Review : Brindisa’s Food Rooms, Brixton

Brindisa’s mission is simple: to provide unbeatable Spanish food. The verdict? Almost.

Their Food Rooms on Atlantic Road is a different and more casual take on their usual tapas kitchens found around central and east London. It’s part shop, part bar, offering a simple menu in a cosy and romantic space under Brixton’s famous railway arches.

Brindisa has made a good name for itself in sourcing top quality ingredients such as hams, cheeses, sausages and selected seafood. Their Brixton Food Rooms menu uses those ingredients in a simple form, quite rightly allowing them to bask in their own glory.

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The menu is split into several sections including charcuterie, hand-carved ham, cheeses and the largest section – llesques – a Spanish term for local bread rubbed with sweet tomato and then topped with their speciality ingredients and served with salad and aioli.

My friend and I started out with the pan de coca – a Catalan bread similar to ciabatta, served with tomato and garlic. This was a simple yet delicious appetiser using some of the sweetest tomatoes I’ve ever tasted. We then sampled the Monte Enebro cheese bombas with orange blossom honey. Monte Enebro is a goat’s milk cheese made in Spain and these small spheres ooze as you eat them and are delicious when you use the crisp shells to scoop up the remaining orange blossom honey.

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OK – onto the ham – this is the real jewel in the crown. There are three hand carved hams to choose from – I’d strongly recommend paying the extra and picking the Señorío Ibérico Bellota. This ham is carved from pigs which have been fed their whole lives on acorns, and it is delicious. It has a nutty and almost creamy depth to it and the taste is one I haven’t forgotten.

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The llesques are a great social food. You can pick them up and eat them with your fingers and are easy to share amongst large groups of friends – just like the Spanish do. We chose butifarra sausage and cod brandada with piquillo pepper sauce. The sausage was very good and was topped with lovely sweet roasted peppers and spring onions. Even the leaves served with the topped toasts were fresh and well dressed.

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There was only one disappointment on the table and that was the cod llesque. To be brutally honest it tasted a lot like fish pie, in a blender, served on toast. It wasn’t necessarily bad, though for some reason it’s taste or presentation didn’t seem to be in keeping with the rest of the refined dishes we sampled.

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All in all, Brindisa’s Brixton Food Rooms is a great place to go for top quality ingredients, a nice atmosphere, and extremely friendly and professional staff. It’s in a great spot and has an excellent choice of Spanish wines and beers to boot.

Dinner for two including drinks: £50

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