Saturday 27 October 2012

Tramontana: The Latest Offering from Brindisa

Before I go any further I should confess that I am a devoted follower of the Brindisa empire.  And it is now an empire.  What started as a small shop, a stall (selling the best chorizo rolls) and a tapas bar at Borough Market now extends throughout London. Shopping in Soho.  There's a Brindisa.  Milling around before going to the Natural History Museum. There's a Brindisa.  And now, heading for a shuggle in Shoreditch.  There's a Brindisa.  Well, more accurately, there's a Tramontana (Brindisa).

This latest offering from the pre-eminent importer and provider of Spanish cuisine in London is a little different though.  It is aware of its surroundings.  It is definitely a Shoreditch restaurant.  While there are the traditional cured meats and croquetas that you would expect from any Brindisa restaurant, there is also a slider (de rigeur for any self-respecting new opening in London these days). It is also more modern, less cosy.  A place to go for a quick bite to eat and some sherry before heading out.

We arrived around nine on a Friday night having been unimpressed with the look of the food at the Shoreditch Butchery.  A quick sherry (the list is reasonable if not as interesting as that offered at Pizarro and Jose) and some olives later we were being sat at one of the high tables - sharing with a four.

As is to be expected the dishes came as and when ready - first up some croquetas and lomito iberica.  The lomito was all in order, the croquetas were fine although a little wet for me.  Not a patch on Jose's version in my view - although in fairness the Fashionista preferred these.

Next up some Iberico pork with sweet potato puree and pomegranate seeds.  Separately they were fine, better together.  Pomegranate and pork is a great combination.  We also had some Mojama - dry cured tuna -  my favourite dish of the night.

Then the the slider made of black pudding and butifarra (a pork sausage from Catalan) - tasty, but the black pudding overpowered the butifarra-  and the fideua de sepia. Like paella, but made with noodles, it came with cuttlefish, prawns and aioli.  Unfortunately it hadn't been seasoned at all and was therefore rather plain.  Once we had added some salt, it improved.

We finished with some mahon cheese which came with quince and some sweet chutney.

Tramontana has been receiving mixed reviews- some love it, others think that Brindisa may have at last lost its way.  My experience was mixed.  The tuna was incredible, the fideua bland.  I suppose the all important question though is would I go back.  Unequivocally, yes.  There is a real gap in the market in Shoreditch for good food at reasonable prices. Tramontana fits in well.
Tramontana Brindisa on Urbanspoon

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