Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Is this the best under £10 'steak' in London?
I'd heard good things about the The Opera Tavern which has recently been taken over by the people who run the excellent tapas bars Salt Yard and Dehesa. Often this is a problem as you go with inflated expectations and then grumble away when things don't live up to the hype.
But not here - even though I didn't have the strongly recommended ham.
Instead I had this brilliant dish (above) of grilled Iberico presa with caper, shallots and lemon which tasted not like pork but like a really tasty tender steak. It wasn't a huge helping but if you have a few other tapas - which I had - it's plenty. And at £8 a portion it's a steal. Presa by the way is a shoulder cut which makes the tenderness even more surprising.
I also tried some Gorgonzola and date croquetas (good with the manzanilla sherry I was drinking but even better with a Palo Cortado I would think) . . .
. . . a sweet-sour salad of pickled salsify, chestnuts and Roosevelt potatoes with winter truffle tasting - a nice fresh contrast among the other rich dishes . . .
. . .and an 'Italian-style Scotch egg' made with Parmesan which I didn't think surpassed the classic version but was good nonetheless. (You do get a whole egg. I just ate half of it before I remembered to snap it.)
This is a perfect pit-stop in the heart of Covent Garden - ideal for a pre-theatre meal or a post-work drink and snack. The desserts looked pretty fab too.
You can see my post about the wine I drank here.