Morada Brindisa Asador, London

3.11.2015

There are just something that Britian cannot seems to get enough of, tasty Spanish morsels in the form of small plated tapas. Two months ago, I took a short trip with my family to the Canary Island of Lanzarote. Knowing the Spanish, they do fantastic food but how wrong was I being on a small Spanish island. In fact, there was more international cuisines catering for tourists than own local food. Who would have thought that London can out beat a small island in terms of Spanish food?

Menu

Morada Brindisa Asador is the latest opening from the ever so popular Brindisa shop in Borough Market and Brixton. Best known as an excellent, high quality importer of Spanish foods. They also have a hand full of restaurants dotted around in London and this was my first from the Brindisa group. Unlike a chain restaurant, no Brindisa Kitchens are the same with each one has its own signature dishes and style. It will always be a different dining experience. At Morada, the menu is focused around cooking over charcoal (hence the name Asador, wood fired oven), a strong taste of meat and seafoods dishes from all regions of Spain. 

Hand Carved Ibérico Bellota Ham, 24 months 50grams with country bread and crispy breadsticks

"Mojama" Cured Tuna with Almonds

Padrón Peppers

The Spanish is famous for its top quality charcuterie, especially the Ibérico ham cured from the Iberian pig. The ibérico bellota ham was of top quality, it's cured for minimum of 24 months (according to waitress). We watched the chef carving it, in fact his only job was carving the ham. A good ibérico ham has regular flecks of intramuscular fat and because of the pig's diet, most of the fat is oleic acid which is good for health. The ham was of smooth texture and rich, not overly oily. The bread was very good too, along with some crispy breadsticks. We went with the waitress's recommendation and ordered the cured tuna. A plate of very thinly sliced cured tuna, "Mojama" has been said to be the king of all cured fish whilst ibérico ham is the king of all cured meats; somehow I didn't understand this dish. At first I thought it was a lightly cured fish with raw fish texture, but the texture of this cured tuna was crispy. It got me very confused and the almonds was there to balance the strong flavour of the fish, it just didn't do it for me. On the other hand, the Padrón peppers was to die for it. It is like a game of roulette, not knowing which one will make you breath fire although most are very mild. I didn't trample the fire.

Kale and "Escabeche" Sardine Salad

I tried to replicate the kale and sardine salad at home, failed miserably. Most likely to be the quality of the sardine I used, straight out of a cheapish tin from the supermarket and also my method was wrong. Escabeche refers to poached or fried fish marinated in vinegar. Seeing how I wanted to replicate the salad, you can tell how much I liked it. Just few simple good quality ingredients will do the trick. Light and refreshing the salad was, the sardine was the star and it was not too acidic. The cherry tomatoes was unbelievably sweet and normally I'm not a fan of tomatoes in salad but I do still eat it.

Ibérico Presa - medium rare, roughly 500grams

Without a doubt one of Spain's leading gourmet delights is Cerdo Ibérico - the pork from the Iberian pig. From the grill section, we had to order the Ibérico Presa. Presa is considered to be the finest cut of the Iberian pig. It is the cut attached to the shoulder at the head of the loin. Due to the very high marble content, the pork is said to be the equivalent of wagyu beef. We were adviced it can only be served medium or medium rare and serves two. It wasn't a huge problem for us, we liked it medium rare just like a steak should do. Nothing more just some sea salt for seasoning, with a texture like beef fillet, tender and juicy. It's a pork like you have never tasted before. We washed down our meal with a carafe of red wine (I will found out the name of it later), not amazing but still paired well with the meal.

I like Brindisa, not surprising with their history. The service was attentive, friendly and helpful. All questions was explained in details, we even asked to be seated at the bar (there's a reason for that). The bar seats surround the square, open kitchen. Being a open kitchen, the chefs really cannot slip up and as a diner, I like watching the chefs in action. Occasionally may even learn something new just watching the chef, at Brindisa I learnt that you only need top quality ingredients to produce simple delicious food.

Score Rating: 3.5/5
Price: ~£40/head (50% soft launch, £60 for 2 people)

Morada Brindisa Asador on Urbanspoon
Square Meal

http://www.brindisatapaskitchens.com/morada/

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