The scene There’s not a soggy beer mat or a fruit machine in sight in this pub-cum-Mediterranean restaurant, where cured meat hangs from hooks on the ceiling and peanuts are traded for olives.
The main dining area is on the first floor, away from the higgledy-piggledy slabs of carnivore heaven and dangling garlic, which is a shame since they create such a genuine atmosphere.
Instead, the upstairs offers a homely, minimalist tone, with exposed brick walls and chunky wooden tables – each with a personal lamp for mood lighting.
The grub The menu has an impressive range of tapas, with some hearty mains and, unsurprisingly given the decor, a particularly mouth-watering selection of cold cuts.
We start, as all good meat-eaters would, with some tangy chorizo. It comes on a complimentary bed of tomato dressing and bread.
Next up, an artichoke served whole, then a plate of green beans, sautéed onions and crispy Serrano ham, the lightest dishes in our selection.
The others – ham croquetas, slow-cooked pancetta, and a cheese dish (including tetilla, manchego and pan-fried endive filled with homemade membrillo), are all fried in part, and oily.
This seems to be a personal ordering error rather than indicative of the whole menu, which also features seafood and grilled rump steak.
Any disappointment is forgotten when a fistful of thick chocolate-covered handmade truffles arrives to finish. Bliss.
Behind the bar Spanish beer Mahou on draught. Choose from five sherries by the glass and digestives such as Spanish liqueur Anis del Mono.
Wine options are fair and there are some quality dessert accompaniments, including Rivesaltes Ambre.
Bill please Starters from £2.50; tapas from £4.50; mains from £8.50; desserts from £3.50; wine from £15 a bottle; spirits from £2.60.
Verdict Great value for the location, but avoid the heavily fried tapas.
35 New Cavendish Street, W1G 9TR
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