As you’ll know if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, my boyfriend is Spanish and we really love tapas (although having looked through my posts, I’ve realised that I need to write up more tapas restaurants on here!). I have written about Camino’s bottomless brunch previously but decided to review dinner at their fifth branch which opened earlier this month in Shoreditch.
In keeping with their other restaurants, the décor has lots of authentic Spanish trinkets and the restaurant has a warm, orange glow with lots of candles dotted around. The dining room is quite large with a bar area at the front of the restaurant. It was a 50% off soft launch when we went and it was the first weekend that they’d been open, but you wouldn’t have known it. The service was incredibly friendly and energetic and the excitement the staff obviously had for their new opening was really nice to see.
No Spanish meal (in my opinion anyway) is complete without sangria, so we started with a big jug of that to share whilst we decided on food. It’s one of the closest ones to the one my partner’s Spanish Dad makes us, unlike some of the watered-down lemonade and red wine combinations I’ve been served at other places. I really liked that the menu here has a map of Spain and a list of all of the different types of wines that come from each area.
We are creatures of habit so we did have a lot of the dishes that we’ve enjoyed at Camino before. The sizzling buttery gambas ajillo are Paul’s favourite; they were garlicky, juicy and as delicious as ever.
The Arzua Ulloa cheese fritters with tomato jam were much better than when we had them last time at Bankside, the tomato jam was less strong on the cinnamon and the cheese was perfectly oozy.
Patatas Bravas are one of my solid favourite tapas choices with their smoky tomato sauce and garlic aioli, and Camino always do them well.
We hadn’t seen the ox cheek with olive oil mash on the menu before, and I’m pleased that we spotted it because the cheek was beautifully tender and rich and went well with the smooth mash. It’s one of the more heavy dishes on the menu and I’m glad we were sharing, but it’s worth trying.
We had the Arroz Negro, which is consistently good at Camino (again, not as good as Barrafina but still very pleasant). The octopus with beetroot and chickpea puree was one of the most striking looking dishes and was also well-cooked, not chewy at all and nice with the paprika.
The only thing we weren’t fond of was the baby calamari, which we were slightly disappointed with before, but I think actually it might just be that we aren’t fans of baby calamari, so not really their fault but not one I’d probably order again.
I was unusually too full for desserts and nothing other than the churros really caught my eye on the menu so I decided to give it a miss.
The whole meal with the 50% off food, sangria and service only came to £76 for the two of us which was a bonus! If you’re after a reliably good tapas chain that won’t break the bank, Camino gets a thumbs up from us again.
Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street