This sleek, contemporary-looking newcomer on Acre Lane in Brixton couldn’t help but catch a passer-by’s eye. Having opened only a mere 8 weeks ago (their website is still under construction as time of press), we were keen to sample what Boqueria had to offer in the hope that it would go some way to fill the current void of quality tapas venues south of the river. We weren’t left disappointed.
The whole look and feel of Boqueria is completely different from your typical tapas joints: bare wooden floors, simple uncluttered table arrangements and the neutral contemporary décor was a refreshing change. Hints of fiery red adorn the walls: bare picture frames on one side and a selection of scenes ofSpainon the other. We were sat at the dining area at the back, although punters can also choose to have their grub served at the bar. Being a Saturday lunchtime, it was relatively quiet although I can imagine the bar area being a great place to sit and soak in the atmosphere on a weekend evening.
Drinks ordered, we tackled the menu which not only offered a combination of the classics but also a great selection of special dishes detailed on large chalk board at the end of the dining room. We opted for 5 tapas plus a plate of paella to share. The more traditional dishes were done well: Spanish style eggs served with chorizo and mushrooms were tastefully presented in a stack, the calamares had lovely light, crisp batter which was cooked to perfection and served with garlic mayonnaise. The aubergine cannelloni (thinly sliced aubergine wrapped around a mushroom filling and tomatoes, and topped with the goat’s cheese) offer a particularly tasty vegetarian option.
From the “specials board”, we chose a delicate dish of monkfish “fishballs” (albondigas) sympathetically spiced with saffron.
The paella negro (squid ink paella) was as good as expected, full of sea-goodness, albeit the portion was on the small side. We expected it to be served on a traditional paella pan but it came on a similar plate other tapas were served on. The clam stated on the menu didn’t make an appearance, only to be replaced by slices of shrimp. A bit of a disappointment there!
The stand-out dish, without a shadow of a doubt, had to be the slices of pork shoulder served on a bed of sweet potato puree. This really was something else: the Iberico pork was ever so slightly pink in the middle and it simply melted in the mouth. The light salt seasoning indeed brought the flavour out. One word: QUALITY!
All in all, Boqueria Tapas is a great addition to the emerging Brixton eating scene. We’re pretty sure this venue will continue to flourish with such delicious food and friendly, attentive service. Roughly spent £23 per person, not exactly cheap eats, but a moderately-priced treat we would say!! Will definitely be back very soon to sample the other special dishes on offer.
Boqueria Tapas / 192 Acre Lane / SW2 5UL /London