more traditional dining room, at the back.
After a brief look at the menu, we ordered some bread and olives and a selection of tapas to share, including:
Patatas Bravas with Alioli – crispy, but a little dry.
Croquetas del dia with ham and mushrooms.
A crispy exterior and a creamy and rich heart, possibly one of my favourite dishes here.
Some delicious Patatas Tramontana, oven roasted potatoes stuffed with sobrasata, similar to salami, cheese and duck egg. Yum!
Ensalada Pericana de Bacalao, a cod salad, not my favourite dish, unfortunately. I don’t think the flavours were particularly interesting or the dish particularly memorable.
Ensalada de higos y jamon, ham with fresh figs. Well this dish was mainly salad with two tiny pieces of fig, and five tiny squares of Serrano ham.
Fideua de Sepia, a short pasta with cuttlefish, prawns and flame roasted garlic alioli.
Perhaps a little too salty for me, I didn’t find it particularly exciting. Also, they put only one prawn in, not my idea of a generous portion and not ideal for sharing, which should be the whole point of ordering tapas.
The flao de Ibiza, an Ibizan curd tart with mint and anise, really nice and unusual.
Tarta de Santiago, a traditional almond cake served with ice cream, not my favourite, and a little too moist.
Service, was really friendly and helpful, top marks for that.
My final verdict? Some dishes were really good, some a hit and miss, and generally portion size is way too small for the price.
Would I go back? Possibly not, you can find much better value for money and consistently good tapas at Barrica.